If a product falls in a forest, would anyone hear it? That’s a roundabout way of asking about marketing strategy. Just because a company is making a great widget doesn’t automatically guarantee success. The buying public needs to know about that widget. They need to think their life will be unfulfilled unless they can get their own widget. Soon, everyone will have the widget and the company will be looking for the next great widget. At least, that’s the plan.
One of the most effective marketing tools could come down to three simple words: “Made in America.” If a company goes through the trouble to make their products in America, they should be promoting that fact. Here’s how to market your Made-in-America business:
Say It Loud and Say It Proud
Slapping a “Made in America” label means all or most of that product was manufactured in the United States. From a legal standpoint, you can’t just say something is made in America — you have to be able to back that up. There’s a pedigree with that type of product that separates it from everything else on the shelf. If it was made in America, you should let your customers know right from the start of their shopping experience.
It helps if you can work “America” into the title of your company. The All-American Clothing Co. leaves no doubt about the provenance of its products. “USA Made” is part of its company logo. It also helps that a lot of their designs incorporate a patriotic theme involving flags and eagles, but there’s no doubt where this company’s products are manufactured. It puts the label front and center.
Put Jobs Front and Center
Obviously, if you’re making a product in America, you’re employing American workers. That’s a fact that can be reinforced through your marketing materials. Last year, AngelList tracked 79,166 startups in the United States. That’s an amazing amount of homegrown companies. It really doesn’t matter how many employees are part of a company — the mere fact that these are jobs for Americans, and will in turn stimulate the domestic economy,is enough.
Igloo is the leading brand for all kinds of coolers. Their company history proudly boosts of the 1,200 working employees and their manufacturing facility in Katy, Texas. An “our history” page like the one on Igloo’s website is a must for any Made-in-America company.
Share Worker Stories
One of the ways you can reinforce the jobs angle is by sharing the stories of your workers. This goes beyond the “Employee of the Month” photo. You could delve into how the workers are not only supporting their families through their gainful employment, but also how they’re giving back to the community.
Darn Tough Vermont makes socks. Perhaps not the most thrilling of products. However, if you were to visit their website, you would not only be treated to a cool sock catalogue, but you’d also come away with the idea that Vermont is the only place these socks can be made. This a company with deep roots in the community, and they wouldn’t want it any other way.
It reinforces the brand by conjuring up that “small town” vibe. That’s not a bad thing to associate with your company.
Promote a Better Product
Everyone knows that if you’re buying a foreign-made product, it should be less expensive. Yes, we can even call it “cheap.” On the other hand, a Made-in-America product could be of higher quality with better materials. That’s something that should be shared with the client.
There’s also the convenience that comes along with an American-made product. Hamilton Shirts, based out of Houston, has been making custom dress shirts since 1883. That’s a great company history story! They’re also able to promote a fast turnaround for a shirt order. Customers can get their product in days, as opposed to the weeks or months it would take if it was coming from overseas.
The holidays are an especially good time to promote American-made products. Everyone will be looking for items to add to their shopping list, and if they can support local businesses, then all the better. You’ll find that many news outlets trip over themselves to promote Made-in-America products. That’s a good thing, but you have to get on those lists. There are also numerous websites that are clearinghouses for American-made products. This will mean a little homework, but one Google search will get you started.
Of course, the usual caveats about social media marketing apply with company promotion. Every worker story, company anniversary and product placement mention should be blasted across all social platforms. You might even want to fire up Snapchat with your workers while they’re “snapping” things together.
Made-in-America marketing is all about positioning, and these products are in a very good position.
About the Author
Lexie Lu is a freelance designer and blogger. She enjoys researching the latest design trends and always has a cup of coffee in close proximity. She manages Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter@lexieludesigner.