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Exercise Your Economic Strength

As our loyal supporters know, the mission of American Made Matters is to educate consumers on the importance of buying American made products to strengthen the American dream. The American dream means different things to different people; it may mean sending your children to college, owning a home, or being able to travel and enjoy life experiences. Whatever the American dream means to you, your pursuit and achievement of that dream is enhanced by resources. Resources provide opportunities, and resources result from jobs. Jobs provide money to individuals, of course, and also provide services for families through the collection of taxes. No segment of an economy provides more jobs than manufacturing.

Our message has been simple: In order to strengthen manufacturing, we need to purchase items made in America.

Despite this fairly well understood premise, a recent poll by The Associated Press and GFK shows there may be a limit for how much more conscious consumers would pay for an item made in the United States.

“Of the Americans surveyed, 71% said that while they would like to buy goods manufactured in the U.S., these items are often too expensive or difficult to find. An additional 17% said they did not feel strongly enough about buying “Made in the USA” items and just 9% said they only buy domestically made goods.

The AP and GFK poll also gave respondents a real-world example: choose between a $50 pair of foreign-made pants or an $85 pair of pants made in the U.S. While produced in different countries, both products have the same design and fabric. A total of 67% of Americans said they would buy the cheaper pair of pants. Thirty percent said they would buy the more expensive, American-made pair.

An additional finding was that income doesn’t necessarily matter when it comes to who buys American-made goods. People with household incomes of more than $100,000 are not any more likely to pay more for U.S. products than people of lower income, the AP and GFK reported.”[1]

While it is understandable that there is a limit to how much money we can afford to spend, we need to recognize how our spending affects us as well as our community, friends, and family. When we buy American made products, everyone benefits because we are recycling and multiplying money in our country. We are not only supporting American jobs but also creating American jobs, which enriches our communities.

It’s been proven that consumer behavior is influenced by four factors: cultural, social, personal, and psychological. “Throughout his [or her] existence, an individual will be influenced by his [or her] family, his [or her] friends, his [or her] cultural environment or society that will “teach” him [or her]  values, preferences as well as common behaviors to [his or her] own culture.”[2] This means that you are influenced by your family’s and friends’ purchases, and that your family and friends are influenced by your purchases. Each person’s purchases then influence the community’s values, and that can ripple out to change the culture of a society.

We are in the midst of a cultural change from buying without awareness to buying with awareness, from buying the lowest priced goods to buying quality goods, from buying imports to buying local.

Your role in this cultural change and in our mission is vital to our success.

Simply by reposting or sharing our social media posts or this newsletter you influence and teach other people and impact our future. Your behavior will speak volumes about your values and you impact our future with each purchase. Your voice will echo strong and loud when you ask “Was this made in the USA?” or “Do you carry products made in America?” Your legs will show the strength of an Olympic marathon gold medalist when you walk away from a purchase when the product is not made here. Exercise your strength. Let’s improve the results of the next poll and change our future with each purchase.

Don Rongione
President and Founder of American Made Matters

 

 

[1] Mcavoy, Kaitlyn, “Americans Not Willing to Pay More for US-Made Products: Survey,” http://spendmatters.com/2016/05/02/americans-not-willing-to-pay-more-for-us-made-products-survey/, (May 2, 2016).

[2] Fanny Perreau, “The Four Factors Influencing Consumer Behavior,” http://theconsumerfactor.com/en/4-factors-influencing-consumer-behavior/.