A 2015 report suggests that as many as 8 in 10 Americans prefer to buy products with a ‘Made in USA’ label. And over 60% would be willing to pay 10% more for American-made products over foreign ones if given the option. While these numbers may come as a surprise to some, those who make up today’s manufacturing industry can confidently say that the American consumer has smartened up about where and why they spend their money.
This new found confidence in the American manufacturing industry is largely due to the most recent recession, which inspired a new wave of economic consciousness in the average consumer. But even with the economic crisis in the past and an unemployment rate that’s nearly half of what it was just a few years ago, Americans are still spending their hard-earned money with caution. Now more than ever, consumers are painfully aware of how important it is to support the U.S. economy and they’re looking to American manufacturers to meet their core needs.
As the relationship between American manufacturers and consumers continues to thrive, we take a look at three reasons the manufacturing industry’s outlook remains bright:
- Local Manufacturing Means More Jobs. According to a survey from 2013, most Americans look for and buy products made at home because they want to help the economy continue to grow. The more U.S. made products are sold, the more Americans are employed to make them. And increased employment rates often translate into even more of an economic boost–Americans can buy more because they’re getting paid more, which creates a cycle of economic productivity that fosters a strong sense of consumer confidence.
- Consumers Receive Higher Quality Products. While overseas manufacturers typically focus their efforts on making easy-to-sell products in bulk, American companies have their eyes set on producing quality work that lasts. Because quality and safety tend to be the factors that most motivate Americans to make a purchase, U.S. manufacturers can more easily convert first-time buyers into life-long customers.
- More Customization is Available. In addition to making products that are higher in quality than foreign ones, U.S. based companies also give consumers the opportunity to purchase more customizable products. Because geographical proximity and similar business goals are shared with the manufacturer, consumers have more control over the ordering process which enables them to continue to spend cautiously.
While there’s no question that product demand will continue to drive sales, the manufacturing industry still faces challenges that may negatively impact its relationship with consumers. As skilled workers retire faster than employers can replace them, established businesses remain reluctant to hire Millennial trainees who have historically expressed a desire for tech-based, white collar jobs that allow them to utilize their expensive college educations. This leaves a skills gap that desperately needs to be filled and a huge responsibility to manufacturers to become more innovative when developing plans to keep up with increasing demand.