What is America Worth

Here is an article we found to be very interesting on the top of American manufactures like ourselves in the year 2013. What will you think?

What is ‘Made in America’ Worth?

Think of the label “Made in America.” What brand images come to mind? Odds are, you’ve conjured up a picture of one of two scenes.

First, there’s that rugged, sturdy, no-frills, American quality. It’s the stuff of Chrysler Automotive’s much-praised “Imported from Detroit” ad, and Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA.” If you buy this two-fisted version of “Made in the USA,” you also likely buy American because you’re patriotic. You don’t care if elites would rather buy a BMW.

The other Made-in-America vision embraces an artisanal, moral, locavore sensibility. Think of Whole Foods, or, in apparel, Brooklyn Industries. In this vision, you buy boutique American goods because they’re holier-than-corporate and show off your elevated taste.

If one of these images is all that comes to mind, though, recent research and certain branding experts suggest that you’re selling “Made in America” short. The label still has far more international cachet that Americans are likely to give it credit for. Even in the United States, buyers have proven that they’ll pay considerably more for some kinds of American-made goods—simply because they expect them to be a better value

International perceptions of “Made in America,” are rooted in global perceptions of the country itself—and that news is surprisingly favorable for domestic manufacturers. Simon Anholt-Gfk Roper Nation Brands Index, which measures a nation’s international reputation. In the market-research company’s most recent survey, released in late October, the U.S. ranked first—for the fourth year in a row.

“The strengths of America’s international standing continue to be innovation, opportunities and vibrancy,” Anholt said in a press release. Germany placed second and U.K. third. China didn’t crack the top 10.

None of this would come as a surprise to Drew Greenblatt, president and owner of Baltimore-based Marlin Steel Wire Products, an Inc. 5000 honoree that manufactures only in the United States.

“American manufacturers have a reputation for getting it right the first time,” Greenblatt says. “And a lot of clients are comfortable that, if they don’t get it right, American companies will bend over backwards to make good on it quickly.” Since companies that manufacture in America often can’t compete on price, they have to compete on quality, service, or speed—and they have a reputation for doing all they can to defend that brand edge.

Part of the advantage Greenblatt enjoys is technological. Forced to compete with companies that benefit from lower labor costs overseas, American manufacturers have invested heavily in advanced plants. That tends to provide an edge in manufacturing precision and flexibility.

“I can manufacture to tolerances of 10 microns,” he says. “My Chinese competitors can’t match that.”

The U.S. is still not a cheap place to manufacture, admits Greenblatt, but he is content to compete internationally on U.S. companies’ reputations for agility and quality.

“We’re not selling to ignorant people,” he says. “Our clients have plenty of choice, but they choose us because they are confident we’ll deliver what we promised. Regardless of what anyone says, the rest of the world has a lot of faith in American ingenuity. 

Article via: CMTC News.

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