Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Made in America

     Here's today's Consumer Marketing Hotline Question: Where did it come from?  The shoes you're wearing.  The food you eat.  The car you drive.  The insulation inside your house.  I could go on and on.  We're loading up on products that are made overseas while shipping American jobs to underdeveloped countries. 

     I workout with dumbbells that came from China.  How can China manufacture and then ship 20-pound weights that tremendous distance- for less money than we can make them in the US?

     Remember when Wal*Mart first made it big?  They had American flags on everything.  Everything was Made In America.  Now almost everything Wal*Mart sells is Made In China.  

     The home video camera sitting on my desk-Japan.  

     The computer keyboard I'm typing on- China.

     Nike sneakers.  Nike has plants all over the place, China, VietNam, Cambodia.  According to WikiAnswers only 5% if Nike apparel is manufactured here.

     I just pulled off my Bass shoe and looked at the tag.  Yes, my shoes were Made In China.

          Yesterday, my computer melted down and I had to call customer service- yes the infamous tech support. After an infuriating trip through an automated menu I ended up speaking to a person somewhere in Indonesia.  He was nicer than I was and very professional- but I just get so tired of saying WHAT? What did you say?  What are you asking me to do?  English is obviously not a first language in this situation.  And it's frustrating when you have to battle your way through "tech jargon" while having "a failure to communicate" at the same time.

     Trina and I have a new puppy and we wanted to buy a puppy bed.  We've been to Petco, PetSmart, local pet stores and Wal*Mart.  Everything is Made In China.

     Same goes for doggie toys.  Yep, they're Made In China.

     We tried to buy some rawhide bones.  You've probably heard about toxic pet food that was Made In China- so we wanted to avoid that.  But nearly all the rawhide bones at Wal*Mart are Made In China.  We did find a few Made In America- so we gladly paid extra for those.

     Here's a fun exercise.  Go into any major department store and try to buy clothing that's Made In America.  Good luck with that.

     Here's a tribute to American capitalism.  I have a Donald Trump bobble head from a marketing promotion for one of his casinos.  You guessed it.  On the bottom it says: Made In China.

    A couple of years ago Trina and I visited China and it was an incredible experience.  Sure, the history is amazing.  The country is amazing.  The crowds of Chinese are amazing.  But what really took our breath away was the growth.  In Shanghai they were building skyscrapers by the bushel.  Dozens and dozens of huge buildings were all going up at the same time.  Money is flooding into China- and a lot of that cash is our money.  Everybody has heard about it.  There are stories about it in the media every day.  But there never seems to be much interest in buying American.  Is it just me?  I think it seems strange- especially in this economy.

     All of this is leading up to this one marketing/media relations question.  If I owned a company and my products were Made In America I'd be shouting it from the rooftops.  So why doesn't it seem like anybody is doing that?  Just askin... 

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