At Master Brands we take a lot of pride in being a US Manufacturer and offering a line of USA Made uniforms, and for good reason. It hasn’t been easy bringing our manufacturing back from overseas, but we’ve done it and in the process we’ve created nearly 50 jobs in our community and plan to keep that number growing by 10% every year.
But one question that we keep asking ourselves is “do our customers really care that the product is USA Made?”
And the answer is usually, not really.
So when we came across this article Patriotism, Jobs Primary Motivations for “Buying American,” we were at a loss. How could their statistics conflict with our experience so vastly?
Based on the Gallup poll done in 2013, 45% of Americans said they recently made a special effort to buy products that were made in the United States, and 63% of those cited jobs and supporting the US as their reasoning. So we should be a perfect match! Master Brands is manufacturing clothing in the USA and we actually do it at our headquarters in Salt Lake City. That’s unheard of! We don’t use contract sewing and call it our own, we really are creating jobs and delivering unmatched value to our customers through our vertical integration. Our products should be an easy sell to at least 45% of Americans, right?
And the answer is, not really.
We still work just as hard, if not harder, than our competitors to sell uniform programs and our “made in the USA workwear” line. So, why does the Gallup poll differ from our experience? Here are a few reasons we came up with:
- It’s easy to SAY you would buy USA Made goods, but how many of us drive foreign cars or actually check a label at a store to see where the item is made.
- People assume that buying USA Made products are more expensive, which is not the case with Master Brands.
- Because of our distribution model of manufacturing and selling direct (which we think is pretty genius) we are actually saving our customer’s a TON of money and our prices are competitive with other industry leaders.
- Our traditional sale is in a business to business environment, and most businesses aren’t as patriotic as a consumer. (Unfortunately)
So, what are we going to do about it? We’re going to start a retail line and sell directly to those patriotic consumers we love so much! All of the items will be Made in the USA and sold to the hardest working Americans.
Of course we aren’t going to forget about our business to business customers. Even if they aren’t as patriotic as the average consumer they can’t argue with savings on inventory costs of over 70%, and having complete control over their company’s uniform program. We even let them custom build the garment from start to finish.
We’ve been in the business for over 20 years, and currently provide uniforms for some of the largest restaurant chains, oil & gas companies, mining companies, power & electric utilities and construction companies in the nation. The fact that we manufacture most of the goods in the USA is just an added perk for our customers. We’re saving them money on their uniforms, while simultaneously removing the burden of managing a large uniform program, and doing it all in the United States.
We’re proud, obviously. But why shouldn’t we be?