News and views on what matters to me: mindfulness, leadership, public relations, marketing, social media, pop culture and every now and then I will surprise you with something else.
New Balance thinks we do. They are launching a new marketing campaign that is centered on them being the only major shoe maker that has some operations that take place in the US. Although only 25% of their assemblies and production are taking place in the US, that is 25% more than Nike and Adidas, their main competitors. This morning’s Advertising Age article talks about possible out lash from consumers as 25% is not a majority by any means, but Ad Age does predict that most consumers will embrace this marketing tactic due to the current economic climate and the fact that it is very rare to see a company take a stand on this issue.
If you take a look at this video, http://www.newbalance.com/USA/ you will find New Balance playing up the nostalgia of the “good old days” and trying to get us consumers to slow down for a second and think about the implication of the products we buy. With consumers really taking time to think about the production of their products, not just consumption it is an interesting take New Balance is taking.
This marketing campaign has got me thinking, as a public, do we even care where our products are made? Do we care about how a company is treating its employees and their ethical standards? Is a price point, convenience and brand loyalty all we are concerned with? Watching the New Balance video, although partly cheesy did evoke emotion out of me.
We are here to stay, people didn’t think we could do it. Here we are in 2009 still making shoes in the USA.
That quote was particularly powerful for me as it portrays the American worker as a real underdog these days. From a business perspective, of course we have to care about the ROI and lean manufacturing techniques and a lot of our focus is on BRIC (Brazil, Russia India & China). I feel like we are living in a world where the philosophy of “catch up or get lost” is starting to apply to everyone. Although technology has for the most part impacted us in a positive way, I think we have lost that human touch. I am not going to say I agree or disagree with remaining the most competitive in the business setting, but I will say that as consumers we should at least think about the impact of our consumption. It is a complicated issue, as price does dictate a lot of our choices, but it is important to recognize how the products we are using impact our fellow citizens. I am cheering for your New Balance and other American worker underdogs. I hope we will see some more companies at least making an attempt to keep some of their productions here and keeping the jobs of thousands of Americans.