This article originally appeared on The Business Journal (Sept. 20, 2013).
U.S. Mart, a Venice, Florida-based retailer, celebrated Labor Day by supporting U.S. veterans and manufacturers. The company, which only sells American-made products, donated 20 percent of that day’s profits to the local American Legion.
During that same holiday weekend, retailers, including Best Buy, Kiehl’s, Omaha Steaks, Wal-Mart, Ball and Buck, All American Clothing and OTTE, recognized the American worker by offering special deals on American-made products.
Through Wal-Mart’s involvement, this marketing campaign became linked to a two-day summit in Orlando, which focused on the “Made in America” concept. Here, U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, eight governors, officials from three dozen states and 500 businesses discussed how the U.S. could grow its manufacturing base to create American jobs.
Like any campaign, “Made in America” will take time to reach its goal. But in the interim, organizations supporting American-made or locally grown products have the opportunity to gain public goodwill.
For companies supporting this cause, a strategic internal communication campaign can educate employees on the important role they play in America’s economy, help instill pride in workplace performance, encourage associates to support U.S. commerce by purchasing products manufactured here, and highlight the organization’s carbon footprint reduction efforts resulting from less reliance on imports. If managed properly, the messaging has the potential of ultimately improving employee morale and engagement.
For businesses publicly sharing carbon footprint reduction plans, the use of U.S. raw materials, parts and finished products can exemplify the steps taken to achieve environmental goals.