STATE OF AMERICA
Resurgence Of ‘Made in America’ – Domestic goods are all the rage. In a survey conducted by The Boston Consulting Group more than 80% of people said they preferred U.S.-made goods and that they would pay more for said goods. Despite the economy, consumers are switching their priorities when it comes to quality vs. lower prices and are becoming more open to paying a slight premium for quality. With the cost advantage of manufacturing in China on a decline, it’s making more business sense to manufacture in the U.S. The idea of “Made in America” will succeed for the same reason organic has succeeded. “Just like people didn’t want to eat food that was poisoning them, they want to live in a better economic climate,” says Dave Schiff, co-founder of the Made Movement – a marketing agency dedicated to supporting a resurgence in American manufacturing. Last September Jay-Z and Budweiser participated in the two-day Made In America Festival which featured 30 artists who embodied the American spirit. Additionally, Apple recently announced it would bring some Mac production back to the U.S., and Wal-Mart has promised to buy an additional $50 billion in U.S.-made merchandise over the next decade.
BRAVE NEW CONSUMER
Local Internet – As consumers continue to expand their obsession with all things local (food, tourism, designers, etc.), they are starting to flock to smaller communities in their online lives as well. Having a smaller pool of people with shared interests around a brand, activity or show helps to create a community that feels more authentic. College students are one of the clearest pioneers of Local Internet. Universities like USC and UCLA have local meme pages that put together joke images and GIFs that only people in the the community would find funny. It’s no longer enough for a site like College Humor to make jokes about college as a whole; they too have to make university-specific pages to attract this new Local Internet Viewer.
McDonald Celebrates Local & Renames To Macca’s – It is hard to imagine a more American brand than fast-food chain McDonald’s. However, as it has expanded internationally, the company has come to reflect regional tastes and preferences, so much so that consumers in many countries think of McDonald’s as belonging to them. Fortunately, McDonald’s is completely on board with this idea. In Australia McDonald’s is often called Macca’s, and a recent survey revealed that over half of the nation regularly refer to the fast food business by its informal name. In order to celebrate its 40 years down under and this year’s Australia Day, McDonalds decided to embrace the local vernacular by changing the name of 13 of its restaurants to Macca’s. For a month, the signage on the restaurants will officially read “Maccas,” while an accompanying integrated campaign will honor Australia. Watch this Macca’s commercial which fully embraces the local culture of Australia.
Digital Amplifies Local Brands – With Love, From Brooklyn is a website that positions itself as a one-stop shop for all the favorite local edibles found only in Brooklyn but curated in an way that makes it easily accessible to food-obsessed non-New Yorkers. “I realized that there was an emerging movement of artisan producers who really care about what they’re making and are totally pushing the envelope with unique flavors,” explains founder Dara Furlow. Since many of these treats are of course only available in New York, Furlow decided to start a company to ship local favorites like Bacon Marmalade and Spicy Bacon Caramel Popcorn nation-wide. The goal was to create a viable online marketplace the highlights the artisan stories and local foods Brooklyn has become known for. Furlow says she is open to the idea of visiting other vibrant artisan communities like Seattle and Portland.
ON THE RADAR
Try This Network: New social platform yerdle plans to address storage issues for people living in small apartments. Aiming to reduce the number of things people have to buy by 20%, yerdle encourages its members to share instead of buy items that they need. People who log on can easily see which items are available to borrow from nearby friends as well as friends of friends. Co-founder Adam Werbach explains that the social network is specifically made for NYC since the city is fertile ground for a sharing economy.
Follow This: @WorkaholicsCC – Shows like Comedy Central’s Workaholics are embracing Local Internet by creating hashtags that are highly specific to a particular moment and will only be appreciated by other members of the show’s community. The show changes hashtags displayed on the bottom of the screen based on the storyline on the show, so instead of a generic #workaholics there could be specific references to insider moments fans can appreciate like #TakeItSleazy or #blonders.
Watch This: The Converse Wall To Wall series has traveled all over Europe and North America and invites local street artists to graffiti city walls and transform them into original artwork. The video gallery concentrates on the process of creating the different graffiti and takes the viewer through the artists’ journey of creating their piece. Watch this video of Josh Row, an Austin-based street artist and art director of No-Comply skate shop, paint a mural on Sixth Street, in the heart of downtown Austin.