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How Brands Can Leverage the 'Buy American' Movement

Vikas Mittal

According to a 2015 Consumer Reports survey, nearly 80% of consumers say they would rather buy an American-made product than an imported one, and 60% are willing to pay 10% more for it.

In his 2017 inaugural address, President Donald Trump vowed to “follow two simple rules: buy American, and hire American.” Organizations such as the Buy American Movement—which was founded on the premise of promoting American-made goods and services—are also gaining popularity.

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But buying American is not just a matter of price and quality. Decades of research has identified four drivers of country-based branding: country branding, country animosity, consumer ethnocentrism and local identity. How can brand managers leverage these drivers to build on the “Buy American” movement? 

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Vikas Mittal, Ph.D., is a member of the faculty at the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University in Houston, Texas.