1. CAN REPRESENT (OR BRING YOU CLOSER) TO YOUR HERITAGE
For this point I would love to be from Scotland. Seriously. As far as stating your heritage goes there is no more mystique and romantic way than using your long family’s tartan colours. Just to explain, each Scottish surname represents a clan and each clan had their own unique pattern of tartan colours. Now, even if you are completely not fussed about tartan, there are so many products out there that
a) made in Scotland, but also
b) can be custom made to represent the colours and patterns of your long standing past.
Just some ideas for my Scottish readers: tartan, scarf, rug, tie, ‘iThing’ cover, flat cap, wool tam, wallet, bow tie, satchel bag, cufflinks and list goes on. And surely, if you buy Scottish tartan it just has to be made there too.
2. FLY THE FLAG
Some people are proud to show their nationality. Using items made from their country is one of the ways of doing it. Of course there is a choice on how to make this statement:
bold – with flags and “Made in” labels hard to missOR more discreet
3. IT SHOWS YOUR VALUES AND STANDARDS
Shrinking European manufacturing has created something new and unexpected – a growing group of loyal following for the remaining few producers. Those followers recognise their admired products from a mile away, hence it is not unusual to bond with random people, business partners or colleagues just based on your appreciation of the same rare products.
Here is an example:
Botta Uno watch is an ultimate classic. Mr. Botta invented one hand watch concept while studying industrial design. Once graduated he launched the company making these watches. Today you can buy one hand watch from many makers that copied the design. But this is the one, where the concept was born, where it was designed and even made. A perfect example of “made in Germany” that comes with a story to tell.
If you buy one of these, I guarantee that in less than a week you will have a conversation about your watch with a complete stranger. They will either ask you more about it or show you the respect for joining the “secret brotherhood” of Botta watch owners.
Differently, from most of other watches, you can even send an email to Mr Botta who is still running the company and loves to hear from his customers.
On the other hand, if you are wearing counterfeit luxury products people around you will see that very quickly. And while not everyone will judge you on that, in the business world you definitely do not want to leave the wrong impression with your managers, clients or business partners.
4. SIMPLY SOME UNKNOWN REASON THAT:
Make one to pick-up and start using a vintage camera instead of shooting with the much more advanced one.
Or buy champagne instead of sparkling wine, while the only difference between them is just a location of where it was produced.
5. POSITIVE ASSOCIATIONS RELATED TO A COUNTRY
We all, knowingly or not, have built certain perceptions and associations to different countries. It happens throughout our lives due to informational input from TV, friends, authority figures, personal experiences and opinions of others. Hence for some expression “Italian shoes” will have a much more powerful impact than “Slovakian shoes”. Test yourself – do you feel the same way about both expressions?
6. TO BENEFIT FROM KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE THAT IS STRONG IN THAT COUNTRY
Each country in the world has something specific about it’s climate, environment or natural resources. Over centuries these things influence the development of skills and knowledge that is polished to perfection. Here are some examples:
Nordic countries have very long and harsh winters. Therefore they have perfected the art of making warm clothes. If one needs to buy warm socks for winter, getting it from a country that tested their technology and know how for centuries in harsh cold conditions could be a consideration.
Spain is lucky to have endless resources of clay. It was worked on by its craftsman for centuries to create colourful tiles and pottery, to name a few. So it is a good place to find a good quality, innovative products for your table or a house.
The French region of Limoges has huge natural deposits of exceptional white clay called Kaolin, that purity level has not been found anywhere else. So for the last 150 years, they have been making exceptionally thin and transparent china. In addition, that influenced the growth of other crafts. Now, there are also generations of decorators and artists that work it to enhance that luxury tableware even further. Some people find this to be a good place to buy an amazing china set.
7. SOME PEOPLE SIMPLY DISLIKE OR EVEN “HATE” LABELS THAT SAY “MADE IN CHINA”
This is a huge topic in itself, but I will summarise it the following way. Some people think that Chinese made products are of low quality or that manufacturing in Asia is stealing local jobs and therefore anything that is not made in China is so much more appealing. The reality, facts and our opinion on this topic are covered more elaborately here.
8. VALUE OF PASSION AND BEING AN UNDERDOG
Some argue that global companies have very different values from small manufacturers or makers. A large company makes decisions based on “efficiencies”, squeezing pennies from every step of production which all adds up to short term monetary gain but the loss of quality and drifting away from values of its core founders.
Smaller brands, on the other hand, are very proud of their heritage, close to the consumer and have so much more freedom to make decisions based on passion and what is simply “right thing to do”. Some of the makers spend year after year crafting, perfecting and improving their products and that’s what drives them, at the same time making their products great.
In summary, two different approaches produce different results, and for some people, small European makers strike a better chord than global companies seeking efficiencies of scale.
9. “MADE IN” IS A TRADE-MARK
For many people around the globe “Made in Xxxx” is a trademark that stands for quality. It has been like this for a very long time so nothing new there. But what is interesting is a new trend where companies are trying to tap into this trend by stating “Designed in Xxxxx”, “Hand finished in Xxxx”, “Created in Xxxx” or even, unbelievably, just simply by stating location of their office “Head Office: Xxxx”
10. GIVES MORE MEANING TO THE THINGS YOU OWN
We all been there. Some things can mean so much more to us than others. Since it comes due to the meaning, we attach to things we own things like knowing the heritage, provenance, manufacturing process or even ‘meeting the maker’ (even if only online) gives us more reasons to appreciate some of the things around us.
11. PROVIDES AN OPPORTUNITY TO OWN A PIECE OF HISTORY
Many long-standing companies have become a classic within their category, e.g., Rolex for watches.
Other can claim to be the inventors of things we take for granted e.g. Thurston is still a company that makes and sells braces. The founder of the company actually invented this fashion accessory (requirement?) in 1860’s. You can read more about this here. And if you wish to buy one, there is an army of online retailers to choose from.
And some historical innovations can be fairly recent – one hand watch invented and still made by Klaus Botta, you can read his story here.
12. SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY UPSET ON FOREIGN COMPANIES OR TRYING TO BE SUPPORTIVE OF NATIONAL MANUFACTURERS
Quick google search will show you that there are a lot of people who are expressing their frustration about certain manufacturers, quality or just a label. Others are buying Italian bike parts but to their surprise end up finding a label of “made in Taiwan” (a Mecca for quality bike manufacturing) once the item arrives. But others are taking control back to their hands and in quite a public way. Here are links to people living just on:Made in France and Made in United Kingdom