Graham Jones is sales and marketing director at Mereway Group. He is an experienced KBB marketing and sales professional that believes innovation is key to successful marketing. Before joining Mereway, Jones was trade sales and marketing director at Hammonds Furniture, and prior to that he was product director at Whirlpool Corporation.
Made in Britain
Posted 3rd Sep 2013
Flying the flag for British-made products has become popular once again. A theme popular in the 1960s, 'Made in Britain' is now a tag line many KBB manufacturers are promoting as part of their consumer messages.
This time around it is not a call to arms to save British manufacturing, rather a part of a strong brand identity that appeals to the segment of buyers that has cash to spend – the grey market.
Several surveys that have concluded that shoppers will pay more for British goods and perceive them to have certain level of quality. The reasons for this are varied, but there is no doubt the patriotism caused by last year's jubilee, the 2012 Olympics and the birth of the Royal baby have been contributing factors.
One of the latest surveys from Make it British found that 43% would definitely pay more for a product made in Britain, while 60% of respondents agreed with the statement 'if I know that a product is made in Britain I would believe it to be of good quality'. Six out of 10 people also said that if a company promotes its products as made in Britain, it would give them more confidence to buy from them.
This is all good news for manufacturers of mid to high-end products favoured by the grey market but – as with all good things – it is open to abuse. Consumers can be misled by thinking they are buying British when only a small part of the manufacturer or assembly has taken place in Britain. In some extreme cases the goods are manufactured outside of the UK, with only the packing taking place here. There is no legal criteria for goods made in Britain and no official trademark. Consequently, different manufacturers use different badges and symbols.
Some have called for a standard Made in Britain marque, notably Stoves – which launched its own badge in 2011 and received much support from the KBB industry – however, this is still not a Government-supported symbol of British manufacture.
While we may never get Government support for this, we must hope that companies will come clean about their origins and not deliberately seek to mislead consumers about how many components were made in Britain, or how much of the assembly took place here.
If we are to be proud of our Made in Britain trademark, it must be true and authentic.