Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Senator Proposes New Wear American Act

Thought this was interesting.  Thoughts?

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is introducing legislation that would require government agencies to only buy apparel that's American-made, amending current laws that offer much greater leeway. The proposal follows the recent news that U.S. athletes will wear uniforms made in China during the opening ceremony of this summer's Olympic Games.

"We know how to make things in America, and the textile sector employs more than half a million workers in the United States – which is why the federal government should be purchasing, whenever possible, apparel that is domestically produced," Brown said. "With our widening trade deficit, we should be doing everything we can to support American manufacturing and job creation."

The bill proposed by Brown, named the Wear American Act of 2012, would mandate that textile and apparel items bought by federal agencies be manufactured from materials grown or produced in the U.S. Current so-called Buy America statutes only require 51% of apparel products purchased by the federal government to be made domestically. "Manufacturing helped make this country great," Brown said. "Good-paying manufacturing jobs have allowed hundreds of thousands of Americans to buy homes, send their children to college, and retire with security."
Each year, the federal government spends approximately $3 billion on apparel, according to Brown's office.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Power of Packaging

My 10 year old daughter gave me a quick lesson in the Power of Packaging last night. She was taking a shower in my bathroom instead of hers (don't ask me why). But in checking out our shower, she called me into the bathroom to ask for "girls shampoo." I was totally confused. You see, my wife uses our shower, so the idea of her not having shampoo that would work in our bathroom had not occurred to me.

"What do you mean?" I asked her. She pointed to the shampoo that I use and said, "That's boys' shampoo. It has baseball on it."

Funny, the company was doing a cross promotion on their packaging that promoted baseball. So now that was boys's shampoo.

The lesson here is that how you package your products or marketing DOES matter. What image do you want to portray to customers or prospects? Keep in mind that if you don't have the right image on the outside, you may not have the right tone for the inside. Or worse yet, you might not even get them to open the package in the first place!

You don't want them to see your product and decided that it's "boys'shampoo."

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Small-Business Hiring Expected To Increase

Feeling more optimistic about economic growth in 2012, small-business owners are planning to hire more employees this year to match expected revenue and profit gains, according to a new survey. Data from firm Vistage International shows 55% of small-business executives anticipate adding to their staffs in 2012, a 9% increase compared to polling done in the fall. The latest results closely follow positive news about the U.S. labor market and steadied consumer spending. "The very fact that things didn't get worse is for some people a cause for optimism," said Rafael Pastor, CEO of Vistage.

About 41% of survey respondents said they thought the economy improved in 2011, more than double the response in the third quarter of last year. Meanwhile, only 12% of the 1,600 CEOs surveyed said the economy had gotten worse. The boost in optimism lifted Vistage's confidence index to 98.8 in the fourth quarter of 2011, a significant jump from the 83.5 and 92.9 readings posted earlier last year. While small-business confidence is up, data shows CEOs still have several concerns heading into 2012, including the effects of Europe's financial crisis (cited by 43% of respondents) and the perceived failures of Congress to address U.S. debt and deficit increases (69%).

Coinciding with the mostly positive data from Vistage's survey, a separate report released by Intuit this week showed U.S. small businesses created 55,000 jobs in December and also increased working hours for employees. For 2011 overall, Intuit said worker compensation was up by 3.4%, offsetting the 3.3% rise in inflation. "All of the figures we track show a stronger small-business environment in December," said Susan Woodward, an economist who helped prepare the report.