I think that both of you are looking in the MIDDLE of the problem, and toward the consumer side of it and not the decision making at the top end.
If a company, or group of companies make decisions to move production offshore several things happen.
I'd have stopped you right there in person.
The impact of off-shoring is, I don't think, in dispute. It's bad news overall if a company feels like they have to go there. The kindest word I have to describe that is "lazy".
Here's what I'm playing at. Look at the companies and industries which have NOT gone off-shore and who are still successful; who still employ tons of Americans, who are profitable, etc. Look at the companies who have used off-shore labor responsibly to improve profit without impacting quality or to give more for less.
Every company and industry needs a different approach to stay alive. Technology and all sorts of other things have DRAMATICALLY changed the landscape in even the past 30 - 40 years, which is less than a career's length for some people. The best companies adapt with ease. The lesser ones don't. They'll get with the program, or they'll die.
Originally Posted by mcbear
The problem is not the need for absolute low costs. Folks have never demanded that. And the need for value is not something that a company has to "sell" to their client base over lowest cost. The problem is much higher as companies look at short term profits over long term planning.
When you have no other differentiators, the only ground you can compete on ends up being price. This gets back to a failure of management, and a failure of a company to promote and reward innovation. It is a failure of management to take a turn down a dead-end road. Likewise, it is a failure of management to FOLLOW someone who has turned down a dead-end road just because you're trying to keep up with them.
It's EASY to sell value against companies that have gone off-shore. Nothing resonates with customers like the drumbeat of offshore-induced problems. You don't do it at the point of sale though, or at the closing table. You do it by sending out a consistent message in every medium possible and at every contact with customers. Just like you said, there's not a latent market need for these ridiculously low prices. People WILL increase their spend, as long as the VALUE equation is there.