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Jeep, Hershey’s Named Among Top U.S. “Most Patriotic” Brands

With Independence Day upon us, brands have stepped up to show their patriotism.

“The ability to leverage something that means a connection to consumers is an advantage,” according to a recent Brand Keys report, which identified the brands that approximately 4,500 consumers viewed as most associated  with patriotism.

“Lots of values drive brand engagement,” noted Robert Passikoff, Founder and President of Brand Keys. “The study looked at them all, but as marketers traditionally operate on the Independence Day theory that a patriotic, flag-waving call-to-emotion will motivate consumers to behave more positively toward their brands, we wanted to see which brands actually led when it came to that particular value.”

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The following brands are considered the top 25 “American Icons” when it comes to patriotism. The percentages indicate the degree to which the brand met consumers’ emotional engagement expectations (benchmarked  at 100%):

1. Jeep (98%)
2. Hershey’s/Coca-Cola (97%)
3. Levi Strauss/Disney (95%)
4. Colgate (94%)
5. Zippo (93%)
6. Wrigley’s (92%)
7. Ralph Lauren (91%)
8. Kodak/Gillette (90%)
9. New Balance/Harley-Davidson (89%)
10. Budweiser/Marlboro (88%)
11. Gillette (tie, 90%)
12. New Balance (tie, 89%)
13. Harley-Davidson (tie, 89%)
14. Budweiser (tie, 88%)
15. Marlboro (88%)
16. Ford (86%)
17. Louisville Slugger (tie, 85%)
18. Smith & Wesson (tie, 85%)
19. General Electric (84%)
20. John Deere (tie, 82%)
21. L.L. Bean (tie, 82%)
22. Walmart (81%)
23. Craftsman Tools (tie, 80%)
24. Wilson Sporting Goods (tie, 80%)
25. Wrangler apparel (tie, 80%)

While the armed service brands — such as the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy — were high on the list, noted Passikoff, “this was a study to see how the value of patriotism was leveraged by product and service brands in for-profit businesses, so we’re calling them out separately.”

Another interesting find was the presence of sports teams. The Yankees, Patriots, 49ers and the Cowboys were top picks by consumers: “There’s a genuine and consonant thematic when it comes to patriotism,” Passikoff said. “Rational aspects like ‘Made in the USA’ and CSR activities play a part in the total make-up of the brand, of course. But with strong emotional engagement, good marketing just gets better. It’s an unbeatable combination.”

Other brands that appeared in the top 50 included: Campbell’s, Gibson, GM, Kellogg’s, McDonalds, the NFL, Playboy, Sears and Whirlpool.

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