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Dim views of American government don’t seem to be spilling over into negative perceptions of American products, finds new research [download page] from J. Walter Thompson Intelligence. In each of 6 countries analyzed, American brand products are viewed more positively than the government, with this particularly the case in Mexico and Russia.

More than three-quarters of survey respondents in each country rated America’s brand products positively, ranging from a high of 93% in China to a low of 78% in the UK. By contrast, positive ratings of the US government maxed out at 78% in India, while bottoming out at 25% in Mexico.

In fact, roughly three-quarters or more respondents in each country said they like American brands more than they like the American government.

Opinions About American Brands

America’s cultural influence around the world has translated into a perception of American brands as being cool, a view held by a majority of respondents in each country, most notably in India (87%) and China (81%).

Most survey respondents likewise say that their opinion of American brands is as strong as ever, although a majority in most countries also say that American brands aren’t what they used to be.

There’s a healthy perception of quality associated with American brands, although that doesn’t extend across the pond. A majority of adults in most countries agree that American brands are usually the best quality – including 85% in India – but only half as many in the UK (42%) agree.

American brands appeal most to adults in China and India: a majority of respondents in those countries prefer to buy American brands over local brands (59% and 70%, respectively) and will always choose an American brand over one from another country if the price is reasonable (77% and 83%, respectively).

The Most American Brands?

McDonald’s, Apple and Microsoft are the brands most commonly believed to be American by respondents across the 6 countries: the US; UK; Mexico; Russia; India; and China.

Interestingly, only one-third associate Budweiser with being American.

Separate research from Brand Keys [pdf] indicates that American consumers believe that Jeep is the brand most closely associated with “patriotism”.

Why Consumers Love Brands

The attribute that consumers across these 6 countries are most likely to assign to brands they love is trustworthiness, per the report. That’s closely followed by having used the brand for a long time. These two can be linked: recent study results indicated that 8 in 10 Americans are more likely to trust legacy brands.

Meanwhile, as one might expect, consumers tend to also favor brands that provide high quality products or services.

These results are generally in line with research from Havas Worldwide, which has found product quality, along with authenticity, to be among the most important core values for brands to embody.

The full study is available for download here.

About the Data The results are based on a survey of 3,000 respondents, 500 each from China, India, Mexico, Russia, the UK and the US.

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