These Are Considered the Most “Patriotic” Brands. It May Not Matter to Youth.

July 9, 2018

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Brand Metrics | Brand-Related | Demographics & Audiences | Top Brands | Youth & Gen X

Jeep continues to be considered the most “patriotic” brand in the US, according to the latest annual report on the topic from Brand Keys. The survey measured which of 297 brands were most resonant with consumers ages 16-65 when it came to “patriotism,” with the list of top 50 being “dramatically re-drawn” this year, per the analysis.

This year the NFL (#29 last year) is absent from the top 50 brands most associated with patriotism. Without rehashing or delving into too much politics with regards to the pro football league, it’s true that the NFL’s popularity has waned as a result of a raft of issues.

Another notable exit from the list this year is Facebook, which was 30th last year. Although the Brand Keys analysts attribute this to “data-sharing and privacy issues,” it’s also possible that the extent to which the platform was weaponized for fake news during the 2016 elections (and/or dissatisfaction surrounding its response) has been a turnoff for many.

Do Youth Care?

As Brand Keys notes, “we expect brands to employ patriotic themes tactically this time of year,” referring to last week’s July 4th celebrations. But they also caution that “the political schism has shifted how consumers view ‘patriotism’ as both an ideology and a self-perception.”

This is most apt for younger consumers. In its survey of 5,001 consumers ages 16-65, Brand Keys found that just 42% of Gen Z respondents identify as “extremely” or “very” patriotic, as do only a slim majority (53%) of Millennials.

Their older counterparts, though, feel more inclined towards a self-perception of patriotism. Some two-thirds (68%) of Gen Xers identify as “extremely” or “very” patriotic, with that figure rising to 85% of Boomers.

The age gap – interestingly – was consistent across both genders and political affiliations.

A similar dynamic was apparent in a 2015 Gallup survey. In that study, only 12% of Millennials said that the term “patriotic” described their generation overall, compared to 52% of Boomers and 73% of Silents who felt that the term applied to their respective generations.

As it stands then, brands should likely emphasize their patriotic resonance with older consumers rather than younger ones. And it’s worth pointing out that Brand Keys also notes that in some brand sectors, “patriotism” is moving closer to “nationalism.”

Other Highlights

In other notable findings from the report:

  • Disney (+1 spot), Coca-Cola (+1 spot), Ford (+1 spot) and American Express (+17 spots) rounded out the top 5 most patriotic brands behind Jeep;
  • Were the list to include the armed services (it only ranks for-profit brands), each of the branches would be assessed #1; and
  • Amazon (+28), Apple (+27), American Express (+17), Walmart (+12) and AT&T (+11) had among the biggest ranking improvements.

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