A matter of pride

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“As American as apple pie” might need to make way for a new simile: as American as Jeep. The rugged vehicle tops the Brand Keys survey of most iconic American brands; the survey, now in its 16th year, asks customers about the brands they consider a staple of American pride.

While the recent survey looked largely the same at the top of the leaderboard, several new brands made it onto the list while other favorites fell off. The NFL dropped out of the top 50 amid the politically charged debate over kneeling during the National Anthem. Surprises included the absence of iconic brands like GE and the ubiquitous Facebook. New to the top 50 were companies like guitar-maker Gibson, Pepsi and retailers Old Navy, Gap and J.Crew.

The issue may be moot in coming years: Self-identified patriotism drops precipitously with age. The survey found 85 percent of baby boomers identified themselves as patriotic. The drop began with Generation X (68%), followed by millennials (53%) and Gen Z (42%).

The top 10, with their 2018 movement:

1 Jeep (—)
2 Disney (+1)
3 Coca-Cola (+1)
4 Ford (+1)
5 American Express (+17)
6 Hershey’s / Twitter (—)
7 Jack Daniel’s (+1)
8 AT&T (+11)
9 Walmart (+12)
10 Levi Strauss (- 8)

Of course, marketing means appealing to consumers where they are. And many retailers performed well in serving the LGBTQ community during June’s Pride month. Edison Trends, an ecommerce research platform, analyzed 3 million email receipts to see which company did best at purveying Pride merchandise. Target was on top, followed by American Eagle, J.Crew and Disney. Of those four, J.Crew won in dollars spent. It saw an average purchase price of $31 for online shoppers, compared with $14 for Target, $21 for Disney and $17 for American Eagle.

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