It turns out that when your namesake product was created for the U.S. military and has been used by American troops (in real life and on film) for decades, consumers are likely to think your brand is extremely patriotic.
According to the just-released 2019 Most Patriotic American Brands survey, Jeep was ranked as the most patriotic U.S. brand by consumers—a title it has retained every year since the survey began in 2002. Compiled by brand research consultancy group Brand Keys, the annual survey, first conducted in the aftermath of 9/11, asks consumers about their perceptions of corporate patriotism among iconic U.S. brands.
Jeep’s seemingly permanent lead is followed on the 2019 list by Disney, Ford, Coca-Cola and Levi Strauss.
“Patriotism isn’t just about fireworks and red-white-and-blue flags,” Brand Keys President Robert Passikoff tells Ad Age. “Part of being patriotic is being seen as successful, and to do that you’ve got to be authentic and effective” in marketing your brand’s image.
Notably, several news outlets have cracked the patriotic top 50. The New York Times and The Washington Post both appeared on the list for the first time this year, coming in at eighth and 16th place, respectively, while broadcast networks MSNBC and Fox News, which first joined the ranks in 2018, land at sixth and 10th, respectively (both tied for 14th place last year).
“There’s certainly a response in the other direction from consumers,” says Passikoff, noting that perceived patriotism of the media has increased in recent years despite President Trump’s denunciation of traditional outlets and cries of “fake news.”
Since 2018, the survey has also asked consumers to rate their patriotism on a 1-to-5 scale. Divided into five age categories—Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z—the report found that self-identified patriotism increased across the board year-over-year by between three and 17 percentage points. Traditionalists and Baby Boomers led the pack, each with over 90 percent, while Gen Z’s patriotism was the lowest at just 58 percent.
While the survey only ranks for-profit companies, it also asks consumers about their perceptions of the U.S. Armed Forces, which are seen by consumers as universally patriotic and would top Brand Keys’ list, ahead of even Jeep.
Conversely, several brands have dropped off the list in recent years including Facebook, Tesla, the NFL and Marlboro.
In compiling the survey, Brand Keys surveyed more than 5,800 consumers across the United States between the ages of 18 and 68, balanced for gender and political party affiliation.