According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a patriot is “one who loves and supports his or her country.” Odd then, that a list of patriotic brands would be put together, or that someone would even attempt to put together such a list. Brands, of course, are not people. Ironically, the top brand on a new patriotic brand list has been accused of racism because it has used the name of an Indian tribe for one of its most visible products.
Brand Keys assembled a list of patriotic brands. Jeep topped the list, as it has done for 19 years. The Jeep Cherokee products take their name from a tribe that has recently and publicly challenged its right to do so. Walmart, Disney, Ford, and Amazon were also near the top of the list of patriotic brands, as they have been for almost two decades.
Brand Keys used a national sample of 5,804 consumers between the ages 16 to 65 years. It also “balanced for gender and political affiliation.” People from all nine Census Regions were included. Commenting on the survey, Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys, said, “Brands always have to compete in their categories but now they must battle in a pandemically limited marketplace and within shifting socio-political contexts, factors that have changed consumers lives dramatically along with their definitions patriotism as it relates to brands.” He also pointed out that brands with high patriotism get premium prices, which increases the owners’ profit in many cases. People will not only salute these brands, he observed. They will also buy them at a higher rate than those that do not make the list.
Jeep was followed by Walmart on this year’s list. Just behind Walmart were Disney, Ford, Amazon, The New York Times, American Express, and Netflix. Further down the list, several major league sports made the list, including the NFL, NBA, and MLB. Aside from the Times, several other media properties made the list. These include Fox News, NBC, The Washington Post, CNN, and MSNBC. Apparel brands were also well represented, including Nike, Levi Strauss, Wrangler, Old Navy, New Balance, and L.L. Bean.
Brand Keys was smart to release the list just ahead of the Fourth of July. Presumably, Americans think about patriotism more this time of year than most others. Too bad that the top brand is known for the exploitation of the name of one of America’s most iconic group of people.