June 27th, 2014 by Leonard Klie

W4THWith Independence Day just a week away, brands are, no doubt, gearing up for their annual Fourth of July sales. They’ll run ads featuring the flag, Uncle Sam, fireworks, marching bands, a red-white-and-blue color scheme, or some other patriotic, all-American symbol to woo  customers looking to save a buck or two to their stores, to buy their product, or use their service.  But are they missing the mark? Can brands buy a piece of patriotic flare.

A new Brand Keys survey of iconic American brands has revealed what consumers consider to be the most ‘patriotic,’ with Jeep, Levi Strauss, Coca-Cola, Colgate, and Disney leading the pack. Apple, Amazon, Google, American Express, Facebook, and eBay all moved onto the list this year.

To determine which brands actually led when it comes to patriotism, Brand Keys did a statistical ‘drill-down,’ part of a larger brand values survey, to identify which of 225 brands were more associated with the value of ‘patriotism.’

“When it comes to engaging the consumer, waving an American flag and actually having an authentic foundation for being able to wave the flag are two entirely different things, and the consumer knows it,” according to Robert Passikoff, founder and president of Brand Keys.

It’’s not surprising that many brands in the top 50 could be considered American icons, even though they might not necessarily make all of their products here in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
The rankings in no way should give the impression that other brands not on the list aren’t patriotic or that they don’’t possess any patriotic resonance. Rational aspects, like being an American company, or being ‘Made in the USA,’ or having call centers based in the USA,– all play a part in brand identity and consumer appeal as well.

Still, Passikoff urges brands that want to differentiate via a value as emotionally charged as patriotism, to blend the image with believability, According to Passikoff, marketers should now know that “brands that can make an emotional connection with the consumer always have a strategic advantage over competitors.” So don’t just wave a flag for me next weekend during your sale, let it fly proudly throughout the year, and you’ll be rewarded.

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