Marketing company Brand Keys surveys thousands of people every year, to rate companies on 35 different "values." One of those is "patriotism," not in terms of where the a company actually makes things or employs people, but purely how "American" they appear in public perception. Only two automakers made the top 25.
Jeep topped the entire list, with 98% of survey respondents rating the company as "Patriotic." Jeep did just as well in 2013.
This year, Ford moved up from 11th place to tie with Harley Davidson and Ralph Lauren for 5th. The tractor company John Deere is 15th, and that's pretty much it for vehicles.
GM, which was Brand Key's "21st most patriotic" entity last year has dropped off the list altogether while tech companies Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook and eBay all moved into the top 25 for the first time in 2014's survey.
Brand Keys founder and president Robert Passikoff says;
"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."
"More importantly, believability is key to the engagement paradigm. The more engaged a consumer is with a particular emotional value and the associated brand, the more likely they'll trust that emotion and act positively on that belief."
Sounds to me like he's saying a marketing-manufactured idea of "patriotism" is more important to consumers than if a company actually supports American industry, creates jobs, ect. Or am I just getting too cynical about anything I learn in a press release?
Here's the whole list of the Top 25 "Most Patriotic Brands In America," for you to applaud or angrily tear down. The percentage indicates how many survey takers declared a given company "patriotic," and two brands on the same line indicates a tie rather than a connection between those companies.
1 Jeep (98%)
2 Levi Strauss (97%)
3 Coca-Cola (95%)
4 Colgate/Disney/Wrigley's/Zippo (93%)
5 Ford/Harley Davidson/Ralph Lauren (91%)
6 Apple/Gillette (90%)
7 Hershey's/Walmart (89%)
8 Amazon (88%)
9 New Balance (87%)
10 AT&T/Google (86%)
11 Gatorade/Marlboro/Sam Adams (85%)
12 Budweiser (84%)
13 Louisville Slugger/ Smith & Wesson (83%)
14 American Express/Coors (81%)
15 John Deere/L.L. Bean (80%)
16 Facebook/GE (79%)
17 49ers/Cowboys/NFL/Patriots (78%)
18 Wrangler/Yankees (77%)
19 Walgreens/Wilson Sporting Goods (76%)
20 Craftsman Tools/Jack Daniels/Kodak (75%)
21 Campbell's/ Gibson (74%)
22 eBay (73%)
23 Heinz/Sears (72%)
24 McDonald's/KFC (71%)
25 Kellogg's/ Tide (70%)
Info: Brand Keys, Image by Andrew Collins with graphics from Peter Trimming/Flickr