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Brand Keys, a brand and customer engagement research consultancy, has released results on its study looking at patriotic brands in the U.S. “Lots of values drive brand engagement, of course, and the study looked at them all, but as marketers traditionally operate on the Independence Day theory that a patriotic, flag-waving call-to-emotion will motivate consumers to behave more positively toward their brands, we wanted to see which brands actually led when it came to that particular value,“ said Robert Passikoff, founder and president, Brand Keys.
As part of a large-scale quantitative brand values survey, including 4,500 consumers from the nine U.S. census regions, evaluating 197 brands and 35 category-specific emotional engagement values, Brand Keys did a statistical drill-down to identify which brands were seen as more associated with the individual value of “patriotism.” With percentages indicating to what degree the brand was seen to meet consumers’ emotional engagement expectations regarding how much patriotism was credited to it, grooming and beauty brands that appeared in the top 25 most patriotic brands were Colgate (#4, 94%), Ralph Lauren (#7, 91%) and Gillette (tied at #8, 90%). (See the full list of the top 25 here.)
“Leveraging brand values—in this case, ‘patriotism’—has always had to do more with believability and emotional brand engagement than company size or brand awareness levels,” Passikoff said. “It isn’t a question of how well-known a company is, or even how successful they’ve been. It certainly isn’t whether they use patriotic themes in their advertising and marketing. Ultimately, whether patriotism can be credibly leveraged to the brand’s benefit is a more a question of whether that value is seen to part of the brand’s equity, whether it’s truly acknowledged on a deeply emotional and engaging basis.”
“Rational aspects like ‘Made in the USA’ and CSR activities play a part in the total make-up of the brand, of course,” said Passikoff. “But with strong emotional engagement, good marketing just gets better. It’s an unbeatable combination.”