Business Marketing


  • Written by Len Stein

NEW YORK NY June 29, 2016 - For the first time since Brand Keys Most Patriotic Brands survey was first conducted 10 years ago - in addition to asking consumers to evaluate the 248 brands - Brand Keys asked respondents to name "anyone - alive or dead - who they felt best personified the value of 'patriotism' in the United States."

"It's clear that some brands resonate with certain values better than others. This year we thought it would be provocative to see how that worked with people," said Robert Passikoff, founder and president of Brand Keys, Inc. (, the New York-based brand loyalty and emotional engagement research consultancy known for its annual Customer Loyalty and Engagement Index.

"We edited out historical, likely-suspect mentions, like George Washington, Abe Lincoln, Betsy Ross, Nathan Hale, Abigail Adams, Thomas Paine, and Alexander Hamilton , as they've earned their place in history. And, for obvious reasons, we ducked the current crop of presidential hopefuls and candidates for office."

"When we did that the following top 20 most patriotic Americans list emerged, an interesting mix of entertainers, soldiers, athletes, cultural influencers and commentators. We think it says a lot about how people view patriotism today," added Passikoff.

1. John Wayne
2. Tom Hanks
3. John Stewart
4. Taylor Swift
5. Stephen Spielberg
6. Oprah Winfrey
7. Neil Armstrong
8. Eleanor Roosevelt
9. Stephen Colbert
10. Ruth Bader Ginsberg
11. Martin Luther King
12. Dwight D. Eisenhower
13. Antonin Scalia
14. Angelina Jolie
15. Lin-Manuel Miranda
16. Jackie Robinson
17. Bill O’Reilly
18. Tim Cook
19. Gloria Steinem
20. John Oliver

“The term ‘brand’ has been overused,” commented Passikoff. “Anything that has a degree of awareness or celebrity calls itself a ‘brand’ today. But in reality a real ‘brand’ must be imbued with something more than talent or celebrity, and certainly more than awareness or notoriety. It needs to be a value people recognize and desire.”

“Patriotism may not be top-of-mind when it comes to the personification of that value,” noted Passikoff. “But if you take a moment to move beyond the immediate, emotional connection as regards that value, you can find all the rational reasons citizens thought of these people first.”

John Wayne was never shy about his love for America – on or off screen. Bill O’Reilly has written four books dealing with American history. Tom Hanks standardly plays unlikely American heroes and has worked tirelessly to strengthen the legacy of the Greatest Generation. “He’s an American Spirit Award winner,” noted Passikoff. “John Stewart has railed against false patriotism, and Lin-Manuel Miranda has reframed American history and created a new paradigm for patriotism. If you take a moment to think about it, everyone on the list ultimately has a valid and significant stake when it comes to patriotism.”

Top 50 Most Patriotic US Brands
A national sample of 4,750 consumers, ages 16 to 65, were asked to evaluate which of the 248 brands included this year were most resonant when it comes to “patriotism.” Research was conducted May 16 –June 15, 2016. Consumers identified the following brands as leading 2016’s patriotism parade. Percentages indicate brands’ emotional engagement strength for the individual value of patriotism.

1 Jeep/Disney (98%)
2 Levi Strauss (96%)
3 Ralph Lauren (95%)
4 Ford (94%)
5 Coca-Cola/Jack Daniels (93%)
6 Harley Davidson/Gillette (92%)
7 Apple/Coors/Sam Adams (91%)
8 Gatorade/Amazon (90%)
9 Zippo/Hershey’s/Kellogg’s (89%)
10 American Express/Wrigley’s (87%)

For a complete list of 2016’s top 50 Most Patriotic Brands,
click here.

“It’s been said that patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion,” noted Passikoff “Based on this year’s list, one could reasonably agree with the position that patriotism is the quiet and steady dedication of a lifetime’s work. Looking at the list our respondents generated, I think that’s probably true of every one of the names, no matter where you personally stand on the political spectrum.”

Perhaps Mark Twain’s definition works best; “Patriotism is the support of your country all the time – and the government when it deserves it!”

About Brand Keys
Brand Keys is a global research consultancy specializing in brand loyalty and emotional consumer engagement.

Via an independently validated research approach that fuses emotional and rational aspects of the categories, the research is a 100% respondent-driven process, a combination of psychological inquiry and statistical analyses. The approach has a test/re-test reliability of 0.93, providing results generalizable at the 95% confidence level. It has been successfully used in B2B and B2C categories in 35 countries.

For more information about these validated and predictive assessments, and ways you can optimize values for your brand, we invite you to watch an animated video of the methodology on our YouTube channel: