One of the best things Fiat Chrysler did 15 years ago under the late CEO Sergio Marchionne is make the early decision to highlight the Jeep brand in marketing and product development. He and his brain trust, including CMO Olivier Francois, recognized that Jeep was a crown-jewel asset whose enhancement would prove key to any success they were going to have in reinventing the Chrysler Corp. that the U.S. government dumped on their doorstep.
Comes now one of the latest confirmations that Francois and Marchionne were absolutely right: Jeep has retained the No. 1 spot as America’s most patriotic brand in the annual Brand Keys survey. For the 22nd consecutive year, the SUV marque now owned by Stellantis has topped the survey of consumers who were surveyed about the brands they believed best embodied the value of patriotism.
At the same time, Jeep announced that its partnership with the United Service Organizations, which helps members of the American military, has been renewed after 15 years running. The announcement included an extra short-term discount for military members who buy Jeeps.
The Brand Keys recognition “is a testament to our passionate Jeep community and to all those who protect America’s independence,” Jeep Brand North America Senior Vice President Jim Morrison said in a press release.
Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys, said that “patriotism is one of hte most powerful values around, crossing political, social and ethnic lines. It resonates 365 days a year. When it comes to engaging consumers, it provides an authentic and believable foundation. Patriotism provides a strong strategic advantage. Conseumers know it. Consumers feel it.”
That’s certainly what Marchionne and Francois counted on when they began highlighting Jeep in Fiat Chrysler’s marketing, including the company’s much-vaunted Super Bowl commercials, not long after Fiat began the process of taking Chrysler out of bankruptcy in 2009, with help from the U.S. taxpayer.
Jeep, of course, began its connection with the American spirit because of its origins as a mililtary vehicle during World War II. More recently, the company’s iconic marketing campaigns, some featuring the likes of celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Bill Murray, have edified Jeep not only as America’s most adventuresome, rugged and fun SUV brand but also as the exemplar and upholder of our national values and, especially, regard for the importance of the U.S. military and its members.
For instance, Winfrey read a heartfelt “letter” from the Jeep brand to service men and women of all military branches during one Super Bowl commercial. Another spot that became iconic for Jeep, titled “Beautiful Lands,” borrowed Woody Guthrie’s famous folk song about America, “This Land Is Your Land,” and showcased scenes from around the world.
To determine its 2023 rankings, Brand Keys surveyed more than 5,800 consumers, 16 to 65 years old, balanced for gender and political affiliation, and assessed nearly 1,200 brands in 131 B2B and B2C categories.
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