Ralph Lauren, Coach & New Balance Make List of ‘Most Patriotic Brands’

As America’s Independence Day approaches, consulting firm Brand Keys conducted a survey of consumers, asking them to rate 50 iconic American brands to determine with ones they consider the most “patriotic.” Several fashion labels made the cut, including Ralph Lauren (ranked #4), Levi Strauss (#5), Coach and New Balance (tied at #14), L.L. Bean (#18) and Converse (#25).

Other global brands topping the list were Jeep (#1), Coca-Cola, Disney, Ford and Jack Daniels.

Robert Passikoff, founder and president of Brand Keys, noted in a statement that July 4th is an important marketing opportunity for brands to join in the national celebration, and many will utilize patriotic themes in their advertising and social outreach in the days ahead.

However, he added, brands should focus on having an authentic message. “When it comes to engaging consumers, waving the American flag and having an authentic foundation for being ‘able’ to wave the flag are two entirely different things — and the consumer knows it,” Passikoff said in the release. “Believability is key to the engagement paradigm. Where a brand can establish a real emotional connection, consumers are six times more likely to believe and behave positively toward the brand.”

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For several of the fashion labels on the list, American pride is a key element in their brand stories, especially for Ralph Lauren, New Balance and L.L. Bean, which manufacture some of their footwear in the States.

New Balance produces roughly 4 million pairs of sneakers in the U.S. annually.

And L.L. Bean’s iconic duck boot, made exclusively in Maine since 1912, has been a major growth engine in the past year, thanks to massive consumer interest. The company told Footwear News earlier this year that to meet demand for the duck boot, it added a third factory shift, hired 100 additional workers and invested in a second injection-molding machine.

“Eight years ago, we were making maybe 100,000 pairs [of boots],” said company spokesperson Mac McKeever. “[In 2015], we expect to produce half a million pairs.”

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