A Tip for Tuesday – Visit the Newseum
July 3, 2012
My “Top 10” Favorite Books
July 5, 2012
Show all


With 4th of July tomorrow (Wednesday, really?), I am celebrating one of the most American of pastimes – BRANDING!

100 years ago, branding simply meant using a hot iron to mark one’s cattle to show ownership. Today, we Americans have taken the hot iron to EVERYTHING from brown fizzy sugar water to tall men shooting a ball into a basket.

So, in honor of this favorite American pastime, I posed the following question: What is the consummate “American” brand today?

So far, it seems Apple, Ford, McDonalds, Nike and Coke are battling for supremacy, with Disney down but not out. Check out the debate and add your vote below!


Me: Hollywood.

Scott Hanson: I think Nike is the reigning champion.  When I was in South Africa a couple months ago, I ruined the shoes I had taken with me.  Nike dominated the display windows in Cape Town and in a mere swoosh of a minute – I bought a new pair.  We’ll also see Nike on the worldwide stage at the Summer Olympics next month – even going as far as designing special shoes for United States Olympians accepting medals.  That will make even me think I can run fast and jump high in them!  God bless my own American dream.

Stephanie Lough: Google. I think people forget it is a brand and not an all-mighty higher power. Actually, it’s that too. The Google brand represents everything America stands for – the good and the bad. Google ranks us, is instantly gratifying and wants to own everything. Plus, how many brands are also colloquial verbs?

David Landis: I think Apple is the most iconic of American brands. . .it represents the future, innovation, creativity - and financial success. Plus people are passionate about the brand.

John Echeveste Pardon my bias (he reps the brand), but I would have to say McDonald's because it uses U.S. goods and employees and is a symbol of the U.S. around the world.

Patricia Perez Surprisingly, I agree with John. McDonald's has grown to epitomize all things American.

Uwe Schmidt I think McD and also Coca Cola are - seen from the other side of the pond (Germany) - even more typical American brands but of course with ambivalent reputation as not really healthy stuff. Apple is definitely the most iconic brand. Everybody loves (!) their products and also the company behind has a positive image (It is not the same e.g. with Microsoft or Google). Anyway, I have to admit sometimes I order a McD burger and a diet coke too. But we all are a little bit ambivalent, aren't we?

Jeff Weckstein – Subway or McDonalds

Gretchen Allen Pahia Coke yes, but Apple is likely more readily used I would think. Maybe even something like Facebook or Twitter?? But yes, Apple for sure!

Stephanie Johnson Jarnagan Ford Motor Company! 🙂

Ryan Narramore Coke is still the winner...

Rachel Johnson Brockway I would say Apple!

Kate Crowley answers above are good, if any of the sports teams are considered a brand ( I think they are) I would argue in favor of those too. Lakers and Yankees.

Paula Hubbs Cohen McDonalds

Ed Baker Apple, McDonalds, Coca-Cola.

Cynde Cerf-Dehmer Disney

Sally Cooper Please don't include the Kardashians! Or Jersey Housewives!

Carrie Morgan Those all seem like global brands, rather than - I vote for Chevrolet - or Ford, who is really impressive these days when it comes to innovation. You don't get much more American than "Made in America!" Or how about Dunkin Donuts? Seems fitting, given how we are the most obese nation...

Linda Capcara After going through the Coca-Cola museum in Atlanta, seeing the crowds scooping up the merchandise in the gift store and seeing the amazing Coke memorabilia, I vote for COKE!

Ken Reinstein My input would be Ford and/or GM. Ford particularly, because they succeeded on their own, without any bailouts, etc. GM has certainly rebounded well, but Ford bootstrapped themselves back to successful branding.

Rose Hutchinson Tring I would vote for Coke, myself, given its longevity and practical world dominance. McDonald's are also ubiquitous, but Mr. Moore put a dent into their credibility.

Kelly L. Gullickson Madison Coke with McDonald's a close 2nd in my book...

Charlotte Risch Shaff FORD

Rebecca Stenholm When I think about this question, I don't necessarily think of what originated here. I think of Apple, Nike and Coke as global brands. Ford is purely American to me, with much more depth than GM. McDonald's doesn't even register to me. I do think of Disney as an American brand, because it has not penetrated the global scale the way a Nike or Apple has.

Peter Madrid ?"See the USA in a Chevrolet ..." Yikes, I just dated myself with that one!

Brittany Conklin Coke, McDonald's, Ford. When I see those abroad I think of America.

Alison Bailin
Alison Bailin
Senior Account Executive Alison has a lot to say…about pretty much everything...all the time. From the current state of public relations to the social media impact on Shark Week to crisis communications in the sports world, Alison’s blogs are focused on “amusing through her PR musings,” and then some. Check out Alison's full bio

1 Comment

  1. Bill Goldberg says:

    Kelly Gullickson Madison doesn’t know what the hell she is talking about….Pepsi and Burger King

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *