Brands as American as Apple Pie

For the Fourth of July, our resident American, Aimee Rivers, waxes nostalgically about her favourite US-brands…

After a childhood in Los Angeles and a couple years of braving the subways and streets of New York, I moved to the UK circa 2012. From its rich history to Sunday Roasts to the NHS, I’ve found a lot to love about living in the UK. There are, of course, things I miss – the California sunshine, the ability to get anything delivered at any time of day to my 5-story walk-up in Brooklyn, my family.

What surprised me, however, is how much I miss certain brands. How the inability to fulfil my craving for pancakes with Bisquick or nurse a cold with Campbell’s Chicken Soup would literally devastate me. And so on my seventh Independence Day far from home, I’ll pay homage a few brands that make me proud to be an American.

Baskin Robbins

My mother would always take us to Baskin Robbins on the Fourth of July. Ice cream is ice cream when it comes to children’s tastes, but this sweet treat purveyor offered something more – CHOICE. 31 in fact. I’ve recently learned that there are a handful of Baskin Robbins shops in the UK. Rocky Road, here I come.

Target

In addition to being the one-stop shop offering quality goods at competitive prices, Target’s marketing campaigns never failed to make me smile. They owned red-and-white with style and whimsy, and their collaborations with top designer made their products desirable as well as affordable.

Maker’s Mark

Just like jazz, Americans can take pride in being the creators of bourbon. Sweeter and smoother than whiskey, there’s nothing better to sip on the porch while watching fireworks explode in the sky. While I believe they could use a bit of a make-over when it comes to design, Maker’s Mark signature bottle with the faux red-wax seal is nothing less than iconic.

Patagonia

I’m not super outdoorsy, but when I do go on a hike, my brand of choice is Patagonia. Why? Because it was an activist company before brand purpose was a thing. Because it commits 1% of its total sales to environmental groups. Because it encourages its consumers to repair, share and recycle gear with its Worn Wear program. Because it’s unafraid to be political and do what it takes to protect America’s national parks. Because it understands that an American citizen is a world citizen.

Nike

Again, I may not be the sportiest person, but every time I see a Nike ad, I am powerfully moved by their courage and spirit. From embracing Colin Kaepernick as a brand ambassador to its ‘Dream Crazier’ campaign with Serena Williams, Nike continues to promote what I recognise as real American values – dissent and resilience in the face of oppression, standing up for your principles, and refusing to give in.

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