Why Is the Jeep Brand so Hot?

It’s no secret that the term “Jeep” is nearly synonymous with SUVs and off-roading. It’s also no secret that despite Jeeps having a track record of reliability and safety issues, the drivers/owners are a fiercely loyal lot. They’ll defend the brand in one breath and in that same breath talk about its faults. Yet they happily drive away in their decked-out rig wearing their Jeep t-shirt.

A popular review site says it best, but we’ll paraphrase: the Jeep brand is the epitome of rugged, off-road vehicles. They have a long history of loyal customers despite complaints of unreliability, low fuel efficiency, discomfort, and fit and finish. This is especially true of the Wrangler, loved by many for its amazing capabilities.

How does that happen? How do the very owners who report faults of the car and its parent company also become the brand’s greatest marketing asset?

In order to answer that, let’s look at a few marketing strategies and reporting factors. Don’t worry, it will be short, sweet, and interesting.

Consumer involvement

The Jeep marketing team understands their focus on “people-powered” marketing is crucial. They’ve homed in on that feature as a natural fit for their strategy, but also because it’s intensely effective via social media. They’ve learned how to leverage the experiences of their vehicle owners and create a strong advocacy campaign.

In 2016/17 during Jeep’s 75th Anniversary celebration, they asked owners to share their personal experiences via the hashtag #myjeepstory with the tagline, “We don’t make Jeep. You do.”

This genius marketing strategy is a perfect example of community building in order to further the brand with trust and a sense of belonging. Owners willingly engaged in a conversation about their experiences and adventures of owning a Jeep.

This allowed Jeep marketing teams to learn more about Jeep culture. They’ve heard their audience. They’ve allowed owners to be part of the marketing experience.

So, back to the question of “how.” How does the Jeep marketing team make it work?

Know your message, know your audience

Appeal to what your audience already loves and values – adventure and freedom. Jeep has focused their message on the idea that when they buy a Jeep, “the world comes with it.” Can buy-in get any bigger than that? Jeep knows that their audience loves to push their vehicles to the limits and where else can that be done than “anywhere in the “world?” So, offer it to them and they’ll take you up on it!

It’s that simple…and effective. The team at Jeep has listened and listened well. They heard what fans have said and welcomed them to promote that message on Jeep’s behalf. And have they ever! The Jeep brand marketing is ranked twelfth in overall ratings not far behind the likes of Apple, Netflix, Google, Samsung and BMW. That is some mighty fine companies.

Tell stories

Another effective aspect of Jeep’s marketing plan is to promote the idea of story. They brought that out with great results through the #myjeepstory campaign. Not only did they let owners tell their stories, Jeep wove in elements of their own story, a story rich with a long and proud history. Using the tagline, “Fun and Freedom since 1941,” this message appealed to U.S. patriotism and pride as well as a strong sense of belonging to a long-standing tradition and a world-wide community.

Appeal to values

“The World Comes with It” campaign launches the reimagined 2019 Jeep Cherokee. A nameplate that has unquestionably stood the test of time, the Cherokee upholds the Jeep tradition of inspiring design, practicality, safety and legendary capability, continuing the evolution of the brand.

In a nutshell, the effectiveness of Jeep’s marketing message can be summed up by Strategic Business Insights’ (SBI) Patricia Breman who says, “These cars are very distinctive without being weird. Jeep isn’t weird looking. It is authentic.” Including strategies like storytelling and knowing the values of their audience, Jeep marketing campaigns are successful and valuable to the overall brand.

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