The world of commerce and advertising has seen hundreds if not thousands of brands link their products and services to Native people or tribe. Basically and in most instances, the brands try to sell the idea that they are giving a voice or drawing attention to cases of marginalization of such tribes. The end product of such a strategy is that their products become a lot more appealing not necessarily to the tribe in question but to a larger audience that buy-in-to this idea.
In fact, a 2017 statistical report showed that brands that tied their product to a tribe or native people generally experience a boost in profit, with 0-30% of their revenue connected to this native brand strategy. And projections have shown that this revenue percentage might raise to 30-60% by 2021.
So you can clearly see why these brands look to employ this strategy to improve the profit and general appeal of their brand. A good example of brands that utilize this strategy is the Jeep Cherokee which tied its Jeep brand to the native American India Cherokee people.
The first models of the Jeep Cherokee arrived sometime in 1975, as a replacement for the two-door Jeepster Commando which wasn't performing as expected in the market in terms of sales and also as a perfect 2-door alternative to the Jeep Wagoneer. In introducing the new SUV, Jeep followed a different naming strategy that was basically to improve the appeal of the SUV in the market considering that its predecessor the Jeepster Commando didn't sell so well.
The timing of selecting the Cherokee name was also right, as the period saw a revival of the Cherokee nation by the then US President Richard Nixon who backed the "Self Determination" of the Indian nation.
So naming its new SUV after the Cherokee Indians was a strategy that resonated pretty well with the younger generation of the American People who were very much interested in the Cherokee nation controversy and story.
The owners of the Jeep continue to utilize the Cherokee name in the production of their various SUV models for various markets across the globe while enjoying success. In fact, in the US and Canada alone, Jeep sold close to 400,000 units of its SUV with the Cherokee name in 2020 (i.e Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee).
Unfortunately, though, the use of the Cherokee name is about to come to an end sooner than we would have expected as the Cherokee nation is kicking against the use of the tribal name and identity by the Auto brand. This position was made known by Chuck Hoskin Jr, the Chief Principal of the Cherokee Nation during his interview with the business insider. Hoskin Jr. said and I quote,
The Cherokee Nations wants Jeep to stop using the Cherokee name
I think people need to understand that as proud as a corporation might be of a name they selected decades ago, people should think about how proud the Cherokee people are to still be a people after all we have been through, and that is far more valuable than whatever marketing research might show the Cherokee name has been to Jeep and its parent companies over the decades,
The use of Cherokee names and imagery for peddling products doesn’t deepen the country’s understanding of what it means to be Cherokee, and I think it diminishes it somewhat.
Reacting to this statement, a spokesperson of the Stellantis Group which now controls the Jeep brand had the following to say,
Our vehicle names have been carefully chosen and nurtured over the years to honour and celebrate Native American people for their nobility, prowess and pride. However, we are more than ever committed to a respectful and open dialogue with Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.
With this, we strongly believe a change of name or possible rebranding is eminent, even as both parties have continued discussions to trash out issues surrounding the use of the Cherokee name.
This news may not seem so good for the brand, but already we have the 2021 Jeep Cherokee in the market, 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee which Jeep claims has received more award than any other SUV is also already in the market and Jeep only announced in January that the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L was already on its way and may likely be released by the second quarter of the year.
So, we don't know how this will pan out, but what's most likely is that Jeep may continue to use the Cherokee name for at least another 12 months or maybe two years before dropping it. We'll have to wait and see it!!.
Prices of 2021 Cherokee Models
|Models||Price in USD||Price in Naira|
|2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Model: TrackHawk||$88,115||₦36.3 million|
|2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Model: SRT||$69,610||₦28.7 million|
|2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Model: Summit||$53,510 - $56,510||₦22.1 million - ₦23.3 million|
|2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Model: High Altitude||$50,105 - $53,105||₦20.7 million - ₦21.9 million|
|2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Model: Overland||$47,160 - $50,160||₦19.4 million - ₦20.7 million|
|2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Model: TrailHawk||$45,820||₦18.9 million|
|2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Model: Limited X||$45,470 - $47,470||₦18.7 million - ₦19.6 million|
|2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Model: 80th Anniversary||$42,910 - $44,910||₦17.7 million - ₦18.5 million|
|2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Model: Limited||$40,620 - $42,620||₦16.7 million - ₦17.6 million|
|2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Model: Laredo X||$38,140 - $40,140||₦15.7 million - ₦16.5 million|
|2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Model: Laredo E||$34,395 - $36,395||₦14.2 million - ₦15 million|
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee
|Models||Price in USD||Price in Naira|
|2021 Jeep Cherokee Model: Latitude||$26,755 - $28,255||₦11 million - ₦11.6 million|
|2021 Jeep Cherokee Model: Latitude Plus||$28,825 - $30,325||₦11.9 million - - ₦12.5 million|
|2021 Jeep Cherokee Model: Altitude||$30,265- $31,765||₦12.5 million - ₦13.1 million|
|2021 Jeep Cherokee Model: Latitude Lux||$30,345 - $31,845||₦12.5 million - ₦13.12 million|
|2021 Jeep Cherokee Model: 80th Anniversary||$32,525 - $34,025||₦13.4 million - ₦14 million|
|2021 Jeep Cherokee Model: Limited||$34,495 - $35,995||₦14.2 million - ₦14.8 million|
|2021 Jeep Cherokee Model: TrailHawk||$35,795||₦14.8 million|
|2021 Jeep Cherokee Model: High Altitude||$37,185 - $38,685||₦15.3 million - ₦15.9 million|