British brands have been urged to embrace patriotism to get ahead in 2012, reports.

A new study by Brand Finance found that British brands which exploit their home-grown roots are much more likely to succeed in 2012.

With the Diamond Jubilee celebrations still resonant and the upcoming Olympics, consumers are becoming increasingly receptive to British brands, something that firms can exploit in their social media, SMS or email marketing campaigns.

Giving the example of Virgin Media, Marketing Week’s Lucy Handley explained how the British-run firm simply added the Union flag to its logo, then saw its Brand Finance value increase by 64 per cent. Furthermore, in using Richard Branson and Usain Bolt in its ad campaigns, Virgin has established itself as a British brand with Olympic connections, despite not being an official sponsor.

Elsewhere, Mini, which is now owned by German manufacturer BMW, got in on the action, adding a Union flag to the roof of some of its models. The fallout was a rise of two places in the Brand Finance list.

Marks & Spencer also did well, but had words of advice for other brands looking to use patriotism to get ahead in a busy year for the nation.

“We don’t want to push patriotism down people’s throats,” the firm’s executive director of marketing Steve Sharp told

“Britishness is a card in the marketing armoury that we will play when we need to and in an appropriate way.”