Consumers favorite brands in 2021 are baked with health, from medical care through to the social determinants that make our wellness and mental health better, based on the 2021 Prophet Brand Relevance Index.

The top ten brands in 2021 are Apple (the top brand for the sixth year in a row), Peloton, KitchenAid, Mayo Clinic, LEGO, Costco, Honda, Johns Hopkins Medicine, PlayStation, and Amazon.

In this year’s study, Prophet remarked that, “Almost overnight, they’ve [consumers] reconsidered beloved names like Disney, making room for brands that serve them better…As they weather some
bleak moments, consumers want brands
that will commit to building a brighter
future and stronger society.”

Thus, this year, as people weathered 2020 as their COVID Year, we see a few company names moving into the top ten compared with their positions in 2019 such as Peloton, Mayo Clinic, as well as Johnson Hopkins and LEGO (neither of which was in the top 50 in 2019).

Prophet polled 13,000 U.S. consumers to gauge their brand-love for this study. People considered brands across four pillars of relevance, including:

  • Customer obsession, represented by Apple, for example;
  • Being ruthlessly pragmatic, with Mayo Clinic shown as the model;
  • Distinctively inspired, as Honda represents a brand that helps people live out their personal values and beliefs; and,
  • Pervasively innovative, with Amazon as that poster-child along with Bose and LEGO.

Overall, Prophet sees a commonality across the top brands in that they have found, “compelling ways to fill the missing needs of consumers dealing with the global pandemic — making them feel comfortable nurtured and connected.”

Health Populi’s Hot Points:  Wearing my broad and deep retail health lens — that health/care is everywhere and self-care is growing, accelerated through our collective COVID-19 experience — I took a second look at Prophet’s top 50 brands in the U.S.

I’ve circled some of these brands based on whether they service health/care directly — in blue, labeled “primarily health.” Then I took to my red digital pen, identifying companies that are “health adjacent” putting self-care in peoples’ hands, homes, and communities.

For example, Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins Medicine made the cut into the top ten brands across the dozens of companies that Prophet considered in 2021.

Another health brand in the top ten is Peloton, which can tell a fast-growing brand (and sales) story during the pandemic after a difficult holiday season in 2019 — just weeks before COVID-19 emerged in the U.S. With millions of health citizens working from home, and public gyms closed for months, more people made their workout spaces at home with connected fitness products like Peloton, even at its luxury good price point.

Other companies adjacent to health, that enable consumers to make health at home, range from Apple with the Apple Watch that has many health, fitness, and medical features, to KitchenAid which supported more consumers to become home cooks as restaurants shut down, and Costco which earned high marks for Big Box and grocery store hygiene.

Amazon, #10 of the top ten, was the ecommerce winner in the pandemic, gaining millions more Prime members for both essential goods and food, along with gym equipment, technology and office supplies for home-based workers, and treats that people wanted to gift themselves throughout the long pandemic journey.

There is much health baked throughout this list, from healthy food to self-care, technologies that support digital health and beauty morphing into self-care regimens more for skin care and hair color, less so for color cosmetics.

Media and entertainment companies also bolster health in a third category of health adjacency that helps people manage stress and mood as more people are dealing with anxiety and mental health issues the longer the pandemic persists.

Consider how your organization’s brand might be better baked with health, health support, and health messaging. Consumers-as-health citizens are expected more of this as self-care and healthcare migrate to our homes as health hubs.