We want to go outside, drive our cars, shop for groceries, stay and get healthy. These are the key themes coming out of the 2021 Axios Harris Poll 100 on the most visible brands with high (and low) reputations among U.S. consumers.

In the top-ranked “excellent” and “very good” brands numbered 1 through 50, we find five core health care brands that were most visible to U.S. consumers: Moderna ranked #3, Pfizer #7, CVS Health #24, Walgreens #46, and Kaiser Permanente #47.

The only pure healthcare brand in the bottom 50 was Johnson & Johnson at #72, between Dollar General and McDonald’s. This group of companies in the caramel color of the survey is actually ranked in a middling “good” category above #82-100, which were perceived in reputation as “Poor” to “Very Poor.” [FYI #82 is GameStop and #100 is The Trump Organization]. Among the bottom-ranked most-poor companies in visibility and bad reputation are TikTok, Wells Fargo, Sears, Wish.Com, Facebook, Fox, and The Trump Org.

Beyond the pure health care brand plays here, U.S. consumers also highly valued retail channels for health care — namely grocery stores like Publix (#23) which played a major front-line role in getting vaccinations into Floridians’ arms), Costco #9, Wegmans #13, and Kroger #30. Furthermore, Personal care companies like Unilever and P&G ranked in the top 50, along with Chewy, an impressive #6, which repositioned itself in the pandemic as a health-and-wellness company for our pets (for example, launching a telehealth service to help support veterinarians during the lockdown and since).

Health Populi’s Hot Points:  Rarely do pharmaceutical companies appear as consumer-beloved brands in a list like the Axios Harris Poll. But we saw this occur earlier this year in the fast-growing brands study from Morning Consult, finding that Pfizer and AstraZeneca were top-of-mind in Americans’ health-and-hygiene pandemic mindsets.

Now, Moderna emerges as a top consumer brand in positive mindshare, joining the consumer goodness with the likes of Patagonia, Chick-fil-A, and Amazon.

The second step of the Axios Harris Poll analysis looks into seven dimension of reputation which include:

  • Trust
  • Vision
  • Growth
  • Products and services
  • Culture
  • Ethics, and
  • Citizenship.

The study analysts discuss this year’s results in the context of politics: “a nation divided flocking to partisan brands,” in the words of Axios.

To that end, I’ll point to this Statista chart on COVID-19 era profits among the four major pharma companies that have provided vaccines during the pandemic.

I mention this here in the context of the positive consumer embrace of 3 of these companies — AstraZeneca and Pfizer in the Morning Consult poll, and Moderna and Pfizer in the Axios Harris Poll report. In the Axios Harris Poll 2021, J&J’s reputation fell due in part from how the media covered its coronavirus vaccine story and subsequent handling by the CDC and FDA.

Consider this profit picture now in light of a Morning Consult-Politico National Tracking Poll fielded April 30-May 3, 2021, which found one in two Americans support curbing prescription drug costs — including 55% of Democrats and 46% of Republicans. The polling question posed whether “passing legislation to lower drug costs should be a top priority for Congress.”

Given that the pharma industry’s rising reputation during the pandemic hit a plateau quite recently, we will watch this stew of consumers’ general good feelings about vaccinations coupled with the latest consumer price inflation spike upward and U.S. voters, across-party ID, looking to lower drug costs.