Regional Health Insurance Brands Making Gains Against Larger Competition

Blue Cross Blue Shield ranked highest among Health Insurance brands; Regional Brands take two of top 3 spots; Johnson and Johnson ranked highest among Pharmaceutical companies

NEW YORK, March 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As consumers pay more attention to their healthcare options, smaller regional health insurance companies are making strides in brand equity according to the 2011 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study. In spite of the continued controversy surrounding healthcare reform, the brand equity of healthcare brands is on the rise.

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Blue Cross Blue Shield was named the 2011 Harris Poll EquiTrend® Health Insurance Brand of the Year for the second consecutive year.  The second and third ranked health insurance companies, HealthNet and Coventry Health, are primarily regional insurers, entering the Harris Poll rankings for the first time.  Harris Poll EquiTrend Brand of the Year is awarded to the highest ranked brand in each of 46 different categories.

"Those companies with strong brand equity among consumers will be best positioned to take advantage of market changes," said Debra Richman, Vice President, Healthcare Strategy.  "Blue Cross Blue Shield has done a good job connecting its brand with consumers, but much like other industries where consumers are turning to local alternatives over larger brands, regional brands may be making headway and appear to be gaining consumer confidence."

Johnson and Johnson ranked highest among Pharmaceutical brands and was named 2011 Harris Poll EquiTrend® Pharmaceutical Brand of the Year for the second year in a row and Sanofi Aventis ranked second. Genentech and Sanofi Aventis were two big improvers among pharma companies.

"There continues to be a great amount of uncertainty regarding healthcare reform," said Richman. "Consumers are dealing with a lot of new information combined with increasing healthcare cost sharing. The factors that influence a consumer's purchasing decision are changing, especially with an influx of individual consumers as buyers.  Brand reputation is now one of the key criteria when selecting a plan – this is especially important in a market where benefits and costs may be very similar among health plans."


The EquiTrend® study evaluates measures including: Equity, Consumer Connection, Commitment, Brand Behavior, Brand Advocacy, and Trust. The keystone to the program is Equity, which provides an understanding of a brand's overall strength and is determined by a calculation of Familiarity, Quality, and Purchase Consideration.

This year's Harris Poll EquiTrend® study was conducted online among 25,099 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over between January 11 and 27, 2011. A total of 1,273 brands were rated in 53 separate categories.  Each respondent was asked to rate a total of 60 randomly selected brands.  Each brand received approximately 1,000 ratings. Data were weighted to be representative of the entire U.S. population of consumers ages 15 and over on the basis of age, sex, education, race/ethnicity, region, and income, and data from respondents ages 18 and over were also weighted for their propensity to be online.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The EquiTrend® study results disclosed in this release may not be used for advertising, marketing or promotional purposes without the prior written consent of Harris Interactive.

Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

For a complete listing of all the brands covered in the study, contact Dagney Cassella at 212-539-9600 or [email protected].

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit

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SOURCE Harris Interactive