The world's top 25 most valuable healthcare brands could lose up to US$16 billion worth of brand value as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Brand Finance's analysis shows that the healthcare sector is a moderately impacted industry globally and could face a potential 10% loss in brand value.
Looking beyond the healthcare sector, the value of the 500 most valuable brands in the world, ranked in the Brand Finance Global 500 2020 league table, could fall by an estimated US$1 trillion as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Brand Finance has assessed the impact of COVID-19 based on the effect of the outbreak on enterprise value, compared to what it was on 1st January 2020. The likely impact on brand value was estimated for each sector. The industries have been classified into three categories – limited impact (minimal brand value loss or potential brand value growth), moderate impact (up to 10% brand value loss), and heavy impact (up to 20% brand value loss) – based on the level of brand value loss observed for each sector in the first quarter of 2020.
Although we are witnessing some short-term damage to the healthcare sector from COVID-19, this pandemic could actually act as a catalyst to reform the industry, which has, over many years, been taking steps towards becoming more virtually enabled and digitalised. For example, we have witnessed the acceleration of telemedicine, remote monitoring and online trials. Without a doubt, COVID-19 has forced the sector to review its operations and capabilities to ensure that it is disaster proof in the future.Alex Haigh, Director, Brand Finance
UnitedHealthcare has retained the title of the world’s most valuable healthcare brand despite recording a 7% brand value loss to US$28.3 billion. As the world’s largest healthcare company by revenue it is unsurprising that UnitedHealthcare remains in a league of its own in the ranking, with second ranked Anthem’s brand value standing over US$11 billion lower at US$16.6 billion. Anthem recorded a 22% brand value increase as memberships grew from both the government and commercial segments, and as a result of the launch of IngenioRx, which secured its first external contract with Blue Cross Idaho.
UnitedHealthcare, which covers nearly 50 million people, has posted a solid financial performance over the previous year, a result of growth in commercial and Medicare Advantage membership. UnitedHealthcare’s and its subsidiary Optum’s (down 6% to US$11.9 billion) decrease in brand value is largely attributable to expected slowing revenues as the pace of growth of the UnitedHealthcare Community & State segment weakens with Medicaid enrolment dying down.
UnitedHealthcare leads the way for a further 21 US brands in the ranking, with a total brand value of US$153 billion, equating to 94% of the ranking’s value.
HCA Healthcare is the sector’s fastest growing brand recording a 40% brand value increase to US$8.8 billion, simultaneously jumping 3 spots in the ranking from 9th to 6th.
The Nashville-based hospital chain has posted solid revenue growth in 2019 and it marked a record year treating 35 million patients, both of which demonstrating the brand’s successful implementation of its portfolio diversification strategy and robust growth strategy. HCA is rising to the challenges presented to the sector from the increase of urgent care centres and ambulatory surgery centres - which pose a direct threat to traditional hospital services - by expanding its operation to include more specialised health services.
In addition to measuring overall brand value, Brand Finance also evaluates the relative strength of brands, based on factors such as marketing investment, customer familiarity, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation. Alongside revenue forecasts, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value. According to these criteria, BD (up 16% to US$4.3 billion) is the world’s strongest healthcare brand with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 77.7 out of 100 and a corresponding AA+ rating.
The global medical technology brand has posted solid results in the environment metrics, a testament to its commitment to both renewable energy and on-site generation, both of which have contributed to a 75% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions between 2008 and 2018. Furthermore, since 2018, the brand has launched more than 20 new products, with a clear focus on innovation in key areas including medication management, lab automation and health care worker and patient safety.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, BD has been working with clinical diagnostics company BioMedomics to successfully develop a test that can confirm exposure to COVID-19 in mere 15 minutes.