America’s COVID-19 health crisis is becoming an economic crisis

Chart 1 is titled, "Which brands, if any, do you think have improved their reputation during the COVID-19 pandemic?* Responses: Amazon 30%, Walmart 23%, Target 13%, Lysol 8%, Clorox 6%, Johnson & Johnson 6%, Nike 5%, Kroger 5%, Google 4%, Costco 4%, Apple 4%, 3M 3%, United States Postal Service 3%, Uber 3%, McDonalds 3%. Chart 2 is titled, "Which brands, if any, do you think have damaged their reputation during the COVID-19 pandemic?" Responses: Amazon 11%, Government (Federal and State) 10%, Walmart 9%, Trump 6%, Facebook 5%, Nike 4%, Target 3%, NFL 3%, Apple 3%, Goya 2%, Starbucks 2%, Tesla 2%, United States Postal Service 1%, Home Depot 1%, Clorox 1%, Lysol 1%, 3M 1%.

America’s COVID-19 health crisis is becoming an economic crisis

America’s COVID-19 health crisis is becoming an economic crisis, says Reputation Leaders.

In the U.S. election season and with COVID-19 cases approaching the 10 million mark, six in 10 Americans recently reported both their health and finances impacted by COVID-19.

Download and read the full report by clicking here: How Covid-19 is impacting Americans: October 2020

A survey of 1000 U.S. adults nationally conducted by Reputation Leaders found 47% of Americans had self-isolated to protect their health while 18% said their health had suffered during COVID-19. Over half, 57% of adults have been impacted financially during COVID-19.

On a positive note, nearly half (48%) of adults surveyed reported receiving Federal stimulus money.

The CARES Act channeled an enormous $2trn into the U.S. economy supporting families and small businesses but it expired in August. With no political consensus on more stimulus, America’s poverty rate is estimated by the Economist to have risen from 9.3% in June to 11.1% in September.

Due to the pandemic, 14% in our survey reported losing jobs or being furloughed. 15% said they have used savings or pay-day loans to get by. While respect for Federal government has diminished, American’s still admire the fine job being done during COVID-19 by medical staff, frontline workers, local businesses and restaurants. Reflecting an admiration for the front-line workers, the American retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target have most improved their reputation during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, opinion is divided as some see the same brands having damaged their reputation.

* 45% could name a brand with an improved reputation during the COVID-19 pandemic, 38% could name a damaged brand.

Protecting employees, keeping products available through resilient supply chains, and not profiteering from the crisis are ways companies can protect their brand reputation during the pandemic. Although 62% of workers said that they were proud to work for their employer, a majority (55%) of those surveyed couldn’t think of any brands who had improved their reputation during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This suggests employers are doing a good job communicating internally but could do more to boost their external brand communications.


Using the ThoughtBite™ framework, Reputation Leaders ran a U.S. national online study to explore consumer opinions amid the COVID-19 pandemic from September 28-30, 2020. Interviews were conducted among 1,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and over, matching the U.S. demographic profile by age, gender and region. Results were compared with a previous wave from April 20-21, 2020.