To Brand or Not to Brand?
Brands are the poster children of the marketing and advertising worlds, a favourite of academics and the subject of countless research theses, publications and textbooks. They are the undisputed heavyweights of business success. In the words of Steve Forbes, Editor in Chief of Forbes Magazine;
“Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business”.
The competition among branded Pharmacies in Australia is world class and brand conversion decisions - be it converting to a brand, switching brands, or even de-branding - are critical and potentially difficult decisions that can strengthen or sometimes cripple a business. At Pitcher Pharmacy, we regularly encounter pharmacists who undervalue the impact and consequences of either their brand or alternative brands. Whilst maintaining status quo is often the comfortable and easy path, periodic review should be scheduled to determine whether an alternate model may be better suited to existing and potential customers. In many situations, a well-considered and executed brand conversion strategy can improve customer outcomes and financially transform a business for the better.
There are many considerations that accompany a brand review including understanding the brand strategy of competitors, potential gaps in the market and knowing which format is best able to match owner interests with local demographic opportunities.
In this article, the commercial impact of three scenarios are explored:
“Branding” – switching from an independent pharmacy to a brand
“Re-Branding” – switching from one brand to another brand
“Independent-Branding” – switching from a brand to an independent pharmacy
The case studies explored above illustrate that there isn’t a one size fits all approach to branding in the pharmacy industry and, critically, highlight the importance of firstly setting, and subsequently regularly reviewing branding strategies. Making the right brand decision comes down to being diligent with analysis, staying true to your situation and utilising an external review process to remove historical bias from decision making.
In light of current and emerging changes in consumer behaviour (assisted by Covid-19 and on-line shopping) now may be the perfect time to look to the future and review your brand strategy.