Every pharmacy has a brand. Whether it’s actively cultivated or created through general perception, your brand is an important part of your pharmacy business.
But what is a brand? A logo? A product? If you look it up, you’ll find several different definitions. Pushing aside the ones that pertain to cattle, you get to some pretty interesting thoughts. My favorite on the Merriam-Webster website is “a public image, reputation, or identity conceived of as something to be marketed or promoted”.
This means every business, including yours has a brand that needs to be identified and cared for. Polished and refined until your brand becomes synonymous with the feeling or experience you define. Brand can build trust, create value and increases recognition of your business in the community. These are all really important reasons to give your brand some thought, and if needed, some TLC.
So we understand the what, and the why behind branding. Now comes the hard part. How? Building the brand you desire is no small task. There’s a lot of intentional and focused work required. Let’s explore a few concepts behind building strong pharmacy brand recognition, and how point-of-sale can help.
Think of a brand that you consume. It could be a product, a store, a TV network. In my house, we have a lot of LEGO. It’s the clear favorite toy, both for the kids and the adults. You can certainly buy other brands of brick kits to build, but LEGO is the most popular. Thanks, in large part, to their brand. A brand which is more than a product, it’s an experience. I liken building a LEGO kit to finishing a good book or movie. You want to see how it ends, but you don’t really want it to be over. Iconic brands like LEGO provide a consistent and pleasurable experience with a dependable product.
You can do the same in your pharmacy. Remember your product isn’t just what you have on your shelves, or the prescriptions you dispense. It’s the service you provide. Creating a consistent experience comes down to making sure that customers know what to expect every time they walk through the door. Or pickup curbside. Or have something delivered. Friendly greetings, a knowledgeable team, and an easy checkout process go a long way to build the foundation of a great customer experience. Point-of-sale technology takes the guesswork out of the transaction. Making it quick and easy. And also leaving you free to do what you do best. Which brings us to our next important brand concept.
Care should be a part of the perception of any pharmacy brand. Patient care and compassion is what’s at the heart of the pharmacies we work with at RMS. Every personal interaction and piece of wellness advice, every conversation about what the kids are up to or how someone’s mother is doing builds that foundation of care.
At first thought, it might seem like technology and point-of-sale would just encumber that care and relationship building. But streamlining certain things can help. Nutrient depletion counseling for example is a great way to approach care as it helps with overall wellness. Creating an experience that is positive for the patient long after they leave your pharmacy. Other great options for improving care include date of birth verifications for patient safety and flexible service models that are built with the customer in mind like curbside pickup or home delivery.
Have you ever left a store because the lines were too long? Or because you couldn’t find something and there was no one to help? Most of us have. And those experiences leave us with a negative perception of that store’s brand. They can be avoided with some basic infrastructure investment. Make sure you have enough lanes to start. If your traffic out grows your square footage, mobile registers can help. Use them to line bust and run quick transactions on the go. Also make sure your pharmacy is always staffed appropriately. You can use reports from your point-of-sale to gain an average transaction volume by date and time to make building the schedule easier. Finally, keep the shelves stocked, and pricing accurate by using automated ordering, price updates and integrated signs & labels.
Brand is important to every business. And it’s more than a logo or storefront. Don’t neglect yours. And take advantage of tools built with your pharmacy business in mind.