What’s Missing in Your Pharmacy’s Marketing Strategy

Pink Goldfish Fish Bowls
Stan Phelps Professional Speaker And Workshop Facilitator
Stan Phelps

Guest Contributor

What makes you weird or imperfect?

That’s probably the last thing you would expect to be asked, especially in pharmacy. In an industry steeped in regulations and where routines are sacred, ‘different’ can become a dirty word. Yet, when it comes to marketing your pharmacy, being different can make all the difference.

The Importance of Marketing Differentiation

I’ve spoken all over the world, to all types of audiences. Yet, no matter where I am and who I’m with, my message remains the same: to reach your customers and keep them, you must stand out. And this is where being weird or imperfect becomes your best friend.

 To reach your customers, you must stand out.

Not too long ago, I had the pleasure of speaking to a highly engaged – and, dare I say, fun – group of pharmacists during an NASP Lunch and Learn. We talked about the ways in which pharmacies can embrace their uniqueness to communicate with and better serve their patients.

In independent pharmacy, “weird” might look different than in fashion, food, or other flashier consumer segments, but the concept is still true. I even like to take it one step further to say that the things you like the least about yourself – your flaws – may even become the exact thing that will help you connect with your patients and would-be patients the most. In my book, Pink Goldfish 2.0, I call this FLAWSOME – a word that gets its point across as much as it drives grammarians and spelling champions crazy. As an acronym, “FLAWSOME” gives us the roadmap to areas we can look to for those gems of differentiation.


Learn more about FLAWSOME and my book here.

Tastes Bad, Works Great

Anyone in pharmacy can relate to the bad taste that can come with good medicine. When it comes to tasting bad, however, cough medicine brand Buckley’s reigns supreme. It tastes so bad, in fact, that patients can’t distinguish it blind taste-test of detestable-tasting things:

Instead of working hard to change their product or talk around its “flaw,” Buckley’s chose to acknowledge it and wholeheartedly embrace it to allow customers to embrace it, too. Your flaws may not be quite so dramatic, but I’d still encourage you to take a good hard look at who you are and what’s “wrong” with you. It could just be marketing gold.

So, what makes you weird or imperfect? Your patients can’t wait to find out.

Stan Phelps is a Forbes Contributor, TEDx Speaker, IBM Futurist, Certified Speaking Professional, and best-selling author of the Goldfish Series, which focuses on customer engagement and brand differentiation. He is also an Instructor for the ANA School of Marketing and Rutgers Business School. Learn more about Stan at stanphelps.com

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