Like lemmings off a discount cliff…


By Wizard Pharmacy CEO Lyndon Dyson

A sea-side cliff. One lemming plummets into the icy water below. Another joins. And another. Soon enough, all the lemmings are joining the first in self-destruction en masse.

As the Founder and CEO of Wizard Pharmacy with close to five decades of experience, it disappoints me that, when I look at our industry, so many of us have thrown down the position of being engaged healthcare and health information providers and have sacrificed ourselves to the gods of the discount model.

Don’t get me wrong. I used to operate in this space, but I learned from experience that this is not where you want to be.

One main player has dominated the discount model of pharmacy since their introduction 20 years ago. Since then, Pharmacy marketing brands and Pharmacist proprietors have run scared to the cliff face to join them.

There is the belief that to maintain sales, Pharmacists have to compete on price, but this is impractical. Most of us have totally different business operating models, meaning we can’t afford to compete on price alone. When you try, that’s when you see difficult financial outcomes and personal stress hit business owners because they’re not producing enough profit to be economically viable.  

There is no bottom in the discount price war. Someone will always go lower.

Having learned my lesson, I now know that the only way to survive is to differentiate. But how do you do that?

A patient and customer-centric business model supported by the analytical use of data demonstrates that we can provide better health and wellness outcomes through personalisation. This is done by delivering meaningful and relevant health information to engage with and strengthen our personal relationships with our customers and patients, thereby maximising brand value.  

What has fundamentally been forgotten is that value is a personal perception, not just a singular component such as price. Value is balanced around many facets that work together to make up the complete customer experience.

Value = Visitations x (Personalised Health Outcomes + Convenience)
                               Price Perception  

There is a way to balance the price component in a value pharmacy model. It’s what we have built Wizard Pharmacy around.

The answer is adding the extra value component of personalisation through relevant health information and a tailored professional services offering, and delivering better convenience through innovative new customer touchpoints. Combining these with strong promotions and discounts for beneficial price perception and a market-leading Rewards Loyalty Program all unite to increases visitations. This significantly increases brand loyalty and delivers more effective health outcomes for more patients, more often. After all, personalisation is the best medicine.

I have personally seen Pharmacists involved with the discount model who have moved to Wizard’s personalised value-add model experience up to 60% transactional engagement from members after implementing the Wizard Rewards program.

Why wouldn’t you as a Pharmacist want to do that rather than trying to keep up with the other lemmings jumping off the discount cliff into a sea of financial strain and personal stress?  The main player will never drown, but you just might.

 

Wizard Pharmacy Services provides a range of franchise options based on a value and personalisation model, supported by the operating efficiencies of its complete Pharmacy Platform. 

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