This is how Wikipedia explains brand identity:
The outward expression of a brand – including its name, trademark, communications, and visual appearance – is brand identity. Because the identity is assembled by the brand owner, it reflects how the owner wants the consumer to perceive the brand – and by extension the branded company, organization, product or service. This is in contrast to the brand image, which is a customer's mental picture of a brand. The brand owner will seek to bridge the gap between the brand image and the brand identity. Brand identity is fundamental to consumer recognition and symbolizes the brand's differentiation from competitors.
This is how we explain it:
To illustrate my point by showing, rather than telling you what branding looks like, I have created the three unique designs that you see in the slideshow above. Normally, we would never use two of those designs.
Can you tell which of the three designs most closely represents the brand BT Pharmacy Consulting?
A brand implies the image of your company or person that you would like others to perceive. It is the impression that others get from you.
In the three photos above, notice similarities in the color palette, wording and font. If you have been a part of this community for very long you will notice our brand is represented only the first photo with the beautiful picture of Sunset Cliffs National Park in San Diego. I intentionally choose to include that picture in a lot of our designs because of several reasons:
The visual representation of your brand in important, but so is the way that you present you brand in the written or spoken context. When examining your brand identity think about the things you want you customers to say about you when they speak to other about your pharmacy.
Do you want to be the fastest, the most convenient, the cheapest? Pick two, because all three are nearly impossible!
Or will your brand be based on something entirely different? Perhaps, a caring more organic approach to pharmacy.
Branding is not just for the big guys; branding in independent community pharmacies is more important that ever. Branding is how you are perceived by your customers and what makes your store unique.
Trustworthy, caring, patient-focused. Part of the community, through volunteers efforts. Always treats patients with respect and takes time to get to know them. These are real and powerful brands as well. And an image that many pharmacists strive for.
If you are unable to compete with chain retail pharmacies on price, then you must find your unique competitive advantage and branding will help you identify the image you want to project.
Branding is about creating a relationship with your patients. If it is true that 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your customers, then just using your targeted CMR list you should be able to easily identify that twenty percent! Adding clinical services to your pharmacy will help you develop a deeper relationship with your patients. It will improve your pharmacy's brand and create patient loyalty.
If you brand is more about caring, knowledge and deepening relationships, the patient will be much less motivated to seek out other pharmacies based on price alone.
So what competitive advantage does your store have?
Do you think clinical services should be a part of the pharmacy brand?
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Blair Green Thielemier, PharmD is an independent MTM consultant pharmacist. She is the founder of BT Pharmacy Consulting, LLC. and works with pharmacists to create and build clinical services programs. More information about Dr. Thielemier and BT Pharmacy Consulting, LLC can be found at http://btpharmacyconsulting.com