Leverage brand

ICON_CP2025 Leverage Brand

Align your pharmacy brand with your patient offering and leverage your competitive advantages.

What is the pathway?

Align your pharmacy brand with your patient offering and leverage your competitive advantages, including:

  1. Understanding the competitive advantages that stand your community pharmacy apart
  2. Branding and promoting the patient services offered by your community pharmacy
  3. Leveraging own-brand, banner group or Gold Cross over-the-counter medicines and front-of-shop products

Why make the change?

Community pharmacy is highly trusted by patients and consumers, so identifying products and services that can leverage the competitive advantages of this trusted 'brand' makes strategic sense. In isolation, this pathway may not have a transformational impact on community pharmacy. It can, however, be pursued in tandem with other pathways, such as the establishment of health hubs, the provision of health services and reviewing retail products.

The opportunity for pharmacies

The first step is to understand the competitive advantages that stand your pharmacy apart and develop a brand that leverages your strengths.

Creating own-brand products or expanding the use of the trusted Gold Cross brand may not generate additional revenue but will contribute to a 'brand presence' and help maintain margins. Own-brand products can be sourced cost-effectively from white label manufacturers with investment in marketing to promote customer awareness. Key risks include narrow profit margins with care required in determining which segments have most potential.

Market research shows that consumers see value in pharmacy services but have little overall awareness of them. This provides an opportunity for pharmacies to brand and market their patient services as a key differentiator.

What happens if I don't make the change?

If community pharmacy does not entrench and effectively promote its trusted caring brand, others will fill the void, including existing competitors and prospective new entrants such as online retailers which may leverage the Amazon platform. A deterioration in the overall strength of the community pharmacy 'brand,' will make it more difficult to successfully introduce and promote new pharmacy products and services.


You are not alone – champion story
Catherine Bronger – Chemistworks, Wetherill Park, NSW

The Gold Cross forms a core part of the independent Chemistworks brand..

Marketing on radio, social media and online is budgeted for and utilised effectively to ensure that the community is aware of the professional services such as vaccinations and pain management that are provided in the pharmacy.

Catherine's group also makes sure to leverage the differentiators of some of its pharmacies, for example Wetherill Park is open 24-hours, 365 days a year, so they make sure to highlight that in their marketing and branding.

“On average, pharmacies are two and a half kilometres apart. To differentiate themselves in the community, a standard of excellence and care must always be at the forefront of any branding and marketing."

Read more

Market research

Public perception of community pharmacy, measured on a scale from 0 to 10 where 10 is highly positive, stands at 7.2 overall and does not materially vary between those who use discount pharmacies (7.2), large banners (7.3), medium banners (7.3), and local independent pharmacies (7.3). This indicates that patients do not greatly differentiate between 'brands' of community pharmacy based on size. Individual community pharmacies can succeed based on both the high level of patient satisfaction for the entire network, and by further differentiating their unique offerings.

Orima Market Research Report - September 2018 (members only)

Quick wins

Request feedback from your staff and patients on the perceived brand of your pharmacy, focusing on why they prefer your pharmacy to others and what you do that is most valued.

What can I do now?

  1. Talk to patients and staff about how they perceive your pharmacy. What do they like most? What can be improved? What would they like to see in the future? This will help you understand your brand.
  2. Review your pharmacy branding and whether it is clear and aligned with the inherent value of your offering.
  3. Undertake some initial planning. Establish a budget. Talk to your staff about how you intend to leverage your pharmacy brand.
  4. Review your product lines and presentation. How clear is the signage? Do your products align with your brand?
  5. Evaluate how best to promote own-brand products, including new marketing channels (for example, social media)
  6. Ensure that a list of the services your pharmacy provides is clearly visible and is included in your marketing materials as well as findapharmacy.com.au
  7. Carry out promotions in your local community and on social media highlighting your unique products or services.
  8. Train your staff in understanding your products and services and why they matter to your patients.
  9. Identify opportunities for co-branding or co-marketing your products and health services.

Who do I talk to?

Talk to your staff and patients about what sets your pharmacy apart from its competitors. Review the market research from CP2025 which identifies the current and future priorities for patients.

More information

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Page last updated on: 31 July 2019