Create a value proposition for your Pharmacy that people really care about

Posted by in Business Planning, Customer experience, Marketing, Pharmacy, Retail, Small Business

Getting your value proposition right is critical to your Pharmacy’s business model.  You can have the best features, the most perfectly executed daily business operations, the right price etc.; but no one will ever know of it if they don’t get past your high-level value proposition. Warren Buffet’s famous quote from his 2008 Letter to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders helps to explain. ‘Price is what you pay; value is what you get.’

Your value proposition is the crunch point at the intersection between business strategy and brand strategy. It’s a promise of value to be delivered and a belief from the customer that value will be experienced.  It’s the primary reason a customer should buy from you (not someone else) and how they will benefit.

When you’re crafting a value proposition find a way to express the organization’s impact on the lives of your customers, clients, patients — whomever you’re trying to serve.  Focus on how your customers will actually apply the benefits your Pharmacy business or patient service promises.

Unlike a product; a service can’t be experienced before it’s bought. You need to make them feel it.

The way to make that connection starts with expressing a clear compelling statement that should answer questions from the customers perspective; “What’s in it for me?”, “Why should I buy this patient service or do business with this Pharmacy vs that one?” as well as “Why should I do anything at all”.

An effective value proposition is for real people to read and understand in a few seconds. Your value proposition needs to be in the language of the customer. And it must avoid hype (like ‘never seen before or amazing miracle’), superlatives (‘best’) and business jargon (‘value-added interactions’). It’s important to use the right language to avoid any hype, industry or advertising jargon that can sound suspiciously like manipulations to a customer. Rather they need to feel inspired to act and be confident that the service will deliver what is promised.

What exactly is value in the 21st century and why is it important to a Pharmacy business model?

Although more textbook; a good definition is…Value is a function of the bundle of perceived benefits offered at a given price.  And perception is always the reality in the eyes and ears of the beholder. Perception means different things to different people. So, in order to engage your customer or patient in a service, there must be some form of interest or perceived value on their part.

Without a strong value proposition, it’s much harder to sell your patient services in today’s economy. The customer’s perception is always your reality. Articulate your competitive differentiation because if you can offer something in a different way that is in demand, then your price can be higher and the value will be higher as perceived by the customer. (Ie Starbucks)

How is a value proposition different from other commonly used terms?

A value proposition is often confused with an “elevator speech” or a “unique selling proposition” or “USP”.  It’s essential to understand the difference between these terms because their purposes and sales impact on customers are very different.

A USP or elevator pitch is a statement about what makes the Pharmacist and the Pharmacy different from others. Its primary value is to create competitive differentiation.  A USP is often used in marketing materials or in talking with customers who are ready to buy.  It’s usually all about you.

A value proposition is a clear statement of the tangible results a customer gets from using your patient services.  Its outcome focused and stresses the value of your offering.  It’s all about them.

Your value proposition should clearly answer the question already going in your customer’s mind; “Why should I buy that from you?” Your business vision should be the basis of your unique value proposition that states why your patient service is different, that it will do what you say it will do, and is worth buying.

Nothing more. Nothing less.

I help Pharmacists and healthcare practitioners to develop winning business management strategies for their practice so they can focus on patient-centered care. Gerry Spitzner is the principal business consultant of pharmacySOS.ca, a Vancouver-based retail Pharmacy management consultancy. For more information: http://pharmacysos.ca/