Non Food Reviews
Following The Buzz

Cold Season Heats Up

October 2, 2013
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The kids are back to school and the fall air has brought an end to summer. While we have the holidays to look forward to, another more dreaded thing is on the horizon—cold season.

As the weather gets colder and children start to bring germs home from school, now is the time for retailers to ramp up their store brand OTC marketing. Cross promotions, such as offering free store brand tissues with cold medicine, can get shoppers to try a new store brand.

Clever merchandising, such as having store brand water in the pharmacy department so shoppers can quickly grab something to take medicine with, can also help drive sales this fall. And, of course, sales on store brands always draw attention to your brand. Walgreens recently helped shoppers gear up for allergies with a buy-one-get-one-free sale on Walgreens brand allergy medicine.

Offering shoppers a wealth of information can also help engage your customer and bring your brand recognition. CVS/pharmacy offers MinuteClinic videos on its YouTube channel. CVS also launched a new online Drug Information Center on its website this summer, offering detailed information on prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and supplements. 

Private label OTC packaging is typically designed to be as close to the national brand as possible, but package design is a key differentiator in shoppers’ decision-making process. Walgreens, for example, has rebranded its OTC products as Well at Walgreens brand creating a higher level of consumer awareness of its OTC store brands in the healthcare aisle. Offering your store brand in a count that the national brand doesn’t is another great option. I can’t tell you how many OTC products have expired in my medicine cabinet before my husband and I have used them up. Likewise, families are often looking for a bulk option.

Don’t forget to educate your staff on your OTC medications. In the past few years, I’ve increasingly overheard pharmacists and store employees recommending store brands to shoppers in the healthcare aisle.

For a look at what real shoppers are saying about store brand OTCs, see this month’s Private Eye article.

 Until next month, stay healthy!

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