How do you make decisions in your business? If you are basing decision making on beliefs founded on limited personal experience, limited group experience or third hand experiences you are missing the real opportunity to learn from the people who have the answers, your customers.
Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridge’s department store in London is reported as having coined the phrase, ‘The customer is always right’ in 1909. It is often wheeled out when trying to convince hard done by employees of one thing or another. It is often misunderstood and misused however, which causes all sorts of problems. My suspicion is that Harry simplified to aid wider understanding. If you use the phrase to refer to customers in the plural rather than the individual it makes sense. In fact it is as important and useful as it is famous and lasting. It succinctly captures the idea of market orientation.
Accidents happen and we can’t do anything to stop them. We live in a chaotic world. The best we can do is aim to limit their occurrence and severity. Where running a business is concerned this becomes an even more pressing concern as we try to remain profitable over the long term. If we can manage the risk of an accident in any part of our business then we generally do. We wouldn’t accidentally manage our financial accounts, or accidentally complete our CD register. We wouldn’t leave it to chance.
When you have experienced the joy that developing a robust, evidence based marketing strategy bring and you are clear on why, what and who, it is time to work on the when and where and how. Marketing planning is an important step towards implementing your marketing strategy, bringing it to life and reaping the benefits. Many of the tough decisions will have been made when developing your strategy but there are still some important ones to make when planning.
In 2009, most of the 945 state-owned pharmacies in Sweden were sold to private owners who quickly rebranded their estates in order to find a way to attract customers. Their services were all identical so branding was the only meaningful way for them to carve out a share of the market. Pharmacy branding builds value and resilience which in the light of another larger than expected hit to UK pharmacy remuneration makes it one of the best ways to respond. While there are numerous options for pharmacy contractors who are thinking about ways to survive and thrive, investing in your brand has some important advantages.