Walgreens to the Rescue

My family and I spent our last night in Orlando in a Walgreens, fortunately they have a Clinic in the back of the store on International drive just a few blocks from where we where staying. My youngest daughter was running a temperature and was just generally unhappy, so we left Disney a little early and headed out to look for a doctor. I had never been to one of these drugstore-based clinics, but the experience wasn’t bad. The nurse was kind ad knowledgeable and most importantly took care of my little girl. It turns out she has a ear infection. Two prescriptions later she was feeling much better.

Needless to say I spent a good bit of time in a very larger Walgreens in Orlando. Their private brand is exactly what you’d expect. Classic and old school, head to head private brand products competing with a national brand at a lower prices. The brand is intrinsically Walgreens, and as a drugstore the private brand health products reinforce the basic brand promise of Walgreens. That being said the package design and presentation is boring and exactly what is expected. This seems to be a category where great design could reinforce and build private brand differentiation. Most of these products are by law identical, acetaminophen is acetaminophen. Great design could reinforce the retail brand and create a great private brand. There is also several versions of packaging in the set, it’s hard to say whether this is the result of some brand strategy or whether they are simply working through old designs.
My wife is a big drugstore and Walgreens fan, check out her blog Drugstore Mom, so in the future I hope to take a look at the beauty departments.

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.