3 Clever Pharmacy Sign Ideas

October 7, 2014By Articles, Independent Pharmacy


Written by and published in Elements magazine, September 29, 2014

Some things are just hard to say to patients. Whether the barrier is time (How can I talk to every patient about the great products we sell?) or awkwardness (How do I work “Our price on Allegra® is the best in town” into normal conversation?), important information that might interest patients often never gets shared.

However, there are ways to get your message across and share your expertise with customers without saying a word. Here are three unconventional ways to share information. Expert conversation skills not required.

You want to say: Our prices are better than our competitor’s.

Try: A chalkboard.

Big box retailers and national chains are notorious for pushing the “lowest price” marketing message. But in more cases than you may realize, these “low cost leaders” are anything but.

“I think that some independents don’t realize how competitive they really are,” said Dave Wendland, vice president of Hamacher Resource Group. “They don’t want to be seen walking into a competitor’s store and looking at the prices. But if they did, I know they’d be in awe.”

Showing patients where your prices beat the competition can be as simple as writing it on a chalkboard. “Just write down your price for Allegra®, Prilosec® or whatever you want to compare, and next to it, put the competitor’s price,” said Tom Boyer, director of national accounts for Hamacher. “It’s not fancy advertising, but it’s effective. And it’s a great way to clear up the misperception that independents’ prices are higher, because typically they’re not.”

A few tips for getting it right:

Check out the competition. It may feel uncomfortable to walk through a competitor’s store, but it’s the only way to learn about its prices.

Bring the chalkboard up to eye level with an easel. Also, make sure it doesn’t block pathways and is secure, so children can’t knock it over.

Write clearly and big enough for older customers to read it. A simple board with a clear message is better than a cluttered one where the message gets lost.

Give it a title. “Check Our Prices” or “Helping You Save” at the top of the board tells patients what they’re looking at.

You want to say: This is a good product.

Try: “Staff Pick” and “Our Pharmacist Recommends” shelf talkers.

Customers are inundated with sales and marketing messages. After a while, it can all start to sound like white noise. That’s why people are increasingly looking to reviews from product users and experts to help them make buying decisions.

Pharmacists and pharmacy staff are already trusted advisors, which makes their opinions on products valuable to patients. Have staff members test out and pick their favorite beauty and wellness products, and ask pharmacists to weigh in on recommended OTC items and vitamins. With these recommendations, patients gain helpful information that is likely to influence their purchases.

A few tips for getting it right:

Be selective. If every other product is pharmacist-recommended or a staff pick, it diminishes the effect of the recommendation.

Write recommendations like you’re talking with a friend. A natural, conversational style is best and helps the customer connect with the reviewer.

Keep it short. Highlight only a few features that would be most interesting to the customer, so the review is an easy read.

Give it a professional look. We’ve designed “Staff Pick” and “Our Pharmacist Recommends” shelf talkers that work great in any pharmacy. Download the shelf talkers.

You want to say: We offer great pharmacy services.

Try: Buttons.

Patients can easily fall into a prescription pick-up routine. They’re in and out of the pharmacy so quickly there is little time to remind them about all the services your pharmacy provides.

A simple and cost-effective way to promote your services is to have buttons made for your pharmacists and staff. Since patients have to interact with staff members to get their prescriptions, buttons are less likely to be ignored than conventional signage. Buttons work especially well for pharmacies with a drive-thru window, as they allow you to promote services to customers who aren’t able to see in-store marketing.

A few tips for getting it right:

Less is more. A single button is neat and professional looking and allows patients to focus on one important message.

Switch it up. Consider changing the message on your buttons at least quarterly. Take advantage of seasonal health concerns, such as flu shots in the fall and heart health in the winter.

Make it professional. A poorly designed button can undermine your message and be counterproductive. We’ve created general button templates that work for almost any pharmacy. Just download them and have a local printer make them. Download the button templates.