DEERFIELD, Ill. – Drug-store chain Walgreens has dropped its longtime advertising slogan, “At the corner of happy and healthy.” A new tagline, “Walgreens. Trusted since 1901,” made its debut Dec. 2.
The brand repositioning comes as rival chain CVS has announced a merger with Aetna, one of the nation's leading diversified healthcare benefits companies. “Consumers will benefit from a uniquely integrated, community-based healthcare experience,” Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS said in making the announcement.
Introduced in 2012 as part of a quest to become a lifestyle destination, Walgreens’ “At the corner of happy and healthy” slogan highlighted the convenience of its many locations, proprietary products and health services. Some convenience-store industry observers see the convenience angle as encroaching upon the c-store channel’s turf.
Walgreens now wants to highlight the chain’s neighborhood roots and on-site pharmacists. The Deerfield, Ill.-based company has about 8,100 outlets nationwide and employs approximately 25,000 pharmacists.
“We went deep into Walgreens history to rediscover what makes Walgreens great,” said Alex Gourlay, co-chief operating office of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and president of Walgreens. “It was clear from our research that three strong characteristics define our relationship with our customers, rooted firmly in our history since 1901: care, trust and accessibility. We’ve always cared for our customers’ health and well-being, but how we’ve cared has evolved over time. As consumer behavior continues to change, we will focus on these core attributes to help define the work we do.”
The date refers to when Charles R. Walgreen Sr. purchased the Chicago drug store where he had worked as a pharmacist and started the new company.
“It’s a pivotal moment that signals the next phase in our transformation,” Gourlay told the Chicago Tribune. “Customers trust the men and women in the white coats.”
The rebranding also comes as Amazon is in talks with makers of generic drugs about its potential entry into the pharmacy space, people familiar with the discussions told CNBC.
“Beyond a new tagline, we hope to reflect where our brand is headed in the future with new initiatives and services that align to our brand promise: to always be here to help you feel good,” Adam Holyk, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Walgreens, said.
Walgreens is promoting its FedEx package pickup and drop-off services at more than 7,500 Walgreens throughout the country, the report said. On the technology side, it’s going to accelerate marketing of its mobile app, which recently hit 50 million downloads, according to the Tribune. Walgreens also will continue refurbishing many stores, hoping to make them easier for customers to navigate while boosting the number of beauty, health and wellness products.