May 21, 2018
Inside: Naming your independent community pharmacy is a tall task. Discover 10 powerful tips to create a pharmacy name that will drive more business. (Plus, the top ways to choose pharmacy names.)
Are you starting a new pharmacy? Are you rebranding your current pharmacy?
In both cases, naming a pharmacy is one of your first and most important tasks.
It’s also one of the most difficult.
Running a pharmacy business is in some ways like raising a child. You’re responsible for its well-being and growth. You invest time, money, and resources to help it succeed.
And, at the beginning of the journey, you decide what to call it for the rest of its life.
So, it’s not a task to take lightly. With some simple tips, you can choose a memorable independent pharmacy name that will leave an impression on patients.
A name is forever. If you’re successful, it’s unlikely you’ll ever want to—or be able to—change your pharmacy’s name.
And if you ever grow into a regional chain or have multiple locations (fingers crossed!), your name will be your currency.
Also, people’s first impression of your pharmacy will come from your business’s name. It’s like shaking someone’s hand when you first meet him or her. Have you ever held someone’s limp hand that felt like wagging a dead fish? Or, have you ever had your fingers crushed by a forceful grip? What impression did you get from each?
Not only does your business’s name affect first impressions, it makes lasting impressions. It’s what sticks (or doesn’t stick) in people’s minds after they’ve seen or encountered your pharmacy.
Does the name make your pharmacy sound like a shop run from someone’s garage? Does it sound like a corporation manned by robots?
Is there a story behind the name?
In the end, what you name your pharmacy at the beginning can make all the difference.
You’ve heard of buyer’s remorse.
Name remorse is much worse. Names are typically permanent. And changing them is a real risk.
You could create confusion and lose potential patients. Maybe a potential patient heard the name from someone in passing and kept meaning to look into it. Now, when she tries to find your business, she can’t.
And, you’ll likely lose most of the interest you’ve garnered and the credibility you’ve gained. You’d have to rebuild from the bottom up.
But if you’re in the position where you’re an established business but want to revamp your brand, sometimes a new name is what the doctor prescribed.
Maybe one of your pharmacists committed fraud. Maybe your pharmacy made a big blunder. Or, perhaps you’re trying to upgrade your pharmacy to the modern age. In any of these instances, a name change could improve your business.
Just make sure to give it considerable thought. It’s not something to do willy-nilly.
Whether you’re naming your first pharmacy or renaming your current one, understanding how to create powerful pharmacy names that stick with patients will make all the difference.
Simplicity helps a name stick.
“When creating a name for your business, it’s important to remove barriers for people. Things like challenging pronunciations and spellings can make it hard for people to remember your brand name,” said Baruch Labunski, CEO of Rank Secure, a web design and internet marketing firm. “If they can’t remember the name, then how will they find you when they need your services?”
Avoid confusion-causing names that have:
Don’t underestimate the sound of a name.
Clunky, ugly sounds can turn off people. While delightful, musical sounds are attractive.
“A sound can create an automatic association for people when they read or hear it,” Labunski said. “If the name sounds good phonetically, then this will also be to your benefit.”
For pharmacies, ugly names often stem from the owners stubbornly sticking with using their name to name the business. Although many owners want to use their last name for the pharmacy, not everyone’s name sounds nice.
That might be a tough truth to swallow. But if your name clangs rather than sings, find another way to name your pharmacy.
Pharmacy names should convey your pharmacy’s essence.
Straight-laced firms like financial institutions need names that convey a conservative, secure, and professional essence. Children’s play places need names that convey fun and imagination.
Would you rush to a bank called Hog Wild? Or, get your children excited about a place called Community America?
One good example is a walk-in health clinic called Zoom+Care. It offers an ultra-modern aesthetic that aims to get people quality care fast. The name conveys that high-speed, high-quality essence that defines the company.
Or, think of SUVs that are all about rugged adventure: Explorer, Land Rover, Wrangler. Get the idea?
Think about what essence you want to communicate to patients. Credible? Caring? Innovative? Community-driven? With that nailed down, you can more easily create a name that fits.
Most pharmacy names include the word “pharmacy” or “drug.” That makes sense. Patients need to know that you’re a pharmacy, not a physician or other healthcare provider.
But creative pharmacy names have more resonance when they convey not the product you offer but the ultimate benefit patients get from your pharmacy.
“Trying to convey the value or benefit of the product or service within the name itself is a great way to create positive affinity,” Labunski said.
For example, patients get drugs to ultimately improve their health. A name that focuses on “health” instead of “drug” creates more powerful and positive feelings.
Consider whether your pharmacy wants to convey more than prescription medication. If health and wellness drives your pharmacy, make sure you get that across in the name. For example, Smith Pharmacy + Wellness or Smith Wellness Pharmacy or Coastal Wellness Pharmacy. If it’s driven by your commitment toward the local community, use words that convey that benefit, such as naming your pharmacy after the area you’re located in.
People increasingly rely on the internet to find retailers and healthcare services.
Or, people find retailers and healthcare services by accident while searching for something related.
In both cases, certain keywords triggered those places to appear on the first page of the search results.
That’s one reason to include the words “pharmacy” or “drug” in your business name.
People search for “pharmacy” more often than “drugstore” or “drug store,” according to monthly search volume data from Google Analytics. So, go with Hudson Pharmacy instead of Hudson Drugstore if you want to go with optimize your search engine results.
In her book, Hello, My Name Is Awesome: How to Create Brand Names That Stick, Alexandra Watkins recommends the acronym SMILE to choose names that stick.
Use this checklist when brainstorming pharmacy names:
Some names box you in. Even if you think your business won’t change much, you don’t know what the future holds.
Did Steve Jobs know Apple would grow from a personal computer company to one of the leading consumer electronics providers in the world? If he’d used the word “computer” in his company name, he would’ve had trouble branching out too far out.
Avoid names that limit your growth, such as names that use a geographical location or with a specific type of service.
Imagine if Apple hadn’t gotten the trademark for its name.
If it had to change its name, what do you think it would cost the company to completely rebrand?
After you’ve established your pharmacy, few things would be as devastating as discovering somebody else owns your name.
So, if you want a name that patients remember, make sure it’s registered.
Creating a name is a taxing responsibility. It may be worth forking over some cash to let an expert name your pharmacy for you.
They can consult with you, review potential good pharmacy names, or provide you with catchy pharmacy names to choose from.
Don’t let the URL (domain name) availability shackle you to certain names. People these days can simply search for your business name and get to your website with one click.
But you should purchase a domain name as soon as you come up with your pharmacy name.
Domain names should match the pharmacy name as close as possible. If your name is taken, consider adding another word that goes along with it.
For example, Smith Drugs could go with smithdrugscompany.com if smithdrugs.com is already taken.
Don’t break the bank for a perfect domain name. But don’t settle for an overly complicated one either.
You don’t have to stare at a blank page when creating your pharmacy name.
Check out these resources to help you create a business name patients will remember:
In fact, there are all kinds of online name generators to choose from.
But your best resources are the people in your community. Don’t be afraid to bounce ideas by the people who will, or already do, use your business. After all, that’s who your pharmacy cares about the most.
With these 10 solid tips, you can become a pharmacy naming whiz. Make patients love your pharmacy name and remember it forever.
PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy side of their businesses. The company is an independently owned pharmacy services organization based in Kansas City, Mo., that serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, expert contract negotiations, distribution services, and more.
PBA Health, an HDA member, operates its own VAWD-certified warehouse with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products.
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