Lloyds Pharmacy, the 1,400-strong retail chain, is making its first foray into above-the-line advertising as part of a 70m rebranding campaign.
Nick Stokes, Lloyds Pharmacy marketing director, says: “From mid- to late summer we will be looking for an agency with a view to activity starting in 1999.”
Pharmacies formerly known as Hills, Lloyds Chemists and Savory & Moore are being renamed Lloyds Pharmacy. The company plans to rebrand 400 sites by October, at a cost of 20m. The project is expected to take three years.
Stokes says a large proportion of the stores will have to be rebranded before the company embarks on an ad campaign. “Once we have year one off the ground, we will move into above-the-line advertising. We will create a budget where we haven’t traditionally had one.” He refused to estimate the ad spend.
In the same industry sector, Boots spends almost 24m a year advertising its stores and products, while Superdrug spends just over 3m each year (MAT to the fourth quarter 1997 ACNielsen-MEAL).
The rebranding, to be undertaken by Design House, supports the chain’s positioning as a community pharmacy.
Future plans include the relaunch of own-label lines. They will be positioned as a lower price, quality competitor to the mainstream brands. There will also be a cheap tertiary label, not branded as Lloyds Pharmacy, in low-income areas.
The company is considering introducing a loyalty card, but it will not be using it to offer money-off purchases. Instead, it will act more like a privilege card, according to Stokes.
See News Analysis, page 21