Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Turn your weaknesses into strengths

I was at a Walgreens today picking up a prescription. Now I should mention that I am not a fan of Walgreens but it was just across the street from my doctor and I am a big fan of convenience. Nothing against Walgreens BTW, just that whole industry bugs me. I am also, BTW, not a big fan of needing prescriptions but anyway, I digress.

I went to the window that said "Drop Off". Surprisingly, it was just next to the window that said "Pick Up". I give them points for simple instructions. Anyway, I was mildly annoyed by the fact that there was just one person there so I wondered why they need two windows.

I handed in my prescription, they made a copy of my insurance card and told me it would take 15 minutes. Also mildly annoying because they're just picking something off the shelf not grinding stuff with a mortar and pestle. But no big deal. The woman was nice and the interaction was quick and efficient. More points for Walgreens.

So I sat down and waited. After a few minutes I looked to my right and one of the chairs in my row had a Homedics chair massage attachment. Walgreens had a sign above it listing the price with some other info. You could sit in the chair and get a demo of this product (i.e., a massage).

Well now my boring wait for a prescription (weakness) turned into free massage time (strength). I briefly entertained buying one. In the end, I didn't. But that's not the point. They turned the wait into a value-add moment for me. And I will remember that. Even better is the fact that they actually sell that product. Some people will buy it. But everyone who sits in that chair will remember Walgreens fondly.

o.b. Tampons is another example. o.b. doesn't have an applicator. I'm told that for many women, this is a weakness. They like the applicator. But o.b. turns it around into a strength in their communication (see their website). They make it about discretion and comfort because of the smaller size and they talk about the environmental angle because there is less waste. Not everyone will appreciate that, just like some people would rather get their prescription faster and forego the free massage. But Walgreens and o.b. don't need everybody. They have each turned a weakness into a strength. Which seems like a pretty good idea to me.

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