CHS Community Pharmacy branding & e-commerce
Since 2006 Community Health Solution LLC (CHS) - part of the Pharmatrade group - has been running several pharmacy outlets in the UAE. The specialised shops - known as 'Community Pharmacy' - are located in communities such as Remraam, Dubai Marina and Motor City. In addition to having physical stores, CHS was one of the first pharmacies in the UAE to launch an e-commerce website. Unfortunately once finalised, the site had become more informative and less retail, focusing on the physical shops and the companies' overall purpose.
In light of COVID-19 and knowing that more and more people are buying their goods online, CHS wanted to enhance the availability of health & care products in the UAE and improve its online presence by reconsidering the current Community Pharmacy website and brand.
Over the past months, CHS and I have been on a journey from start to go-live; together we worked step-by-step to create a distinguishing brand and user-friendly e-commerce platform.
1. Brand & market research
Looking for the empty space in the market
We started the process with both desk and field research. Having in mind that there are many pharmacies in the UAE, both big & small, it was important to find unique differentiators. I interviewed the Management Team, analysed questionnaires and researched the existing Community Pharmacy brand to discover true distinctive company values. Furthermore, I investigated trends & developments, the competitors & their brand positioning, and the various target audiences and their needs & behaviours to find the empty space in the market; the place where opportunities exist. During a meeting, we jointly discussed all findings and chose the ingredients for a differentiating approach.
3. Brand identity development guidance
A new look & feel
After the brand strategy phase, a decision was made to change the name to CHS Community Pharmacy to better link the pharmacies with the overarching company. The next step was to develop an identity that meets the renewed brand and name. I was asked to brief and guide the graphic designer to ensure that the face of the brand would fit its heart & soul. During a meeting, several logo concepts were presented and concept number 1, called 'Smile', was then fine-tuned further into a final identity with collaterals such as signboards, shopping bags, letterheads and social media avatars. Everything was captured in a brand identity guideline document.
5. E-commerce platform development
UI/UX design and development guidance
With the guidelines determined during the workshop in mind, the web developer then started the process of creating the wireframes - the blueprint - of each page. From there, the design layer was added and after final approval, the development team started turning the designs into a fully functional website. CHS Community Pharmacy asked me to guide and steer the entire website development phase, from scratch to go-live. Knowing how to speak the language of both a developer and a project manager, I helped coordinate the entire process, challenged issues and choices, engaged in testing and most of all I aimed to ensure that the new e-commerce platform is user friendly and in line with the brand.
7. Marketing strategy
The search for effective channels & strategies
To ensure that people will get to know about the refreshed CHS Community Pharmacy brand and its new e-commerce platform, I determined the marketing approach. While every person needs health & care products we chose to narrow down this big group of people and select a primary target audience to communicate with. This way, we can specifically target their needs & behaviours and address them via their preferred channels. The strategy focused on how to retain current customers and attract new ones, and how to increase their lifetime value. Several tactics were considered and a final choice was made based on whether it fits the brand, the chance of gaining traction among the audience and, of course, budget to prevent CHS from spending money on ineffective channels.
2. Brand strategy, positioning & tone-of-voice
Defining our true essence
Based on the research and our joint decisions the brand strategy was created. The starting point was to build upon the friendly & caring reputation of Community Pharmacy and leverage insights to get all details right. The vision - 'to improve the well-being of every life we touch and contribute to a happier, healthier community' - serves as a guiding light. As a tagline, we chose 'Get well. Stay healthy. Feel good.' to highlight the purpose of CHS' products and existence. To make the strategy more tangible I put effort into describing what each element of the brand means in the daily life of every employee. The strategy was very well received and one of the team members immediately said: "This is us from A-Z".
4. Wireframe & functionalities workshop
Setting the framework for e-commerce
As a starting point for developing the e-commerce platform, I hosted a 4-hour workshop with the website builder and CHS Community Pharmacy's internal team. I prepared several best practices in website design & user experience and other insights to help fine-tune the online platform. Together, we described the journey a customer will go through from entering the website until after-sales. By defining each step we discussed how to enhance the user experience. After the workshop, we had a clear overview of the essential functionalities, the website structure & navigation, the customer journey & experience and we had even created the first wireframes.
6. Brand story & web content creation
All copy and imagery ready for go-live
While the builder was working on the wireframes, I started creating the web content. It was essential to have all text & images in place before the design layer was added. To start this process properly, I analysed the keywords people search for on the internet to incorporate these terms in the copy. This will help CHS Community Pharmacy with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). From there, I created the copy for among others the About us page, the Upload prescription page and the FAQ. Together with the graphic designer and CHS' project manager, all images were selected. Lastly, I created the email messages that will be sent out when a website visitor creates an account, changes a password, places an order, and more.
8. Brand management & gatekeeping
Consistency, consistency, consistency
As both CHS Community Pharmacy and I are keen to turn the new brand and e-commerce platform into a success we jointly concluded that the go-live is definitely not the end of our collaboration.
CHS asked me to be involved in helping manage the brand to keep it consistent. This includes guiding employees, checking marketing materials and other forms of communication, and briefing & guiding third parties (such as digital marketing agencies) that work with the brand. I am very excited about this role as a consultant and a gatekeeper and I can't wait to see CHS Community Pharmacy's progress and growth. In fact, in the first four months we have seen significant growth in the Google search rankings and e-commerce orders.
A word from Hanadie Zondervan-Sheikh,
E-commerce manager at CHS Community Pharmacy
"I honestly don’t know where to start when it comes to recommending Sylvia.
She has played a crucial role when CHS decided to transform from a brick and mortar retailer to an online business. Not only did we develop an e-commerce platform from scratch, but we also decided to refresh the CHS brand, both online and offline. Sylvia was involved in all facets, from start to finish.
Her expertise in branding, brand strategy, marketing, and content creation is unmatched. She challenges you, sharpens your focus and goes the extra mile to ensure everything will be on-brand. In the process, she, for instance, guided the web developer to not only get the technical details right but to also secure that our e-commerce platform is customer friendly and in line with our renewed brand.
Sylvia works fast, is versatile, has an exceptional eye for detail and she is a very pleasant personality, which makes working with her a fantastic experience.
If you want to do a branding, marketing or e-commerce project, hire Sylvia. It will lift your project up from good to GREAT."