Brian Nightengale, President, Good Neighbor Pharmacy

Q&A with Brian Nightengale, President, Good Neighbor Pharmacy

By John Bruce, PharmD, CEO WSPC and Brian Nightengale, RPh, PhD, President,
Good Neighbor Pharmacy

At ThoughtSpot 2018, you announced the redesign of the Good Neighbor Pharmacy program structure. Why were these changes made? Last year, we conducted in-depth market research with pharmacists and patients from across the country to gain insight into how the marketplace was changing. We used this research to supplement our existing knowledge built from years of firsthand learning.

One of the biggest lessons we learned was that the Good Neighbor Pharmacy program today is foundationally solid, but it was difficult to navigate all 76 different solutions that compose the program. With significant input from our Good Neighbor Pharmacy National Advisors, Sales Advisory Council, and other internal and external partners, we have reorganized our solutions into a simple, tiered program structure built around four value centers: In-store experience, marketing, managed care, and business performance.

How will these changes impact our members? Most of the solutions we offer will remain the same, but the way we are approaching them is fundamentally different. We learned from our research that your members primarily look to us for help simplifying their business operations, amplifying their brand and protecting their independence. I believe this is where they need the most support from us and where they derive the most value from our partnership.

We are looking at our solutions with fresh eyes to see how each one can be used more effectively to achieve these goals. Most notably, we have experts with deep industry knowledge of retail pharmacy—from business coaches and managed care directors to merchandisers and advertising managers—integrated into each value center to ensure your members are getting the most out of the Good Neighbor Pharmacy program.

Will this help our members prepare for the shift we are seeing in the marketplace? Yes, the new program structure is designed to help your members be as strong as possible in today’s environment while positioning them to thrive in the future. We firmly believe that the way for them to thrive is by leveraging their independence, so they can stand out as a one-of-a-kind destination for personalized care in their community. We are focused on embracing what makes them unique so they can further differentiate their pharmacy.

Retail experts agree that consumers today are becoming less and less interested in buying stuff. Instead, they are craving a unique and personalized shopping experience that offers an emotional connection. I believe this also holds true to their expectations of their health and wellness experiences.

WSPC members are already providing that unique experience with the localized products they sell and personalized patient care services they offer. The changes we are making will not only make that more apparent, but will also help them attract new consumers and patients who are seeking that experience.

“I want my patients and customers to embrace my uniqueness and value our relationship with each other, making my pharmacy a one-of-a-kind destination offering that personal healthcare touch. I want them to know this is their Apothecary Shoppe and it is powered by Good Neighbor Pharmacy.”

– Kevin DeMass, RPh, President and CEO, Apothecary Shoppe, Inc., and Chairman of the Board, Western States Pharmacy Coalition

How can our members capitalize on this trend? As we announced at ThoughtSpot 2018, we are making changes to our marketing and signage programs that will give your members more flexibility to showcase their distinctive brand. They will have more control over how they present their pharmacy to their community, whether that is solely their brand, the Good Neighbor Pharmacy brand, or a combination of the two. And we will help them bring that vision to life in a consistent, authentic, and memorable way across all platforms.

In terms of signage, we are adding more flexibility to our Good Neighbor Pharmacy signage requirements so your members can customize the inside and outside of the stores to suit their brand. We are also shifting from traditional broadcast advertising to digital and social media advertising. Not only will your members be able to put their brand front and center, but they can also use platforms like Google and Facebook to extend their reach into their community with powerful targeting capabilities that connect them with more people within a defined radius of their pharmacy. And just as important, we will still be providing brand and marketing expertise, content support and data analytics to ensure that each member is gaining as much as possible from their marketing investments.

“In todays’ business environment, we need to put ourselves out there in a more sophisticated, productive and efficient way. With the new Good Neighbor Pharmacy marketing program, we will truly be more effective at delivering our independent message. It will not only enhance our branding, but also give us the practical steps we need to take to accomplish our marketing goals.”

– Trish White, Owner and Pharmacist, White’s Pharmacy and Harry Race Pharmacy

When will these program changes go into effect? We are currently piloting various strategies for custom signage, Google paid search and Facebook advertising with select groups of Good Neighbor Pharmacy members and will continue through August. We will then determine which tactics and platforms performed best and will provide your members with an optimal return on their marketing investment. New advertising and signage models will be finalized and communicated later this year with a plan to launch in January 2019.

What should our members do in the interim to prepare for the changes ahead? They should spend some time nurturing their social media accounts and optimizing their online presence. Our goal is to make the transition to digital and social advertising as smooth as possible, and we will have a better chance of succeeding together if everyone is familiar with the latest functionality of Facebook, Instagram and the like. I encourage them to visit to find tips and best practices on how to enhance their social media skills.

“I am so excited about our transition to a digital/social era of advertising and the ability to reach significantly more potential patients and customers with digital/social advertising dollars compared to traditional broadcast advertising of the past.”

– Kevin DeMass, RPh, President and CEO, Apothecary Shoppe, Inc., and Chairman of the Board, Western States Pharmacy Coalition

What can our members expect in the future? These program changes—from the large platform shifts down to the smallest tactical adjustments—are all driven by our steadfast commitment to your members and their patients. Good Neighbor Pharmacy will continue to evolve because their needs are constantly evolving. This is just one step on a long journey. We will continue to refine our programs based on the feedback we receive and develop new tools and services that enable all WSPC members to be the strongest version of themselves and thrive as the preferred health and wellness destination in the communities that they serve.