Purpose – The community pharmacy industry is an increasingly competitive sector, where independent pharmacies must compete with national and multinational chains for market share. Each pharmacy seeks to differentiate and earn customer trust. The purpose of this paper is to seek to better understand the effectiveness of differentiating via developing a unique corporate brand personality in the pursuit of customer trust. Design/methodology/approach – A survey was conducted in a small city in Western Canada. Patients who have recently filled a prescription were asked to assess their perceptions about the brand personality of the pharmacy they last visited, and evaluate how much they trust the pharmacy. Data were analyzed using SPSS and structural equation modeling (SEM). Findings – The results indicated that significant brand personality differences exist among various types of pharmacies. Customers rated independent pharmacies slightly more trustworthy than multinational mass merchandise and national chain pharmacies. SEM analysis revealed that sincerity and competence have the most significant impact on building customer trust. Originality/value – The findings suggest that independent pharmacies may be able to differentiate themselves by developing a brand personality that is competent and sincere, whereby they earn the trust from their customers. The authors' findings also suggest that a sophisticated appearance might be an expensive option that does not provide satisfactory return on the investment.
International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 6, 2011
Keywords: Canada; Community pharmacy; Brand personality; Customer trust; Differentiation; Competitive advantage; Structural equation models