Chick-Fil-A (CFA) doesn’t make many mistakes. However, I noticed a big marketing mistake after a recent trip, and I see pharmacies make it all the time too.
Butchering A Good Strategy
Knowing a strategy and implementing it incorrectly is the same as not knowing at all. Proper implementation is the key to success. Mistakes made when taking action are often why strategies fail. It is not because the idea or tactic wasn’t good. It is just a user error. Unfortunately, many marketing mistakes are made, which can give pharmacy owners the myth that marketing doesn’t work.
These failures due to errors are why the most essential trait for a pharmacy owner is perseverance. Completing multiple trials and errors is what makes you better. Persevering through these fires is what will get you to success. If you have ever tried to start something that didn’t work and then gave up, you might want to try it again. Ask around and get advice on the implementation part. Chances are minor tweaks will make a monumental difference.
Even the “big boys” make mistakes, which leads me to my recent visit to CFA.
What Went Wrong
I am a fan of CFA. Their Chick-Fil-A Sauce brings immense joy to my life. If I weren’t a marketing nerd and serial entrepreneur, I wouldn’t have noticed anything wrong with my visit.
After visiting my newest pharmacy in Oklahoma, I was on my way back home to Texas. I decided to drive through CFA for a late lunch. It was going amazingly well, as it usually does, except until the end.
I got my bag, pulled away, looked inside, and saw a bag stuffer. I immediately shook my head in disgust. CFA took a perfectly fantastic strategy and butchered it by doing it wrong! Bag stuffers are one of the most effective and least costly promotional strategies you can use. AND they will only be effective if you do them right.
So, to help all pharmacy owners, I will go through what CFA did right and wrong when implementing their bag stuffer program.
Bag Stuffers 101
Here’s a picture of my bag and the bag stuffer inside. If you have been following me for a while, you might immediately notice mistake #1.
Let’s go through what they did right.
What Chick-Fil-A Did Right
- They used a bright colored paper
- It is easy to read and get their message right away
- Asking customers to be employees
- They gave one to everyone (this is an assumption as I got one, and I did nothing special)
- Clear call to action (if I wanted a job, I know what I am supposed to do)
These are essential aspects they did correctly. Now, let’s highlight what marketing mistakes they made.
What Chick-Fil-A Did Wrong
- The bag stuffer was inside the bag, not on the outside
- No verbal mention of it or encouragement to look at it
That’s it?!? Yes, that is all they did wrong, yet missing those two points will significantly decrease this strategy’s effectiveness.
Correcting The Marketing Mistake
Bag stuffers are definitely worth doing. They are one of the lowest-cost strategies and are effective if you follow the rules. Let’s go over my rules for the proper use of bag stuffers.
Rules For Bag Stuffers
- Print on bright colored paper
- Change the color and messaging each month
- Give one to everyone at every transaction (Yes, even if they were in yesterday)
- Have a clear message about what you want the reader to do (call to action)
- Put the bag stuffer on the outside of the bag (stapling or tape)
- Verbally mention the bag stuffer, and you can vary the conversation based on the busyness or specific circumstances
By following each of these rules, you will get the most results for your efforts.
I want to point out some tactics I didn’t mention as rules.
No, you do not have to print in color. Print your message in black on bright-colored paper. This allows you to save money on printing or ink and the bright colored paper is more catchy than colored printing anyway.
You also do not need to have professionally designed bag stuffers. You can easily create them in Canva or Word. For members of our Pharmacy Badass University, we have many templates you can easily use to make your own, and as a member, you can also request a custom one.
Ideas for Bag Stuffers
Many pharmacy owners ask me what information they should put on the bag stuffers. I recommend putting new and exciting services or products on bag stuffers. Sometimes, it can be helpful to put informational content such as a change in hours. Typically, I focus on revenue generation content for bag stuffers.
Here’s a list of the most recent bag stuffers in my pharmacies:
- 8 Free COVID At Home Tests
- 100% Money-Back Guarantee for Ananda PM Blend (sleep CBD)
- Free 15-Second Nitric Oxide Test
- Worker’s Compensation Prescriptions
- Pet Medications
- Compounding Hormones
If you have tried bag stuffers with limited positive results in the past, now may be the time to try again. Make sure to follow each rule as you get a synergistic outcome when you follow all the rules. Here’s a past article that dives into bag stuffer best practices.
Please reach out with any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.