Walgreen's Be Well slogan: prescription or placebo?

Walgreen LogoI dropped in at Walgreens recently, picked up a few items to help me battle a wretched cold, and the woman at the cash register thanked me and said, "Be well." I felt like she really meant it and I almost stopped in my tracks.

I've been kind of mad at Walgreens for an issue some years ago, but I relented my one-person boycott in favor of convenience.

But that "Be Well" farewell made me feel good.

I'll be back.

Slogan or something else?
Walgreens is a huge company. And they've taken some hits in the media for requiring employees to say goodbye to customers with the well wish. Some have said it's awful that employees should be forced to falsely wish someone well... that it's stressful on the employee.

Is it any more stressful to say "have a nice day" when you don't feel like it?Walgreens Stay Well image for a healthy brand

There's a Facebook page asking Walgreens employees to weigh in with their opinion about saying "Be Well" to customers. There are lots of comments and lots of likes. To be fair, it looks like opinons fall about 50/50.

Somthing healthier at work
I think Walgreens is on the right track. From my in-store experience, the updated merchandise mix, Take Care Clinic and more focus on health all througout the store, their brand feels authentic.

But is it real through and through? Are they translating it to their internal brand? I hope so. If it were up to me, I'd make sure that managers—from the C-suite to the store level—truly want employees to Be Well. Here are some ways they could say it and prove it:

  • Healthy snacks in employee break rooms
  • Discounts at fitness centers for employees and their families
  • Ergonomic designs for work areas
  • Free flu shots for employees
  • A safe place to lock up if employees want to commute on bikes
  • Health screenings and education for all employees
  • Occasional surprise rewards—catch the employees doing things right
  • Ask the employees what they need to live healthier, happier lives—then help them do it

Walgreens also must recruit for employees who want to help others Be Well. Then provide ongoing internal training and communication.

If they can execute at every store—and I think they can—they'll see more of me. They'll also see healthier loyalty, sales and profits.

Are you doing all you can to create a healthy internal brand? Call Martha Bartlett Piland (direct) 785.969.6203 for some diagnosis and action.

tags: internal brand, culture, training, employee engagment, profit, loyalty



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