In my area of New Jersey, Rite Aid Pharmacy's have taken over the Eckerd chain and all Eckerd's will soon be re-branded Rite Aid. I've long wondered what differentiates the different drug store chains in the consumer's mind other than sheer proximity of location - and the communication campaign being employed by Rite Aid in advance of the brand change only confirms my suspicions. Here are 2 pics I took during a recent shopping trip:
"A really good drugstore is about to get better." Why? What is better? What does the Rite Aid brand mean that is different than Eckerd? They have a picture of pharmacists surrounding the Rite Aid logo. Are these pharmacists better than the Eckerd pharmacists? Are they nicer? Are they faster? Are their drugs cheaper? And if so, why the heck have I been shopping at Eckerd with their meaner, less qualified, slower pharmacists that sell me more expensive drugs?
The reality is, none of these are probably true. The 'New' Rite Aid will most likely look exactly the same as the 'Old' Eckerd and will most likely be staffed by the same people. They will sell the same exact drugs at most likely the same exact price.
A change like this seems to be a great opportunity to educate the consumer as to what the Rite Aid brand means. Instead, it looks like they are really only playing a name game.