Wasson, Anderson address NACDS’ policy goals
PALM BEACH, Fla. — “We are writing history, and you are historic figures.” That was a key message that Steve Anderson, National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO, had for community pharmacy during Sunday morning’s business session at NACDS Annual Meeting as the association celebrates its 80th anniversary. Prior to Anderson taking the stage, Greg Wasson, out-going chairman of the NACDS board and president and CEO of Walgreens, made his state of the industry remarks.
Wasson discussed the key developments over the past 12 months that reflect the positive standing of community pharmacy services, but also called for ever-strong participation, innovation and communication going forward. Wasson urged for continued participation in the NACDS RxImpact Day, for community pharmacy to encourage more policymakers to visit pharmacy locations and for further contribution to the NACDS Political Action Committee. Wasson also highlighted the importance of the upcoming Total Store Expo.
“NACDS is absolutely on the right track, and we’re headed in the right direction, which is positioning community pharmacy as the face of neighborhood health care. And I can assure you that the association is transforming itself as all of us are transforming our businesses as well,” Wasson told attendees of the business program, which was supported by GlaxoSmithKline.
Making this year’s keynote address was author and journalist Daniel H. Pink, who shared his insights on the art and science of selling and the “ABCs” of moving and persuading others.
Kicking off his state of the association address, Anderson read from a 1938 progress report delivered by then-NACDS secretary F.J. Griffiths of Pennsylvania Drug Co. and reflected on the first five years of NACDS.
Anderson then held up NACDS’ approach to the current rendition of healthcare reform as an example of living up to the NACDS founders’ vision for an aggressive and forward-thinking association, and Anderson discussed what he sees as a key challenge — inconsistency in government policy.
“I have talked before about our all-branches and all-levels of government approach to advocacy. Now we must go deeper: beyond reaching every branch of government to reaching — and convincing — every bastion of government, each entrenched corner of Congress, governmental departments and agencies that holds to its own beliefs, despite the existence of a better way,” Anderson told attendees. “Today’s era of healthcare reform makes my case. Here’s my proposition for you this morning. The healthcare reform experience has validated the proactive approach of NACDS. Yet our successes expose ever-greater challenges that lie ahead.”
Anderson told attendees that, while the industry has celebrated such significant advancements as the Congressional Budget Office’s recognition that increased medication adherence in Medicare Part D generates savings and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services talking publicly about the importance of boosting adherence as a Medicare cost-saver, there’s still much work to be done.
“There’s that matter of inconsistent policy that I talked about. We got hit with an example of that just 10 days ago — when the Obama administration released its fiscal year 2014 budget proposal,” Anderson said, referring to the proposed changes in the calculation of federal upper limits for Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement under average manufacturer price.
Anderson stressed that NACDS will continue to defend against new attempts to cut Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement, will work to further advance medication therapy management and will maintain an aggressive member communications campaign.
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Reaching a multicultural market
Understanding the needs of the multicultural marketplace, personal care company Sundial Brands, the maker of SheaMoisture, is working to take a new general market positioning at retail. Richelieu Dennis, founder and CEO of Sundial Brands, talked with Drug Store News about the brand’s heritage and how it is catering to the needs of its customers.
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DSN: What is the story behind the creation of SheaMoisture brand?
Richelieu Dennis: SheaMoisture is and always will be a family brand. Its humble beginning began when Sofi Tucker was widowed with four children at 19 years old. To support her family, she sold her handmade shea butter soaps and other natural products all over the countryside in Sierra Leone. As Sofi’s grandson, I grew up watching her make her creations. Sofi shared her recipes with me and taught me how to make her natural remedies. I created the SheaMoisture brand, and made it my mission to keep four generations of family skin and hair care recipes alive and share them with families around the world. SheaMoisture became Sofi’s legacy. The brand originally was sold at street fairs and to street vendors. SheaMoisture’s popularity grew through word-of-mouth, caught the attention of mass market retailers, and is now carried at Target, Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid, among others. The brand’s products have garnered more than 25 beauty awards from top publications.
DSN: What makes the brand unique and what has been key to the brand’s success?
Dennis: Our focus goes beyond beauty — to the health and wellness of our consumers, which is of great importance to us, including educating them about the benefits of the unique, natural and certified-organic ingredients we use. … Our marketing efforts have been focused on building brand loyalty through this direct customer connection. We actively engage our audience through both social media channels and grassroots marketing, and rely on the word-of-mouth recommendations of community influencers to spread the gospel about the excellence of products through consumer reviews. While we also do traditional marketing and industry seeding, we’ve found that our consumers are heavily influenced by the thriving online community of like-minded consumers and a grassroots approach with events and shows.
DSN: I understand that Sundial is taking a new general market positioning with the SheaMoisture brand. Can you elaborate?
Dennis: According to the Census Bureau, in the year ended July 31, 2011, African-Americans, Latinos and other minorities accounted for 50.4% of all births. Demographic shifts indicate that by 2040, the non-Caucasian population will equal the Caucasian population. The profile of a typical shopper will evolve in age, family size, family income and, most importantly, the nature of their unmet needs. At SheaMoisture, we refer to this emerging category as the ‘New General Market.’ Marketing to this emerging majority requires a culturally astute approach that demonstrates an understanding of each group’s unique needs, particularly in the personal care segment. Historically, multiethnic consumers have shopped local beauty supply stores, while being relegated to the ‘ethnic’ set in both drug and mass retailers for their personal care needs. However, the ‘ethnic’ set is just a small part of the spend; today the buying power and influence of the emerging multicultural and ‘ethnic’ consumer is undeniable. We take a problem/solution approach to hair and skin care; ethnicity doesn’t play into our product development, but hair and skin care needs do. Ethnic consumers are starting to see themselves and their needs represented in all channels. At SheaMoisture, we’ve embraced this new category through these key steps: understanding consumer wants, needs and drivers; listening to customer demands; and responding via one-on-one engagement.
DSN: What is important for retailers to understand about this new approach?
Dennis: It’s important to understand that consumers — regardless of skin color — require products that target specific skin and hair care solutions for their special needs, but they want flexibility and versatility in their looks and styles, especially in hair care to wear their hair natural, straight, etc. … Marketing efforts should reflect encouraging women and men to embrace their unique beauty. … Retailers also should embrace the health and wellness lifestyle shift by the New General Market consumer. African, Latino and Asian have been underserved traditionally in the mass market in terms of availability of products with natural ingredients. It’s interesting to note that Americans of color actually skew more green-minded than whites, according to Packaged Facts. These consumers are looking for products that speak to their quest for ‘green,’ therapeutic and healthy personal care products. Supporting natural product offerings with education and social engagement helps consumers understand the origin and benefits of ingredients that cater to their specific skin and hair care needs.
DSN: In what ways can Sundial help retailers effectively implement this new general market approach and be successful?
Dennis: SheaMoisture is uniquely positioned to partner with retailers on this New General Market. With a heritage built on serving and satisfying the unmet needs of consumers, SheaMoisture not only brings a loyal group of followers, but also it understands and identifies with the transcending consumer influences at play. …
DSN: What new products recently launched?
Dennis: We’ve recently launched our SheaMoisture Ammonia-free Hair Color System ‘The Art of Color,’ with 12 vibrant permanent colors and natural and certified organic ingredients. Encouraging self-expression through hair color and creatively connecting personal style with contemporary art, each color hue box features an original watercolor painting by artist Michael Jamal.
We also launched Kids’ Hair Care for curly, thick hair, including Mango & Carrots Kids Extra-Nourishing Shampoo, Mango & Carrots Kids Extra-Nourishing Conditioner, Coconut & Hibiscus Extra-Moisturizing Detangler, and Coconut & Hibiscus Kids Curling Butter Cream.
To expand on our successful Men’s Shave and Groom Collection, we launched Men’s Groom Hair Care, including Three Butters Utility Shampoo, Utility Scalp Conditioner, Styling Smoothie, Utility Gel Mousse and Styling Pomade.
We expanded our women’s hair care collection with Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner, Curl & Shine Conditioner and Curl & Shine Frizz-Free Mousse, as well as Raw Shea Transitioning Milk, Damage Repair Hair & Scalp Serum and Moisture Retention Detangler.
Lastly, we’ve launched Facial Skin Care this year, including Coconut & Hibiscus Spot Corrector Moisturizer with Songyi Mushroom, Coconut & Hibiscus Spot Correcting Serum with Songyi Mushroom, Raw Shea Butter Anti-Aging Moisturizer, African Black Soap Problem Skin Toner with Tamarind & Tea Tree Oil and African Black Soap Problem Skin Moisturizer with Tamarind & Tea Tree Oil.
Nice share, a product being sold on streets became an brand. Its really inspiring to read. I haven't used this product but now looking forward to try one.