Advertising A Drug Store
( Originally Published 1902 )
For the sake of an opening paragraph drug stores may be divided into two classes, viz.:
Those who cut rates on prescriptions and patent medicines. Those who charge regular prices for prescriptions and patent medicines.
Either class can well afford to advertise. The former class certainly should advertise, for by their cutting prices they place themselves in the multitude of aggressive retailers who are not afraid to apparently lose money and so win an increased volume of trade. That is the stuff the real advertiser is made of, and usually you will find that the cut-rate druggist is a liberal advertiser.
He advertises principally in his local papers. He spends a liberal percentage of his gross income in advertising. In addition to his using the local papers you will notice that he is fond of deluging his neighborhood with circulars and booklets. He is glad to get all the almanacs, show cards and advertising novelties that wholesalers will supply him (always with his name on each article) and nobody can enter or pass his store without being struck with the breezy air of prosperity that envelops not only his establishment, but also his block.
It may be that his conservative neighbor—the druggist on the next block who does not advertise—does a larger and in every way a more satisfactory business. But if he does it is because he has the trade of old families who abhor change and detest commercialism in such an important profession as the druggist's—a profession in, which the lives of people are at stake—a profession in which the correct compounding of a prescription is a matter of extreme importance.
At any rate the druggist should advertise. There is no "code of ethics " governing his case. He can advertise—he can swing himself into the current of American retail progress and although the pace at first may seem a little swift and the hustle distasteful, yet the increased receipts will in a few short months reconcile him to the new condition of affairs.
The points to bring forth in drug store advertising are:—The extreme care and skill with which prescriptions are compounded.
The high standards observed in buying drugs for the store. The many opportunities for saving money.
The long list of varieties.
There is the song—now sing it in all the keys you want. There are the ideas—now clothe them in whatever words you will. Any writer can get inspiration a -plenty in any drug store. The subject is by no means dry.
Now for a wet subject—I mean soda water.
Where is the American drug store without its soda fountain? I have seen a few—in remote corners of the South and West-but in really civilized communities no—never!
As the van-colored light of the drug store is at night a beacon light to a man with a cramp in his stomach, so is the glimpse of the soda fountain a joyful sight to the man with a temperance thirst. The soda fountain is usually so located that it can be seen from the street, which fact alone is a good advertisement in itself.
The soda fountain certainly should be advertised. During the sunny, sweltering and sweaty dog-days a good ad on soda water exercises a Christian Science influence in assuaging thirst—a sort of an absent treatment, as it were. At any rate it plays such an influence with the thirst that the possessor thereof can be tempted to go down to Blank's drug store and enjoy a long, cool egg-nog or some other refreshing quencher.