13 Mar Winning Platform
We share some of the 2018 Link success stories and thank UPD staff for their role in helping to build a strong platform for Link.
The UPD executive, including MD Vikash Singh, made a point of visiting Link pharmacies to either learn or add value. The commitment of Link pharmacies was evident through improved compliance levels which, together with Link’s financial performance, allowed UPD to increase investment in Link. Growing attendance at country-wide CREW meetings, where pharmacy owners often travelled long distances to engage with Link, showing an increased commitment to the brand.
For the second consecutive year, Link was rated TOP community pharmacy brand by independent consumer research conducted by Sunday Times / Sowetan. A brand is nothing without great products. In the same survey, Link was identified as having great products. The persistence in growing Link Own Brand has paid off. The patient-centric brand promise was truly lived by our Link pharmacies. This was clearly evidenced by endorsements received from patients, right through to Facebook complimenting us on the speed in which we responded to social media posts. We also saw a movement towards “centres of excellence”, including clinics where appropriate, that amplified our promise of a patient-centric eco-system.
What else has UPD delivered to support Link’s growth? DotActive is now available for qualifying pharmacies in order to improve performance and patients’ shopping experience. We also have two very special products in pilot phase. Link Loyalty is guaranteed to win patients’ hearts with airtime, data and discount vouchers. And LinkMed will win our patients’ minds with a professional solution to medical aid woes. That is what we are aiming for – winning the hearts and minds of Link communities!
Through UPD Exports and a customised proposition for independent pharmacies in this market, we acquired a strong inflow of new members. We are also excited about our successful incursion into independent hospitals, creating a new channel for Link. Link has close to 200 Link pharmacies and with the kind of value being offered, we expect to become a sought-after home for other community pharmacies and continue to grow as the most admired community pharmacy brand for patients. The year 2018 certainly set the scene. The UPD team and Link pharmacists demonstrated tenacity and resilience, resulting in Link once again being recognised as the most admired independent community pharmacy in South Africa – something we intend achieving in 2019 again!