Walgreens was in the development phase of many projects. They were executing a brand refresh with a new logo, look and tagline while building assets for a content management system for the launch of a new website to attract customers with a loyalties program offering individualized specials based off their buying habits. This was happening simultaneously while executing coded HTML pages that reflected weekly specials that aligned with the in-store printed fliers
Walgreens was in a rapid growth phase buying other smaller drugstore chains to get in the various regions of the country (like Duane Reade on the East Coast). These competitors offered prime real estate locations in areas where Walgreens had no footprint. The 100-year-old chain wanted a fresh look that reflected the convenience of shopping at these new locations and include the branding statement tagline "at the corner of happy and healthy"
At the time, Walgreens specials offers were dictated by the home office, changed weekly and were sent the print advertising department and the digital department every Friday. Each department would build the advertising independently with the digital department building an inventory of small digital assets for use online. The specials were divided into a variety of product categories: photo, pharmaceuticals, senior care, etc. I worked in the health and beauty division
The weekly HTML pages were designed and proofed, sliced and released on Thursday to be uploaded by the content coder. These HTML pages were live on Sunday morning with the printed fliers delivered at the stores. The launch of the loyalty program gave Walgreens a profile of customer buying habits, so they could align special offers to coincide with their buying needs. Why offer a single guy a buying special on tampons and baby formula? Offer the gentleman a special that he can take advantage of AND allow him to build up points that he can redeem on products in the future
The push was to build out as much digital content as possible to build a database that could align with all the products in the store AND include products that are only available shopping online. One might be very surprised to find what one can buy online at Walgreens that is not found at the store
The Walgreens points program was one of the most innovative buying programs when it was launched. Shopper loyalty rose and it increased the ability to offer meaningful buyer specials. It did have its drawback — not everyone likes to have their purchases tracked thus there was a plethora of bogus buyer accounts. Regardless, the program was very successful with other competitors offering similar programs to compete
Walgreens changed the program considerably on how the program worked. The original program allowed individuals to save up points — a lot of them. That was capped off to a one-year accumulation after the program had been in place for five years. The points' allotment on various items also changed with prescriptions bought online except from points accumulation. They also capped the amount of points on prescriptions purchased in store to 50,000. Prescriptions in US can be very expensive
The new tagline was overwhelmingly rejected by the public with reviews that were hilarious to read but intensely negative with shopping reviews that were highly critical and caustic. They were obviously not at the corner of happy or healthy