business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The Associated Press has a story about how the CVS takeover of Target's pharmacy business has not gone completely smoothly, with consumers finding that one change has been less than optimal.

According to the story, "distraught customers have been asking - in some cases begging - the drugstore chain to bring back the retailer's red prescription bottles, which came with color-coded rings, labeling on the top and prescription information that was easier to read."

The Target bottle design "was considered groundbreaking when it debuted about a decade ago," the story says. "Target flipped bottle design on its head when it introduced in 2005 a red container with the opening on the bottom. That allowed the label to wrap around the top so it could be seen from above. It included a flat surface that customers found easier to read than the curve of a typical pill bottle, and it came with color-coded rings for the neck to help family members quickly tell their medicines apart."

CVS says that it is "working on designing a new system for dispensing prescriptions and helping people stay on their medications," but has not said it will bring back the Target bottle design.

Now, I'm no expert on the subject of medication dispensing. But it seems to me that at some level, this ought to be a no-brainer ... especially since Target's pharmacy customers seem so passionate about the old bottle design.

Sometimes customers hand you a gift. They tell you in unambiguous terms how you can be relevant to them, how you can do something that will resonate in their lives. In this case, they're not asking you to invent something new ... just to bring back something they loved.

As I say, that's a gift. It is an Eye-Opener. And CVS would do well to unwrap it, embrace it, and make the change.
KC's View: