Majority of the medicine-buying experience in India is a simple unconscious trade activity of handing over the prescription, getting the medicine, and paying for it. It is not buyers, but doctors and pharma companies are responsible for such a transactional buying experience. Not many would try to read the gibberish that doctor has prescribed and nor would they take effort to understand the critical components of the medicines. In such a scenario, you'd expect the medical shop owner/representative to inform the buyer about the contents of drugs.
Unfortunately, they are least interested because that's against their interest as they get higher cut on the branded medicines that doctors usually prescribe.
General Physicians usually prescribe medicine without explaining the content to the patient, and especially in India, doctors are never questioned on their prescriptions. It is so because people trust them blindly and follow their advice strictly when it comes to buying and consuming medicines. Unfortunately, this puts doctors and pharmaceutical companies in a profitable position to exploit the buyers.
To counter this, we, at Medkart, have come up with our unique AAA philosophy in an attempt to change the way how buyers shop medicines. The idea behind introducing this philosophy is to induce a behavioral change and a prescription lifecycle entirely. As mentioned above, we are putting efforts to create Awareness at every level of consumption lifecycle.
Therefore, our first point in philosophy is 'Awareness'.
- What do we mean by Awareness?
What we mean is that we try to create Awareness about the generics in the market. Generic medicines are the one that has the same content as the branded ones but they are not labelled like the latter. Most of these generics are made in the same facilities and by the same companies as the branded ones. The only difference – it eliminates the nexus of Medical Representatives and Doctors/Hospitals. Knowing about suitable and a cheaper alternative of the branded medicines is the first step towards changing the buying behaviour for good. What we are incentivizing with this Awareness is the amount of money a buyer will save cumulatively if s/he is buying medicines month-on-month basis.
Now that there is Awareness and people want to try it, the generics should be at the buyer's disposal. That's when our next step in philosophy comes to play – Availability
What is Availability?
Medkart currently runs 30 stores across eight cities to make generics available readily across larger masses. The idea behind the easy availability of generics is to enable marketing of the generics for customers to turn Evangelists as they create a chain of Awareness. We are doing this in three ways –The first way, as mentioned, includes mass Awareness at the walk-ins we have. It is with a hope that such an aware mass will further spread the knowledge as an enforcer and create a chain of such well-informed citizen who will look for the availability once they have acquired an awareness. And the last step after the string of cognizance is that of the Guerrilla marketing. Our team goes for the ground activations and spark Awareness amongst larger groups and analyzes their reactions to understand the market better. And once they use such generics and see the effects, they will accept it.
That's what leads us to the last phase of our philosophy – Acceptance.
What drives Acceptance?
When people experience that there is no difference between the branded medicine and the generics, they will gradually come into the circle of Acceptance. We know that we are taking a more significant route, and perhaps, it will require much groundwork to create a group of informed buyers. They not only comprehend the theoretical difference between generics and branded but also live the truth. The satisfaction with the generics will lead to putting others in the cycle of Awareness and starts the chain to resist a placebo that only branded medicines work.
Our AAA-Philosophy is driven with an intent to incentivize savings while buying new medicines and spreading Awareness. Gradually, people are becoming more receptive to further information and ready to experiment at a granular level when it comes to buying medicines. The larger goal is to create a well-informed group of buyers who probe doctors and medical shops before purchasing the medication.