KS&R Blogs


I love my pharmacist. Craig Roland is a veteran pharmacist, a friendly guy who is truly committed to his patients and the community. When he moved from a small, independent drug store to the Kinney Drug pharmacy chain store half a mile down the road, most of the town residents moved with him.

I spent a lot of time talking with Craig this summer about the pros and cons of various allergy medications. I really don't have the time or patience to call my doctor every time I have a question about itchy, watery eyes. My doctor always seems so hurried, I can practically feel the meter running. Craig is never hurried. His friendly, genuine manner, combined with decades of experience, makes me feel comfortable enough to ask him about my dad's blood pressure medication, or the best treatment for a bee sting.

I am not alone in my high regard for my pharmacist. Pharmacists are consistently ranked among the most respected professionals (politicians and car salespersons are the least). In the US there is a pharmacy within approximately 2 miles of every household. And with drive- thru and 24-hour service now commonplace, consumers are increasingly viewing pharmacists as the front line in health care.

To help a large regional drug store chain better understand customers' evolving experience needs and wants with regard to the pharmacist as a health care provider, KS&R conducted qualitative research that included consumer-generated blogs.

Built on the social network model, KS&R's innovative tool uses a secure, dedicated environment. It's very effective in revealing what matters most to consumers; what they really think; and how they really talk about an experience, product, or service.

The strengths of respondent blogging are many, including its ability to:

  • Connect and engage consumers in the online environment that many prefer. This is particularly valuable when the issue is highly personal, evokes strong emotions, and/or is complex and you want to give respondents extra "think time".

  • Reveal the language of the target market to help you understand the vocabulary consumers use, as well as their emotional tone.

  • Conduct polling to get quick feedback on key issues.

  • Probe deeply and over a longer timeline to help respondents get in touch with and articulate feelings they can't readily express.

  • Obtain feedback on a wide variety of stimuli / multimedia content.

  • Allow consumers to upload photos. You can learn a lot from respondent photos. These photos can also be used in projective activities to force additional connections and reactions.

The findings from the research led the client to redesign the retail environment to facilitate patient consultation; launch a new customer loyalty program; rebrand educational materials; and implement strategies to optimize wait times.

If you haven't considered consumer generated blogging for your next qualitative research project, I suggest that you should.

All the best,
Lynne Van Dyke