Core Value Blog Post: “We don’t just do what’s easy, we do what’s right.

Branding! We have been discussing branding lately at the office a ton. But not branding TLC or our products, we have instead been talking about ourselves. We have been reminding each other that we as humans are a brand too. When people see our image, it’s also our brand logo. Our vision immediately means something to people when they see it. An example would be someone seeing your picture and thinking kind, patient, generous, or maybe they see it and think mean, ungrateful, egotistical

This reminds us that just like a brand logo, our image reminds people who we are, what we stand for, and what we mean to the world. Therefore, we should continuously be working on ourselves because a brand takes years to develop if not decades, so we best work on it daily and not waste any days!

Today I want to share a story about Larry Merlo. Larry is the current CEO and president at CVS Pharmacy. Larry joined CVS as a pharmacist in 1990 and worked hard every day, not only on his job but on himself. Larry kept rising through the ranks and, in 2011, was named CEO.

Larry was passionate about what CVS meant to people. They could get the medications and the supplies they needed to feel better, and they even had clinics in some stores that helped diagnose and treat people as well, this made Larry happy that he was a part of helping people.

There was one challenge, though; you see when Larry Merlo took over in 2011, one thing that bothered him was every time he visited a CVS store, the first thing he saw was cigarettes and liquor right in the front of the store behind the registers. This was something that he battled within his mind first. He thought to himself if we are trying to help people, it does not seem right that we sell cigarettes, which everyone knows is bad for health. He had worked his way to his dream job but was not happy with CVS selling cigarettes. Many would have just shut up and continued to do their job, especially since it is paid well but not Larry.

Larry took his concerns to his board of directors and his staff and began a passionate pitch on why CVS selling cigarettes in the same place that people came to improve their health was wrong and did not make sense. Larry had a significant challenge in front of him because his board kept reminding him that CVS sold 2 BILLION dollars’ worth of cigarettes each year, yes that’s right 2 BILLION. They told him you can’t do this; it’s too much revenue we would lose! He kept reminding them their numbers were correct, but this was the right thing to do.

Eventually, after three years of hard work and passion, Larry convinced his team and his shareholders that CVS would have a better image if they stopped selling cigarettes, and he promised that the new image would increase sales moving forward and be more in line with what the CVS brand stood for.

On February 5, 2014, Larry’s dream was realized. CVS, in a public statement, announced that it would end the sale of Cigarettes at all its worldwide stores by October 1, 2014. Some were shocked, especially the shareholders and other smart business people, but you know what? Larry was right!

Sales at CVS went up and their image improved! Many customers at rival pharmacies switched to CVS, and many CVS customers that smoked were reminded and inspired to stop smoking, which CVS helped with as they began aggressively selling stop smoking supplements and aides.

Here is the statement that shocked the business world, but looking back, doesn’t it make sense?

“CVS Pharmacy will stop selling cigarettes and all tobacco products at its more than 7,600 stores nationwide by October 1, 2014.

Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS Pharmacy is simply the right thing to do for the good of our customers and our company. The purchase of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose – helping people on their path to better health.

By removing tobacco products from our retail shelves, we will better serve our patients, clients, and health care providers while positioning CVS Caremark for future growth as a health care company. Cigarettes and tobacco products have no place in a setting where health care is delivered. This is the right thing to do.”

We can all learn a lot from Larry and CVS; I know I did. I learned that sometimes you have to stand up for what you believe in and what is right and your actions need to be consistent with your brand, whether that be your company or your brand it does not matter. In the end, Larry decided he would not do what was easy but instead do what was right, and I think it worked out just fine!

What do you stand for? What does your company or you as a person stand for? When people see your logo or image, what do people think? Is what your brand stands for what they see when they interact with you or your company?

TLC has always done what’s right and will continue to look for opportunities to do so. This month we are challenging ALL employees, all Life Changers, and all customers that are part of the TLC community to make a total life change.  We believe total wellness includes mind, body, and spirit!  We will be challenging everyone this month to lose some weight, eat healthier, exercise or move more, stop smoking, limit alcohol consumption, read books, volunteer or give to others, and whatever else is in line with the TLC brand because it’s OUR brand!  We want to help people make a Total Life Change, and when they see us or our logo, we want them to know they can change here, and we are all here to support each other, but it starts with us!

So, what’s it going to be? Are we going to do what’s easy or what’s right? I have a tip for you; if you choose to do what’s right in this community, you won’t be alone, so let’s go!!!

#Mind-Body-Spirit #BeLikeLarry #FallonLovesYou

Thank you for reading!

Have a great week!

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