CVS Aetna

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

4 December 2017

CVS Aetna, an acquisition that actually makes sense

The CVS Aetna acquisition culminates a long transformation of CVS, starting with eliminating sales of cigarettes. (Unlike its main competitor, Walgreens.) The brand slowly focuses on health as whole over a period of years. A pharmacy. A Minute Clinic. Brand positioning with ExtraCare.

CVS AetnaWhy wouldn’t it buy a health insurance company?

Many mergers make little sense. One company buys another simply to buy their book of business without growing its own business organically. (It satisfies stockholders.) Another buys a company that has little brand permission to be together.

Occasionally, though, companies get it right. FedEx and Kinkos merged to create FedEx Office. Why did it work? Because both brands mean an office away from the office.

“Simply put, the reason this makes so much sense is that CVS put in the hard work to develop a brand that welcomed it.”

CVS Aetna finishes what CVS originally started

What do CVS and Aetna mean? Better health. CVS didn’t own that position years ago, playing the same price game as its competitors. But a new logo, emphasizing the heart, and programs only focused on better health gives CVS a different and better brand position in the market. The CVS Aetna merger makes sense.

The acquisition is also smart and forward thinking. We live in a time of instant gratification, control and simplicity. The iPhone changes all of us, and now we demand speed and power. Wonder why streaming services are taking over the industry? Because we decide when and what to watch something.

The CVS Aetna acquisition means customers visit a doctor, Aetna picks up the tab and we take out prescriptions going out the door. The next phase of CVS’s evolution is having doctors on staff like any other health facility.

Simply put, the reason this makes so much sense is that CVS put in the hard work to develop a brand that welcomed it. Without implementing actual tangible tactics, the CVS Aetna acquisition would not be believable to consumer audiences.

Now? The merger positions CVS as truly different and better than the competition. And audiences covet it.

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