Drive through is a great concept, if you need something on the go while driving. And likely, it’s a concept that has never been more right in time than now. Information moves faster, the world moves faster, and so we want to be able to move faster as well, or at least have the feeling that we do.
No doubt car driven societies such as the USA were the first to hop along on the drive through train; you spend a lot of time in the car and therefore you might as well use that time for something useful, say eat breakfast. Luckily your main fast food provider was quick to pick the trend up (invent it?) and used it’s mass communication prerogative to sell the drive through proposal via their reliable concept, making it a world wide success.
Other chains, as well as local offerings, picked it up and today we’ve got a massive amount of consumer products and brands offered not only on the go, but on the drive, from hamburgers to chicken and pizza and on to coffee. Incidentally, they are all things that can be consumed during your drive but without having to get out of your car to get them. So the consumer need that is answered is the same, there are increasingly more products and more brands available, but the concept from a consumer point of view is still the same.
Or so I thought, till I was exposed to the Portuguese “Farmadrive”.
Imagine a pharmacy, with a normal pharmacy interior shop, but with one of the outer walls with a couple of windows in it that face a side curb where cars can stop one after another. Pretty much like any other drive through concept you already know. Except for the Farmadrive sign outside. And this is where it gets interesting. Same concept, different consumer need. This is not at all about being able to consume during your coming drive. It is all about not having to get out of your car. But not because you’re lazy or in a hurry. But because you feel bad and weak and sick and you’d really rather be in your bed and the last thing you want to do or have the strength to do is to get out of your car to go into a pharmacy. And from a co-consumer point of view? Wouldn’t anybody who either works in a pharmacy or who goes in there without being sick, be so relieved to know there is an option for those who are super sick, instead of going into the actual pharmacy, spreading their bugs, so that everybody else doesn’t need to get ill too? Sure, everybody today is quite understanding of the fact that sick people actually have to go to pharmacies, but does anybody like it? I think not.
In any case it is just a very brilliant concept. It’ smart, it’s quick and it’s got something to like for both seller and customer, and everybody knows that happy sellers sell more and happy customers make more return visits. It’s a real win-win situation. And guess what, in the end the average shopping bag is probably bigger, so big pharma probably sells more. So win-win-win. In any case it’s a fantastic example of looking at a consumer need from a different angle, shifting perspective, and actually creating the new.
Granted, it’s likely the Portuguese weren’t the first with the concept, but I for one hadn’t seen or even heard about in Sweden. Might be a consequence of Sweden being the virtual opposite of a car driven society. What with environmental care, everybody’s right to untouched nature and all. But still, no matter if it’s originally Portuguese or not, Swedes are for sure missing out on this one.
Unless, of course, I have really been away for too long.