CVS -- a CPG retailer or a health company?

9/07/2014 Unknown 0 Comments

Jonathan Salem Baskin, at, has blogged about "CVS' tobacco position is a great first step for the brand."  When we blogged last February about CVS's decision to stop selling tobacco products, it was not publicly known that CVS was making this product-SKU decision into a full-fledged brand repositioning for the company.

Now that the company has followed up its "no tobacco products" policy with a corporate name change ("CVS Health"), questions have to arise -- noted by Baskin -- about whether CVS is going to sell sodas and other foods and dietary supplements that are scrutinized and controversial.

It's tricky.  If CVS is becoming a "health" company, it's going to have to get serious about defining and acting on the "health" issue. If the company is not serious -- thoughtful and consistent -- the "health" positioning will quickly be perceived as a shallow farce. Execution will be ALL.  Will the new CVS brand walk the talk?