TCI University Toolkit: Demand Generation
Branding Family Planning Programs
What Is It?
An idea or promise made to the consumer – or in the case of family planning programs, clients – to distinguish a particular product or service from others like it. Branding is the process of creating something unique in the consumer’s mind by using a name, symbol, logo or design. While conventionally used in the commercial sector, branding can also be used successfully in family planning programs to help women, men and couples use contraceptive products and services. For example, in Egypt, the Gold Star Quality Program worked with family planning providers to assess the quality of services provided and then branded high-quality clinics with a gold star to encourage clients to use their services.
A brand strategy has three components:
- Brand positioning: a way to make a product or service stand out in the audience’s mind
- Brand personality: a description of the brand using adjectives, such as trustworthy or friendly, as if the brand were a person
- Brand execution: the distinctive physical characteristics of a brand, such as it logo, colors or symbols
You can use this template from the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs to help develop your brand strategy.
What Are the Benefits?
- Builds awareness and recognition of family planning products and services
- Encourages family planning users to form long-term relationships with family planning providers and to return to the point of service to continue using contraceptives
- Helps users feel an emotional attachment to the product or service and can help sustain programs
How to Implement?
Understand your audience
- Conduct an audience analysis, using any number of methods including focus groups, social media content analysis, observation, and surveys.
- Review the findings of the audience analysis to answer the following questions:
- Who are you trying to reach?
- When is the product, service or behavior in question consumed, purchased, or performed?
- Where does the audience use or perform the product, service or behavior?
- What other options may substitute for this product, service or behavior?
- Why do audience members use the promoted product or service or perform the desired behavior?
- Why don’t audience members use other promoted products, services or behaviors?
- Develop an “audience insight” statement consisting of two components:
- A summary of the audience’s identified needs. For example: Mary needs a contraceptive method that is easy to use and doesn’t require daily maintenance (such as taking a pill or using a condom).
- The key problem the audience faces in trying to fulfill this need. Continuing with the same example: Myths circulating in Mary’s community about intrauterine devices and implants are preventing her from using long-acting methods.
You can use the audience insight template from the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs to help you sort out the audience’s needs and problems.
- For more on using audience insight to drive your brand, see Part 1 of “How to Create a Brand Strategy” on the Health COMpass.
Why Is Audience Insight Important?
People adopt new behaviors for practical or functional reasons – for example, starting to use a contraceptive method to prevent unintended pregnancy. However, an emotional connection to a service or product is often what sustains this behavior (or prevents it). This is why it is important to understand an audience’s emotional needs to help create a emotional “hook” – something that captures the audience’s attention. A hook is usually communicated through a brand (Health COMpass). Some of the most recognizable brands, such as Coca-Cola and Apple, have had great global success because they have gained the right audience insights and have built emotional bonds with their audiences.
Develop a brand position
- Brand positioning is the identification and promotion of the most unique and compelling attributes of a product or service for the audience. To position your brand, you will need to think about the following:
- Brand category (see this template for developing brand categories)
- Competition for the product or service you are branding
- Comparative advantages of your product or service compared with the others
- Benefits and barriers of the other products or services in your category
- Identify the points of differentiation of your brand: What makes your brand better than others in the same category? Points of differentiation can be:
- Functional advantages, for example, the product may work better than others
- Emotional advantages, for example, the product or service may help improve the audience’s self-esteem or achieve greater status in society
- Select two or three points of differentiation that are the most important, making sure at least one of these addresses your audience insight (from Step 1).
- Develop a positioning statement, which will help direct the rest of your brand strategy. The positioning statement is a short sentence that includes your:
- Primary audience
- Brand name
- Points of differentiation
Post the positioning statement where the team can see it while working on the personality (see next step) or developing communication materials and activities.
- For more on positioning, see Part 2 of “How to Create a Brand Strategy” on the Health COMpass.
Establish a brand personality
- The brand personality shapes the tone and voice of all brand communication with your audience, including the name of the product or service, the packaging and the content of any communication materials.
- Referring to your audience insight (Step 1) and brand position (Step 2), brainstorm adjectives to describe your brand. Think of your brand as a person who walked into a room to identify appropriate adjectives. Ask yourself:
- What type of person would s/he be?
- What would s/he say and do?
- How would s/he say and do it?
- From your brainstorming, choose two to four adjectives that describe your brand.
- Next, describe the brand’s personality with a short phrase and ensure the description can be understood by a wide audience.
- For more on brand personality, including examples, see Part 3 of “How to Create a Brand Strategy” on the Health COMpass.
Tips for Developing a Brand Personality
Try not to use more than four adjectives to describe your brand. Avoid jargon and complex phrasing. Be honest; do not try to make the brand represent something it is not. Make sure your brand’s unique qualities come across in the description. Always use the audience insight and positioning to develop the brand personality. Keep in mind that the personality describes the brand itself, not the intended audience.
Execute your brand
- Select two to five of the following elements to communicate your brand to your audience:
- Sound or music
Ideally, this process will be led by a creative team.
- The positioning, personality, and other brand components covered in the previous steps should drive the brand elements you choose. In addition, no other brand should be linked to the elements chosen.
- Think about the specifics of each element. For example, if you decide to use music, what type of music will you use? What genre? Will it be a short jingle or a longer song?
- Create the executional elements of your brand. If you do not have an in-house design team, contact a creative team or advertising agency. These elements must look professional and must be consistent across platforms in order for your brand to be taken seriously.
- Pretest executional elements before finalizing. For guidance on how to pretest, see the Health COMpass guide on “How to Conduct a Pretest.”
- For more on brand execution, including examples, see Part 3 of “How to Create a Brand Strategy” on the Health COMpass.
Create a brand style guide
- The same team that created the executional elements (in Step 4) should create this style guide, which will help ensure consistent application of all your elements. Everyone who is responsible for creating materials or representing your program should refer to this guide.
- The style guide should have the following components:
- Positioning statement
- Brand personality statement
- Guidelines for using imagery or photography in materials
- Guidelines for use of the logo (in color as well as black and white, if relevant)
- Examples of both correct and incorrect use of the logo
- Description of the brand’s color palette
- Description of acceptable fonts and typography and how they should be used
- Other guidelines for graphical elements as needed, including letterhead design, presentation guidelines, and outdoor media specifications (e.g., billboards, posters)
- Online media and web page guidelines
- Trademark and logo protection guidelines
- Donor branding requirements, such as placement of donor logo and when the donor logo is required
- For examples of style guides, see Part 3 of “How to Create a Brand Strategy” on the Health COMpass.
Monitor the brand
- Developing your brand strategy is just one part of managing the brand. As you implement your program, you should monitor how your audience perceives your brand. Listen to what people are saying about your brand, and notice how people react to it.
- As you monitor other elements of your program, include brand-related questions. Use the answers to these questions to improve and react to any issues with the brand.
Family Planning Program Brands
Take An Assessment and Get a Certificate
0 of 6 questions completed
You have already completed the assessment before. Hence you can not start it again.
Assessment is loading…
You must sign in or sign up to start the assessment.
You must first complete the following:
0 of 6 questions answered correctly
Time has elapsed
You have reached 0 of 0 point(s), (0)
Earned Point(s): 0 of 0, (0)
0 Essay(s) Pending (Possible Point(s): 0)
What are the three components of a brand strategy?CorrectIncorrect
Why is understanding your audience so important when creating a brand strategy?CorrectIncorrect
What are some important tips to keep in mind when creating a brand personality (which is the description of the brand expressed in two to four adjectives as if the brand were a person)?CorrectIncorrect
Many programs have a hard time distinguishing themselves from other products or services. Remember that no other brand should be linked to your branding elements.CorrectIncorrect
How do you intend to use the information reviewed and/or tools that you accessed?
Grading can be reviewed and adjusted.Grading can be reviewed and adjusted.
This response will be awarded full points automatically, but it can be reviewed and adjusted after submission.
How useful did you find the information and/or tools presented on this page? Please write your response in the box below using one of the following phrases: Very useful, Useful, Somewhat useful, Not useful.
Feel free to comment on why you made that choice.Grading can be reviewed and adjusted.Grading can be reviewed and adjusted.
- Consistency is key. Brands must be deliberately built, reinforced and protected.
- Reflect your brand position in every communication with your audience – even in the people delivering the messages.
- Executing your brand effectively is more an art than a science.
- Ensure that no other similar program has the same brand elements as yours.
- If you are branding family planning services, make sure the features of the physical space are consistent with your brand personality. For example, if your clinic promises youth-friendly services, consider including photographs of youth on the walls.
- Logos, shapes and fonts are fairly typical elements to choose to communicate your brand. But other elements, such as patterns or sounds, could be unique selections that truly differentiate your brand. Always ask the question, “Will this make the audience recognize my brand?”
- It can be hard to get people to remember your brand. The fewer points of differentiation included in the positioning statement, the better. Having too many points makes it less likely that the audience will remember any of them.
- Many programs have a hard time distinguishing themselves from other products or services. Remember that no other brand should be linked to your branding elements. For example, if another family planning program uses an intrauterine device in its logo, avoid that symbol.
- How to Create a Brand Strategy, Part 1: Using Audience Insight to Drive Your Brand
- How to Create a Brand Strategy, Part 2: Developing Positioning for a Branded Service, Product or Behavior
- How to Create a Brand Strategy, Part 3: Developing the Personality and Look of the Brand
- Brand Strategy Worksheet
- How to Do an Audience Analysis
- Audience Insight Template
- Potential Categories Template
- How to Conduct a Pretest