We were aware of the growing LOHAS and conscious consumerism trends globally and therefore conducted market research to determine if our 1 for 1 business model and environmentally friendly packaging would be appealing to the consumer, given this approach had never before been pursued in the condom category. 78% of feedback results indicated that the socially responsible and environmentally friendly aspects of the brand and product would be the reason for purchase. These aspects influenced our packaging design and the selection of recycled card. Key messaging was also positioned upfront, including the creation of a 1 for 1 ribbon incorporated into our logo, and further communication around our cause:
“For every HERO Condom sold, one is donated to a developing country to help fight the spread of HIV/AIDS and to save lives”. Working with our partners in Botswana, our donation beneficiary, HERO conducted research through the staging of several concerts and community events in order to obtain feedback from the people of Botswana on the government issued condoms, and what they would want in a condom both in function and design. HERO took this feedback on board, and customised a condom for Botswana. The design process was shared with partners and key government officials in Botswana ensuring the designs were accurate and to be well-received. On design approval, HERO produced 500,000 condoms to donate to Botswana
HERO is now ranged in over 2,000 retailers in both Australia and NZ, illustrating that the designs and proposition have been well received at retail. The condoms designed for Botswana are strawberry scented, more transparent in nature and the branding on the condom wrapper incorporates colours from the Botswana flag. In Sept 2015, HERO returned to Botswana to make this donation and revisit communities to obtain feedback. Response to the packaging and scent & feel of the condom was very positive. The inclusive approach to the design of our Botswana condoms not only helped alleviate any cross-cultural barriers, but were also so well received due to HERO creating a donation product designed for the people.
HERO's 1 for 1 business model is future proofed and is very progressive. As our business grows (and donations in direct proportion to sales) we will continue to look for issues in developing countries and then create products to help solve these problems. Identify the problem first and then create a solution; not the other way around. We are also in the midst of launching a new brand / product under the business which has been formulated off the back of our marketing innovation for HERO. This product will feature in the feminine hygiene range and have a similar socially responsible business model, with donations continuing to help create positive social change and save lives in developing countries.
HERO's 1 for 1 model is quite unique for the condom industry. Who would have thought, that having sex could help save a life in Africa. People can directly help developing countries fight the spread of HIV/AIDS without any extra effort on their part. Another difference to our competitors, is that we recognise that Australian women are an important demographic & make up a significant portion of the condom market, with 41% of purchases by women. Our competitors tend to only focus their messaging & imagery toward male consumers. We celebrate women and this is reflected in our advertising, with no misogynistic adverts used. HERO has recently been voted the No. #1 condom of choice among women of Australia.
We measure the overall impact of our business by the number of condoms we are able to donate and the direct effect this has on reducing the spread of HIV. HERO are working directly with the Government in Botswana and our NGO partners - the National AIDS Coordinating Agency and the Youth Health Organisation to reach their vision of ZERO new HIV infections, with HERO playing our part in a best practice model for prevention. With our 1 for 1 model, the best way to achieve this goal is to sell as many condoms as possible! HERO is currently in over 2,000 major retail stores in Australia and NZ. With every new retailer that comes onboard selling our product, this greatly increases our distribution channels and
ultimately strengthens our social impact in developing countries with more condom donations. To date, we have locally donated 67,650 condoms to universities, student groups, the LGBT community and health organisations in Australia and NZ to assist with the safe sex message and improve sexual health. Donations to such events like Orientation week, Schoolies week, Sydney Mardi Gras and Pride Auckland Festival help widen our reach and amplify our 'being prepared is being sexy' message. Internationally, so far we have donated 575,000 condoms to the people of Botswana and intend on achieving our goal of donating an additional 2 million condoms by the end of 2016, with this number set to double year-on-year