The publication 7dias.com.do, a media site in the Dominican Republic, recently covered the importance and impact of the distribution of 185 million Panté condoms. Learn how the brand has recouped 97% of its expenses so far by reading the translation of the original piece below.
“Our condoms save lives.” – Jose Bran, Pan American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO)
In the Dominican Republic and other countries in the region, the prevalence and incidence of HIV has decreased over the years. It is the successful outcome of all efforts made as part of the response to this health condition. The mass distribution of condoms with education campaigns has been one of the most important actions of the strategy.
The distribution and availability of this method of protection has been made possible through social marketing of condoms. A strategy that over the past two decades has proven its effectiveness in Central America and the Caribbean.
Jose Bran, commercial director of the Pan American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO, for its acronym in English) and member of the Population Services International (PSI) Network, ensures that the ultimate goal is to influence people to be protected from sexually transmitted diseases, with a special focus on HIV, as well as provide a measure to protect women and couples from unwanted pregnancies.
To Bran, personally, it is a great satisfaction to work with and contribute to the society, and the health system as a whole. That’s why Jose lights up with obvious happiness when he states, “What we do is save lives.”
“The social marketing of condoms apply marketing techniques in an attempt to protect the population.”
Recently José Bran was in Dominican Republic advising Society for Family Health (SFH), another subsidiary of the PSI Network, with the task of optimizing the Panté Condom brand, now transitioning from social marketing programs to a self-sustainable brand.
Since 2013 the brand Panté was supported under the funding of United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through which more than 185 million condoms were distributed over a period of 13 years of implementation.
The Panté brand has transformed its management process over the past two years since graduating from the USAID program, with the goal of self-sustainability to achieve longevity of the brand and impact. Since then, the brand has been able to achieve 97% cost recovery, and is on track to surpassing 100% this year.
As a reference to this transition model, Jose Bran points to the Vive condom brand in Central America, which experienced the same process. “PASMO is a pioneer in the region. We have been working with condoms since 1997. That has encouraged other brands to enter the market because they have seen the opportunity, and it is also good for us as an organization attract more brands so that there is greater market penetration of the category,” which gives people more options to be protected.
Unlike what happens in the business world, social marketing advocates solidarity. Regularly brands aim to be alone in a market and have a captive market, explains Bran.
“We are interested that our brand is the number one choice, however we are primarily interested that more brands enter the market to meet the need of the population. All of that has to do with what we call the total market approach (TMA). That is, to bring more brands and have greater availability to the population to meet unmet needs. ”
“The important thing, and what we as an organization have worked for all this time, is to invite and encourage other brands to enter the market,” said Bran.
Price and quality
Bran highlights that social marketing condoms, Panté in the Dominican Republic, like Vive in Central America, “are high quality and are on par with the best brands.”
These products have additional qualities to latex condoms: colors, flavors, and textures that can be sensitive, or retardant, he says.
“What we do with this product is to offer options to people to have a more open range of opportunities,” he says.
“We prefer to segment ourselves with a lower price knowing that our quality is very good. We are interested in ensuring accessibility for the most vulnerable populations. Other brands have their business strategy and we our social strategy. ”
Currently, expansion plans are focusing on more distribution channels, in addition to pharmacies, convenience stores, supermarkets and drinks. Normally users are willing to move between 100 and 200 meter radius of where they go to have a sexual encounter, explains Bran.
“For us as social organization is very important provide quality condoms to all social groups,” he insists.
“In our work we map areas of high risk, areas where sexual encounters or where a sexual encounter begins. It could be for example an area of nightclubs and bars. We have been focusing on placing product in these areas and maintain supply. ”
Another important component is education. “What we do as an organization is to educate people,” he says.
“We focus on offering demos on correct and consistent condom use and sexually transmitted infections,” he insists. “We have also joined the efforts to combat the spread of Zika, because this virus is also transmitted by sexual contact.”
For the original piece in Spanish, go here.
Photo credit: David Rochkind