Consumer-Powered Condoms

After almost a quarter-century on the market, the most popular socially marketed condom brand in Malawi has gotten a brand-new look.

On November 23rd, PSI Malawi and Dr. Thoko Kalua, Dep. Director of the Department of HIV & AIDS at the Malawi Ministry of Health, unveiled the rebranded Chishango male condom at an event attended by a wide range of stakeholders in condom programming, including USAID Representative Rachel Goldstein.

Chishango (meaning “shield” in Chichewa) condoms were PSI Malawi’s first project in 1994 and have been one of the leading condom brands for Malawian youth, serving as a key tool for HIV prevention. USAID has been a crucial supporter in the supply, marketing and distribution of the condoms, which currently hold 72% of the paid market share in Malawi and have sold over 200 million condoms since the brand’s launch.

To keep up with evolving market trends and ensure that Chishango continues to appeal to the young people it serves, PSI Malawi collected consumer insights on the brand. Its survey found that, although marketed to a young audience, consumers thought the Chishango packaging looked old-fashioned and tired. They also discovered that despite its long-term presence in the market, the Chishango brand was perceived to have poor quality in comparison to international brands.

These insights powered Chishango’s rebrand. Together with a creative agency, PSI Malawi pretested 6 prototypes through iterative sessions before landing on the most popular option through consumer feedback. The new condom features a vanilla scent in a package that highlights the Chishango values of strength and protection with a refreshed and modern shield illustration.

Chishango marked its official re-entry into the Malawian market with the Chishango Music Festival on November 24th. Listeners of PSI Malawi’s youth-powered radio program, YouthAlert!, chose national artists through Facebook to perform. Over 10,000 young people attended the free event in Lilongwe where the new, affordable and attractive Chishango condoms were promoted. At 100 kwacha for one pack of three vanilla-scented condoms (US$0.13), young Malawians can buy a pack at outlets across the country.

Only three weeks after its re-introduction to the market, Chishango has seen a rebrand revolution. Consumers say that the brand looks “cool, youthful and adventurous”; they’ve sold over 800,000 condoms already.


Banner image courtesy PSI Malawi

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