Social donor initiative “Kraplya do Krapli”
PROBLEM SITUATION, WHICH HAD A PLACE
Understanding consumers’ wishes is the basis of New Products Group’s activities. This applies not only to the approach of forming the company’s product portfolio, but also to the planning and implementing the projects for brands promotion. The company carefully studies consumers’ expectations, preferences and needs in order to create products that more and more people choose and projects that will be important and relevant to the target audience.
New Products Group is one of the biggest producers of beverages in Ukraine. The company’s portfolio includes various product categories of this segment, including drinking water Pryrodne Dzherelo. Meanwhile, until 2020, systemic activities to build the perception of Pryrodne Dzherelo as a socially responsible brand were not carried out.
The peculiarity of the drinking water category is a significant number of producers, including regional ones. Pryrodne Dzherelo demonstrates steady sales growth from year to year. But next to big competitors, Pryrodne Dzherelo is a small modest brand, without large budgets or significant advantages over competitive products and with a market share of 1% in 2021. Usually, the evaluation of options and the decision to purchase is based only on the characteristics of price, taste, convenience of packaging and consumer habits.
The highly competitive environment in the segment is a serious challenge for the smaller players seeking to strengthen their positions and achieve sales growth, and causes an urgent need to create unique attributes of difference from competitors and recognizability.
SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM SITUATION
All people are consumers of drinking water, so the market has high potential, which can only be used effectively when the idea, communication and promotion tools are relevant to the general public.
Properly planned social activities of a brand, that create additional emotional motives for purchasing a particular product, can be an effective tool for brand promotion and creating a loyal circle of consumers. However, achieving a sustainable long-term result requires an extremely responsible and respectful attitude toward the consumer and society. At the same time, it is important to avoid certain problems that currently exist in the field of social projects, namely: implementation of such projects at the expense of the end user, psychological pressure on the buyer, lack of understanding of the difference between CSR and charity. The direction of social activities should be logically related to the category of drinking water, be unique for the category and relevant to the TA, have tangible results.
The connection between water and blood is indisputable. Water is essential for life, just as donated blood is needed to save lives. Blood and water have the same TA — these are all people without exception. At the same time, the field of donation needs comprehensive support. Ukraine has an acute shortage of donated blood, currently 12 donations per 1000 of population. According to WHO recommendations, 31,5 donations per 1000 of population are needed to meet the need for donated blood. The decrease in the volume of donor blood procurement to a critical state in Ukraine over the last 10 years has been due to a steady decrease in the number of voluntary donors. More than 300 000 Ukrainians need donated blood every year. Unfortunately, 2/3 of people do not receive it on time. That’s why we chose donation as a social platform.
The largest and only organization that systematically promotes free and voluntary donation of blood and its components at the national level, develops a system for donor registration, notification system, organization of events and has offices in each region is the DonorUA movement (NGO “All-Ukrainian Association of Donors of Ukraine”). Therefore, the Pryrodne Dzherelo brand and the DonorUA movement joined forces and initiated a joint social project “Kraplya do Krapli” to promote the culture of blood donation in Ukraine. Until the initiative was established, there was no stable strategic project in Ukraine to develop voluntary and free donations with the support of a business.
For the brand, the most important strategic step was the creation of a flexible, transparent and tolerant charity mechanism in which a drop of water “equals” to a drop of blood. The main idea is that a part of the proceeds from the sale of each bottle of Pryrodne Dzherelo is transferred to the needs of the donor’s movement. Thus, everyone who wants to, but for certain reasons cannot become a donor directly, still has the opportunity to become a full-fledged participant of the initiative.
“The message is simple and clear: the more Pryrodne Dzherelo water you buy, the more lives you save. Whether you donate blood or consciously choose Pryrodne Dzherelo water in the store, both actions are equally helpful. This innovative decision made it possible for the brand to provide the audience with a comfortable right to choose, and for the audience to feel a deep emotional connection with the brand because of the personal involvement in a joint good cause. Moreover collaboration is absolutely transparent and honest for all the stakeholders, the funds for the project implementation are not included in the cost of the product for the end consumer”, — emphasizes Elena Selutina, Communications Director of New Products Group.
The “Kraplya do Krapli” initiative has become an effective tool to promote voluntary, free and regular blood and blood components donation among Ukrainians. An effective set of communication tools, including offline and online activities, is used to promote the project. To emphasize the strong connection between blood and water, and at the same time the depth of the partnership between the brand Pryrodne Dzherelo and the donor movement, the DonorUA logo was updated. Special marking with information about the initiative on the packaging of the drink informs consumers about the ways to join the movement. An interactive counter on a specially designed website allows you to view the number of involved donors, the amount of funds collected and transferred, and the number of lives saved.
A large-scale promotional campaign was launched in the information space, including the distribution of informational materials in the media, in public places and on the Internet. For example, a presentational video about donation and the “Kraplya do Krapli” project was created and released. Informational and educational work was conducted, including four surveys among potential donors and five fundamental lectures. Thematic events were organized — donor days, meetings with stars, festivals, sports tournaments, DonorUA Art Project. The involvement of opinion leaders from different spheres — doctors, journalists, scientists, businessmen, athletes and artists — helped to increase public activity.
During the year the brand Pryrodne Dzherelo invested about 1,5 million UAH in the project “Kraplya do Krapli”. A certain budget was allocated for the development and production of the video and website of the social initiative, printed and souvenir materials, design services and organization of special events in Ukraine (30 events). Furthermore, the “Kraplya do Krapli” project received a significant amount of free media support in the form of numerous mentions in the mass media and the involvement of a large number of opinion leaders and well-known personalities in the dissemination of information.
RESULTS OF THE DECISION TAKEN
The effectiveness of the campaign became clear in January 2021 — the key indicators showed a steady growth trend during the first 3 months of the campaign. Thanks to the growth in sales volumes, contributions to the development of the donor movement have also increased.
In October 2021, the project’s annual achievements successfully met targets such as the amount of funds collected and transferred (UAH 1 557 825), the number of donors involved (10 571 donors) and the number of lives saved (31 713 patients). During the same period, the share of Pryrodne Dzherelo brand increased by 44% in liters and by 30% in units, while the category of water as a whole increased by more than 10% (according to the State Statistics Service of Ukraine). Thanks to the social mission of the project, it was possible to exceed the sales plan and achieve faster brand growth than the water category as a whole.
Popularization of donation is a very important goal and can have benefits for society as well as for the promotion and growth of brands and the creation of unique attributes of difference. The “Kraplya do Krapli” initiative appeals to the widest audience and has already changed the lives of many patients. The project is valuable not only on paper, but for everyone whose life was saved thanks to donated blood.