Blood is a scarcity in India’s hospitals, and the Red Cross needed to do something new to turn this around. Previously, India operated with “professional donors” who have since been prohibited, and a mandatory replacement program that required individuals who received blood to find donors to replace what was used. But, as the controversial program was being phased out, India’s blood donations were dropping. Instead of maintaining their messaging that stressed the importance of giving blood for others, the group turned it completely upside down. Because Mirum found that apathy was the most prevalent obstacle to blood donation in the region, the Red Cross launched an app that allows you to “deposit” your blood for your later use and benefit. Give blood for yourself. Of course, you won’t receive that same blood, but the idea of treating blood donation as a personal investment resonated with India.
What this means for brands:
Mirum reported over 160,000 accounts had been created and over 141,500 units of blood were collected in the Karnataka (the region where the trial took place). While it makes sense to some that you should give blood so that others can use it, India had had a much different experience. When societal events or cultural shifts occur, brands should not get left behind or be afraid to change perspectives. By shifting the messaging inward, more people were moved to action for the Red Cross, and that action, while selfishly-motivated, ended up benefiting the greater population, which was in line with the Red Cross’s goals. Brands can create lasting impact by utilizing research and focusing in on the insight that matters most to the consumer, and not themselves.