We are creating a brand and service that strives to make a woman feel confident in whoever she is; to be bold, empowered, and in control-for perhaps the first time in her life. Let’s help her feel comfortable with being brave.
We believe that protecting oneself from HIV should be as everyday and as acceptable as any self-care practice. V does more than emphasize the physiological need of prevention, it emphasizes the emotional needs too: To be empowered, to belong, to become the kind of women they wish they were.
We are full of energy, optimism and life. There's a pace and a restlessness to us. You never know what great thing lies around the corner or how much fun we're going to have next. We're filled with vavavoom!
We are smart, thoughtful and informed, and convey information in a way that everybody can understand. We help guide women every step of the way.
We are strong, independent and confident, just like the women we serve. We are brave enough to be vulnerable and strong enough to shoulder the burden for the women we design for.
At our core, we empower women as our peers. We are their greatest advocates and supporters, and give them confidence every moment we can. We are warm and supportive, no matter who you are and what decisions you make.
We are frank and sometimes even blunt with a little bit of cheekiness. We’re not afraid to say it as it is. We're all adults here. However, this is always done with love and a smile.
We may be bright and optimistic, but there is always an edge to us. We're not the prepubescent teen but the confident 20-something who knows who she is.
While we are intelligent, we never speak down to people. We are always on their level and speak in a manner they can understand.
We are not protestors or aggressive. We are not about taking on the system or taking power from anyone. We just give women the confidence to do what they need to do.
We're not fake, and our smiles are genuine. We honestly care about women and making them feel empowered and confident. However, we don't bend over backwards. We'll call someone on their nonsense if they're lying to themselves.
There's a thin line between sassy and bitchy. Let's stay on the good side and build one another up.
A woman hears about PrEP at a party at a friend’s house (she had been complaining about her boyfriend refusing to use a condom)
She then sees advertising about V that legitimizes what her friend said and gets her more curious. She is excited by and believes in an HIV-prevention product that puts her in control. She wants to use it.
Using Ambassadors is our recommended approach for creating demand.
She heads to her local private clinic to get more information about PrEP and get an HIV test, despite her anxiety over the result. It’s easier (and has less stigma) than the public clinic. Her friends think she’s going in for a check up.
The nurse hands her a certificate congratulating her on being negative and recommends PrEP so she can feel confident she’ll have the same feeling next time she comes in to be tested. She confirms that she wants PrEP and is confident that she understands all the benefits and potential side effects. The doctor is kind and patient, with a great set of tools to explain everything.
She gets the additional tests required in the clinic. The results are instant—she doesn’t have to wait. The doctor gives her the prescription and she simply has to pop by the pharmacy on the way out. She is given the option to pay the full price for the starter kit, as the funds will be used to provide one for free to a woman in need. She decides to pay for it.
Focus on empowering staff to be advocates.
She receives the Starter Kit and is excited. She pops her pills in the carrying case, her makeup in the bag, and boom—no-one is the wiser and the pills are in something she’ll use everyday.
She debates telling her boyfriend later but is suspicious that he won’t be supportive, so keeps it to herself. She decides to wrap the V sticker around the pill bottle just in case he finds it in her drawer.
She signs up for the weekly SMS reminder. It’s free, after all.
Don’t skimp on the starter kit! (But we have some hacks for you if you need to).
She sees the makeup bag and other visual triggers and remembers to take her pill. She has sex with confidence.
She receives her weekly reminders—heart-warming messages from women just like her who are also excited about taking PrEP.
She goes to the same clinic to get the next negative HIV test with a spring in her step and even signs up to be an Ambassador—more women need to know about this product.
The next time she gets a refill, she’s delighted to find that she also got a free perfume sample with it. Oh, and she reached Diamond status through Discovery Vitality*—bonus!
*Discovery Vitality is a medical insurance scheme which incentivizes healthy behavior in South Africa.
Adapt the weekly reminder to a Whatsapp group with other women on V.