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Plan together. Act together

16 July 2013
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Plan ahead. That’s usually good advice for any organisation considering brand development. Our recent work with the International HIV/AIDS Alliance is a case in point.

Looking to enhance its engagement and relationships with all stakeholders, as one part of its ‘global 2020 strategy’, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance commissioned Forster to develop a new brand model and language to make its work more effective.

Following a Perceptions Study, involving in-depth interviews with around 50 of its main stakeholders and strategic partners, “we identified that the Alliance was valued as an organisation that delivers results and is a respected voice, policy shaper and convener,” said Awo Ablo, Director of External Relations at the Alliance. But “once you scratched beneath the surface there was some lack of understanding of what we do. This was particularly around our distinctive model and how this works.”

Analysis suggested there was a need for the Alliance to describe what it does in a much sharper, more focused and less complex way. As a result, the new brand model includes a new vision – A world without AIDS. The organisation has a new mission statement to demystify the work of its global alliance – to work with communities through local, national and global action on HIV, health and human rights.

Out of the new brand model came a refreshed logo, to ‘lock-in’ the new strapline and to ensure it works well across all communications platforms, but especially in online and social media, where many stakeholders prefer to access the organisation’s technical guidance, publications and news.

The strapline, Together to end AIDS, describes how the Alliance aims to reach the ultimate goal.  For the Alliance, ‘To end AIDS’ means working to prevent HIV-related illness, to end deaths from AIDS, to prevent new HIV infections and to ensure that all people living with HIV have early access to the treatment, care and support they need. Its work takes a human rights-based approach. Much of it is about protecting people from the social and economic impacts of HIV, which is essential if humankind is to bring an end to AIDS.

‘Together’ represents the emotional connection that the Alliance has and fosters with the communities with whom it works, as well as with partners, advocates and donors.  Collective action matters – and it is effective (it helped us directly reach 4.7 million people last year). “‘Together’ is now the first word you see after our name.”