How an Online Lifestyle Brand Changed Gender Norms in Nigeria

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Voices for Change (V4C) was an innovative social behaviour change communications (SBCC) programme aimed to create an environment for young Nigerian women and men aged 16–25 years old, across four states in the North and South, to challenge harmful social norms held by themselves and others around gender in Nigeria. The five-year programme applied social norms theory to address 3 key areas:

  • Women’s voice and leadership
  • Women’s role in decision-making
  • Violence against women and girls

The Gender Norms Challenge
V4C  focused on changing social expectations of girls and those living around them including individual’s beliefs about what others think and do, and what others expect them to do. Evidence shows that, while it is possible for social norms to change, people are reluctant to change until they believe that enough other people in their reference group are changing too.
Whilst V4C worked with adolescent girls and women to build their confidence and self-esteem to bring about change in them, the programme also sought to achieve attitude and perception changes in the communities surrounding them.  V4C needed to deliver a communications campaign at scale to deliver key messaging and mobilise real-world actions.
The SBCC Solution
A lifestyle brand, I Am Purple, was developed to deliver key behaviour change messaging and create a youth-led social movement. I Am Purple utilised traditional media channels such as television, radio and workshops with girls and key influencers.
As the digital partner, Every1Mobile designed and implemented a cohesive digital strategy, which integrated traditional media with digital and centred around the development and management of a mobile website and Android app, as well as social media channels such as Facebook.  E1M was responsible for developing localised content and digital promotion to reach young people at scale and demonstrate impact around improved knowledge, attitude, skills and behaviour.
The Impressive Results
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Over five years, we were able to reach 107 Million people with key messages through digital channels, including:

  • 7 million visits to the website with over 850,000 monthly visits.
  • 297,000 users joined the Purple “Social Network” on the mobile site.
  • 194,912 fans reached on Facebook.
  • 12,205 fans on the Hausa Facebook page in Kano & Kaduna.

In addition, 119,000 learners engaged with a digitised, interactive curriculum through the Purple Academy mobile course. These reach metrics lead to real behaviour change results, including:

  • 93% of digital Purple users agreed that since spending time on Purple digital spaces, they believe women and men should enjoy equal opportunities and respect.
  • 93% of digital Purple users agree/are more willing to speak up against violence and agree that spending time on Purple has made them against women.
  • 92% of fans reported that the Purple Hausa Facebook page had given them new knowledge about the need to improve gender justice in Nigeria.
  • 72% new knowledge acquisition was reported and 90% of comments received from users on Purple Academy expressed positive sentiments and change.
  • 68,830 users reported digital and real-world actions through an online “Action Room”.
  • 48% of actions were taken by women.

3 Key Lessons Learned
As you can image, we had many lessons learned over the five-year programme. Here are three key takeaways that are applicable to every online SBCC campaign.
Integrate Partnerships
SBCC campaigns need to have both on- and offline components that work together seamlessly. We learned the importance of all partners continuously working together towards integrating all online & offline aspects, from brand development to on the ground events.
Segment Digital Marketing
We may think we can segment people into groups, like “youth” or even “urban youth”, but we learned that we need to segment and localise our communication by very precise demographic groups,  tailoring and localising all as aspects of our content and imagery. The more localised the content, the better the impact and engagement results.
Focus on Engagement
When dealing with youth, we learned that we needed to make the engagement fun and relevant to keep youth engaged. We gamified every element of our digital engagement where possible to keep people’s attention and to expand our reach.
Every1Mobile designs and delivers digital solutions to drive social change in low-income communities across sub-Saharan Africa and other emerging markets.
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