Most global health and development professionals will agree that it’s important to understand the target audience, that a brand is more than a logo, and that campaigns need to get noticed if they’re going to have any impact.

Yet, how do we know what is good – yet alone excellent – when it comes to these topics? How can we use the discipline of marketing to have meaningful conversations with stakeholders and decision-makers? How should we think about organizational structure and governance to enable strong brands and campaigns?

With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we formed a multi-disciplinary team and set out to understand how the discipline of marketing can be applied most effectively to improve the impact of global health and development programs.

Throughout this project, colleagues asked us: what is this about, really? Is it about marketing? or branding? or social and behavior change? or social marketing? or product marketing? Our answer: all the above. Of course, there are differences between these areas, but they all seek to do the same thing – change behavior. This work aims to define the elements that are common to all these areas, define standards of excellence, and describe the approaches employed by the best-in-class examples.

How to use this work

Learn

Ground yourself in the best practice framework and discover the best-in-class examples from our analysis of ten global health projects and three private sector companies.

Implement

Use the Brand and Marketing Best Practices Framework to guide program design and implementation as well as diagnose brand and marketing issues on your project.

Find Inspiration

Explore our Case Study Series, in which we evaluated the branding and marketing efforts of nine global health projects, three private sector companies, and one political campaign.

Share with colleagues and stakeholders

Use our training deck and webinar recording to introduce the best practices and explore examples with your team.

Contact us!

Have a question about one of the best practices? Can’t find something you think should be here? We want you to get the most out of these materials, so reach out with questions! We also appreciate your feedback: how did you use this work? What would be most helpful for future refinements?

Download the full report or view each of our case studies:

Access full case study analysis report View individual case studies

Additional Resources

Brand and marketing resources for global health and development practitioners. The following resources are intended to support global health and development practitioners in planning, implementing, and evaluating brand and marketing programs.

Key terms and definitions: Where possible, we used definitions from industry and from practice area thought leaders. In some instances, where we saw the need to provide our own definitions, we provided a range of definitions and descriptions to show the breadth of thinking and interpretation.

Case Study Analysis – Learning and Highlights: In this paper, we summarize the learning from our case study series, including the approaches behind the strongest projects and companies and the examples that best demonstrate the best practice sub-elements.

Brand and marketing best practices from the private sector: This paper was developed at the project outset and is based on our team’s professional experience, interviews with private sector marketers, business literature, and case study research.

Opportunities and barriers for marketing best practices – highlights from social sector stakeholder interviews: The paper summarizes opportunities for marketing best practices and barriers to implementation, based on our team’s professional experience and interviews with approximately 20 social sector stakeholders working in global health and development, behavior change, social marketing, advertising, and marketing.

Behavior Change Frameworks: This document summarizes 11 behavior change frameworks identified either through interviews with stakeholders working in health and development programs, or through literature referenced during the landscaping phase of this project.

Recommendations: Based on our literature review, best practices framework, interviews with stakeholders, and case study analysis, this paper summarizes our top recommendations for donors and implementers alike.

Literature Review: This summarizes the findings of our literature review, undertaken to identify and summarize current branding and marketing efforts in the field of global health and development.

Recommended Reading: Through the process of researching marketing best practices and recent developments, reviewing the literature on brand and marketing approaches in the development sector, and researching behavior change frameworks, we have reviewed approximately 400 books, articles, and other reference materials. In this section, we’ve highlighted the materials we found most helpful and interesting, and that we recommend for further reading.

Brand and Marketing Best Practices Team

Chastain Mann

Chastain Mann

Team Lead

Chastain Mann

Chastain has been working in international health for 25 years, with more than 10 years of that time implementing programs in sub-Saharan Africa. A former Foreign Service Officer, Chastain has worked for bilateral and multi-lateral agencies, as well as for large and small non-profits. In her 11 years at Population Services International (PSI) Chastain served as the country director in Togo and Uganda, where she designed and implemented social marketing and franchising programs in HIV, reproductive health, malaria, and child survival. In each place, with a team of more than 100 local staff, Chastain developed marketing and communications strategies for health products and services, as well as monitoring and evaluation, sales and distribution, franchising, and advocacy approaches. As PSI’s VP for Strategic Partnerships and Business Development, Chastain led a team that created fund raising strategies to raise more than $4 billion over 6 years.

More recently, Chastain worked with Woman Care Global as President of Programs, where she led fund raising efforts as well as program implementation, with a focus on improving the value chain for reproductive health commodities. Chastain’s inspiration for starting Mann Global Health was to bring together some of the world’s leading experts in measurable, effective health programming, and share their talents with global health clients.

Anne Williams

Anne Williams

Technical Lead

Anne Williams

Anne is a brand strategist and marketing communications leader with over 15 years’ experience in private sector brand management, including roles at Starbucks (VP of Marketing and Category for Evolution Fresh) and Procter & Gamble (multiple roles across Olay, PUR, Vicks, and Zest). Anne's specialities include brand positioning and architecture, marketing communications and multi-media activation, innovation strategy, new product development, consumer insights, group facilitation, and collaborative problem solving. Prior to embarking on a career in brand management, Anne held roles at Management Sciences for Health, where she provided technical assistance in information management systems in francophone Africa and Haiti. Anne holds an AB in comparative religion and French from Smith College and an MBA from Georgetown University.

Chris Jones

Chris Jones

Senior Associate

Chris Jones

Chris is a strategic leader, passionate in leveraging the private sector to empower the vulnerable to lead healthier lives. Chris brings fifteen years of international executive leadership experience in the design and execution of strategy supporting the delivery of life-saving clinical services, products, and marketing messages through the private sector. Chris was responsible for operations of country health programs in Central Asia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Kenya, where he honed skills and insight to get the most out of teams delivering impact. Annual budgets ran to $45 million per annum, supported by 250+ staff. Postings in Asia and Africa saw the launch and rapid scale up of innovative, sustainable programs improving malaria, reproductive health, child survival, and HIV/AIDS outcomes of at-risk populations. As PSI’s Global Network Catalyst, Chris focused on maximizing the value PSI delivered to Global Network Members. When not traveling the world on global assignments, Chris spends his days skiing, biking, hiking, and getting outside in the woods of North Idaho with his family.

Donna Sherrard

Donna Sherrard

Senior Associate

Donna Sherrard

Donna is a health marketing and social behavior change communication (SBCC) specialist with more than 15 years of global health experience spanning a range of health areas – HIV, TB, family planning, adolescent reproductive health, nutrition and malaria. After nearly 10 years in private sector healthcare marketing in the United States, she moved to the non-profit sector and spent seven years in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda designing and managing health communication and advocacy programs, including a regional health communication project. Donna held senior leadership positions at PSI, including Deputy Director for HIV and TB. In this role she designed and led PSI’s global HIV strategy and provided technical assistance to SBCC and insight-driven product and service marketing interventions, including those for newly proven and emerging technologies (i.e. HIV self testing, voluntary medical male circumcision).

Donna has deep experience in new business development, training and capacity building in SBCC, and social marketing, and has provided technical assistance to countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. Donna’s technical skills have earned her an international reputation as a social marketing and SBCC strategist and leader who can develop effective, market based strategies, design realistic plans for program implementation and build local staff capacity.

Nora Miller

Nora Miller

Associate

Nora Miller

Nora Miller is a doctoral student in the department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health. Her research focuses on women’s health issues with an emphasis on sexual reproductive health, family planning, and maternal health outcomes. Prior to her doctoral studies, Nora worked with WomanCare Global as a Technical Advisor for a large USAID-funded family planning project in a number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa, leading provider behavior change activities to increase uptake of new family planning methods. Nora holds a Msc. in Public Health from Harvard University and Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.