Over the years, Lifebuoy has helped more than 1 billion people adopt better handwashing habits to help keep germs at bay. Now the brand is taking its social mission to the next level, supporting millions more to improve their health and hygiene through its telehealth partnerships.
Getting seen by a doctor is a chronic challenge across the world, and especially in some of Lifebuoy’s biggest markets. In Vietnam, for example, there are only eight doctors for every 10,000 patients. In Indonesia, the figure’s just three doctors per 10,000.
That’s why Lifebuoy is turning to technology to make a difference. With healthcare systems under enormous strain and consumers dealing with intermittent lockdowns that restrict their ability to travel, many are using telehealth apps and websites to book telephone consultations. Governments have started to promote such services too.
So far, Lifebuoy has teamed up with leading telehealth providers in India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Pakistan to expand the reach of these vital platforms – and it will continue to scale up availability to further democratise healthcare. The brand is using its packaging and its commercials to drive consumers to these platforms, where they can receive free doctor consultations and healthcare advice.
Lifebuoy’s telehealth activations have reached almost 300 million people since 2020, forming a large part of the brand’s Covid-19 response.
Evolution, purpose and growth
Lifebuoy’s handwashing messages are integrated into the telehealth apps and websites, enabling the brand to boost its thought leadership and expertise credentials while reaching communities across rural regions.
“For over a century, Lifebuoy has used its behaviour-change expertise to help inspire more people to wash their hands with soap more often. Now we are committed to improving access to health care too,” explains Triveni Rajagopal, Global Digital Director, Skin Cleansing & Oral Care.
Lifebuoy was named the third most-chosen brand in the world in this year’s Kantar Brand Footprint report. The telehealth partnerships are a crucial addition to the brand’s traditional product range, connecting those most in need with crucial healthcare consultation services. Looking ahead, Lifebuoy telehealth will continue to expand to more countries.
“Telemedicine is invaluable for our consumers and makes business sense when it comes to Lifebuoy’s plans for further growth. Partnering with digital healthcare providers sees us evolve from the world’s leading hygiene soap brand* to one that is helping improve access to healthcare for millions of individuals as well,” says Kartik Chandrasekhar, Global Brand Vice President, Lifebuoy, Unilever.