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Your guide to entering developing markets

Marie Louise Møllebæk Larsen
Andreas Flensborg

Sara Ballan, Prosper Nyavor, design
Patricia Richter, Louise Koch, branko bobić
Copyright © Peter Helk, Christian Friis Bach,
DI International Business Birgitte Holst-Jensen, H.G. print
Development 2011 Muriuki, Lilian Odhek. kailow express
Pick the correct answer.

Do you want a share
o f t o m o r ro w s markets?

Are you ready to challenge business as usual? Yes! No.

Does your compa

ny have an entrep
renurial drive? Yes! No.
Y e s!
If you answered this Toolbox
will help you get started!

7 Business 15 Toolbox 10 Participatory

Model Dimensions Activities Market Research Cases
Understanding the market Getting on the ground Making the link
The Business Model Dimension section Developing appropriate products and busi- To help you understand how the activities
will help you understand how markets in ness models requires local market informa- can be applied in the real world, the Cases
developing countries challenge your tra- tion, primarily from future end-users. The section shows you how different types of
ditional business model and inspire you to Toolbox Activities will guide you through companies used the activities to develop
generate new and better business models. hands-on activities that can help you ob- their business models.
tain this information.
Jacob Kjeldsen
DI International Business Development

The words of Kishore Mahbubani, the Singaporean pro- nies are often unsure about the specific potential for
fessor, can make alarm bells go off “Europe just doesn’t their business – and as importantly – how to get start-
get it. It does not get how irrelevant it is becoming to ed. . The ambition of the Market Creation Toolbox is to
the rest of the world. And it does not get how relevant help your company get started!
the rest of the world is becoming to its future. The world
is changing rapidly. Europe continues to drift.” In many cases getting started is not a complicated pro-
cess. It often comes down to applying sensible busi-
Not only is Europe faced with this brutal reality, but in ness approaches and ensuring a strategic fit between
particular companies are failing to look into the mar- the objectives of your company and the market.
kets of tomorrow – more specifically, the markets found
in Asia, Africa and Latin-America. Companies must po- DIBD and our many partners in the markets of tomor-
sition themselves at an early stage in these markets to row have extensive experience in developing business
secure competitive advantage. projects for developing markets, and we hope that the
Market Creation Toolbox will inspire and guide your
However, developing markets are unchartered territory company to take part in the rapid change.
for many companies. It is our experience that compa-


Background of the Market Creation Toolbox 12



Growth! This is the
keyword for the
emerging regions of the
world, as the low- and
middle-income classes
rapidly evolve.

Think of Rwanda, Cambodia or Peru, and for many,

images of helpless poor people waiting for handouts The CSR potential
come to mind. For years, low-income regions have
8 had the image as a worthy destination for corporate
donations and as non-viable commercial or unethi-
Making a difference
cal markets where companies strip the needy of their Many companies engaging in BOP-markets find that prioritizing
last cents. The strong images of despair are real, but sustainability creates more durable business models. They are
show only a small part of life in developing countries. able to leverage this value in the short term as part of their CSR
A growing number of companies no longer consider profile. Development impact is difficult to quantify and seldom
those in developing countries as helpless poor people, black and white. However, many agree that companies can play
but as active consumers with needs, desires and sig- a necessary and positive role supporting economic and social
nificant collective purchasing power. Three key drivers development. Poor people often face a “poverty penalty,” which
are motivating these corporate first movers: the mar- means they pay high prices due to market inefficiencies. By le-
ket potential, the innovation potential and the CSR veraging technology and knowledge, companies can develop
potential. products and services that make a difference and challenge mo-
The market potential

Growing by the day

While markets at the top of the economy pyramid are largely
saturated, markets in developing countries are often under-
served. At the same time, developing countries are enjoying the
most spectacular growth in history.

Annual economic growth 1980 - 2016

The notion of BOP (Base Of the Pyramid)

2 markets was first coined by C.K.
0 Prahalad in the book The Fortune at the
-1 Bottom of the Pyramid. He argued that
The innovation potential -2
-3 companies should sell to the poor since
-4 the world’s economic base consists of
A space for -5


1980 4 billion potential customers that live

















in underserved and inefficient markets.
innovation, research World As a response to this book, a number
Advanced economies of authors have debated the theory,
and disruption Emerging markets questioning both the size of the market
and the ability for multinationals to
Source: 9
While growth rates are undeniably high, so are entry costs. Prod- alleviate poverty. Since Prahalad’s
ucts, services and business models need to be adapted to the initial work, the debate has evolved
realities and needs of developing markets. This process is not People living at the base of the world’s economic pyramid (BOP) continuously, resulting in an identification
only a sunk cost, but can constitute a vital innovation driver that make up 72% of the 5.6 billion people recorded in national
of best practice and pitfalls newcomers
benefits new and traditional markets. For example, GE Health- household surveys. Collectively, these people are estimated to
care has successfully developed a low-cost electrocardiogram represent 51% of global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014. can learn from.
machine for the Indian market, which has subsequently been At the same time, the middle-income class is growing fast in
marketed in the U.S. with great success – and done this without many developing countries. Shaping the preferences of today’s
losing substantial revenue on their existing products in this cat- low-income consumer is an investment in the middle-income
egory. In other words, they have taken advantage of reverse in- class of tomorrow. The speed at which these developments are
novation. This challenges conventional wisdom that innovations happening is a force to be reckoned with, as it represents a devel-
originate in rich countries and are then sent downhill to develop- opment of markets that unquestionably holds an opportunity for
ing countries. companies willing to take a look and rethink business as usual.
TOOLBOX What can I use the Toolbox for?
While entering new markets always requires tough learning and
adaption, it is our experience that many of the obstacles and

ABC misunderstandings that make the difference between success

and failure are avoidable. Often the problems occur far away
from the target markets in corporate headquarters where well-
meaning business professionals develop products and business
models that look great on paper, but seldom work on the ground.
A key reason is that rarely are developing markets merely en-
tered; instead, they need to be created. This Toolbox will help you
Is this toolbox for me? understand how this is done.

Where do I start and Based on best practice from successful business ventures, the Until recently, few Kenyans would have

Toolbox stresses the importance of on-the-ground business known how to answer a market survey
how do I use it? This model development involving local stakeholders. In short: par- about mobile banking. However, a huge
ticipatory market research. Depending on the company, type of
chapter introduces the product and time frame, this can be either a long or short pro-
number of Kenyans have leapfrogged from
not even having a bank account to using
toolbox basics. cess, but it will probably require you to leave your comfort zone
and seek information and ideas directly from and with your tar- technology that is more advanced than


get market. This Toolbox is designed to help you with this task. in many developed countries. Through
brave innovation, mobile operators and
Who can use the toolbox? banks have created a new market from
scratch. This ability is key to many BOP-
The Toolbox is designed primarily for business professionals who
are entering developing markets for the first time. The activities business ventures. Large companies, such
are relevant for business professionals across industries and as Procter & Gamble (P&G), Johnson &
company sizes, B2B as well as B2C. However, companies that Johnson and Philips have failed because
directly or through local businesses reach low-income end-users they focused on perceived “needs,” such
will benefit more than companies who, for example, invest in as clean water, but failed to understand
large-scale infrastructure projects through governments or inter- how a market for clean water can be
national organizations. created. In other words, how the value
proposition for clean water translates into
BOP projects are typically initiated in one of the three areas in-
something people are willing to pay for.
dicated on the figure on the opposite page. However, objectives,
as well as company stakeholders, often change along the project One of the main ambitions of this Toolbox
process. is helping your company understand these
Sales and business development Generation Concept
Projects often focus on generating a short-term return. The Development
projects typically involve minor adaptations and are based on Definition Pilot
introducing products or solutions to existing markets. The Tool- Project
box can be used to understand current market dynamics and Market
develop appropriate business models.

Innovation and R&D

Projects focused on generating a medium to long-term return.
The projects typically involve considerable innovation and R&D
efforts, such as new products or services. The Toolbox can be
used to understand the needs and demands of local markets,
which feeds into the innovation process.

Sustainability department
Projects focused on short-term and long-term return. The Tool- This Toolbox can help you on the

box helps companies understand how CSR objectives can be ground, but it does not elaborate about
linked with business objectives. creating a supportive internal framework.
However, this should be a high priority!
While understanding and operating
in a foreign and complex market is


challenging, it is our experience that
When do I use the toolbox? BOP-projects are often challenged as

To reap the benefits of the Toolbox, it is suggested that it is used much from within. In many instances,

in the initial stages of the project development process and when BOP-business development does not fit

additional information needs to be obtained and ideas gener-

into the company’s usual structure and

ated. The Toolbox is primary developed for you to use at the

processes. Often BOP-projects require

stage where you already have an idea or product as a reference 11


BOP point, which could have a potential in the emerging market of a more patience, explanation and resources

Business developing country. than normal projects. To justify these extra


requirements at the management level, it



Project Once you have your reference point, it is time to decide how you is often necessary to highlight the short-

are going to explore the potentials for your idea or product and term value (e.g. related to innovation,
consequently develop an appropriate business model. This is CSR, employee retention) and to ensure
where the Market Creation Toolbox comes into play. that the project group has enough internal
Research and Development leeway to adapt and adjust the business
model along the way.
The BOP Learning Lab was initialized in 2007

Background of the

and focuses on engaging Danish companies
in development markets, with a specific
focus on low- and middle-income markets.

Market Creation The BOP Learning Lab has assisted a number

of companies in developing BOP strategies


from conceptualization to implementation in

Toolbox different developing countries of the world.

DI International Business Development (part
of the Confederation of Danish Industry or DI)
runs the BOP Learning Lab. Since 2007, the
Learning Lab has build up unique competences
The information and knowledge of the Market Creation design and innovation projects. Research, stakeholder and delivered high-quality results for a number
Toolbox rests upon research and practical experience. workshops and pilot tests were undertaken in Denmark,
of large Danish companies exploring the
The description of the Business Model Dimensions is the Asia and West Africa to assess methods and guidelines
results of numerous of observation from working with within participatory development work, BOP projects
potential of low- and middle-income markets.
companies in the field, as well as a review of the body of and market research. Conclusions from the analysis The BOP Learning Lab draws on the expertise
knowledge on BOP business models. The description is highlighted a need for a set of well-described activi- of DI International Business Development, a
not exhaustive, but provides companies with inspira- ties that could support companies with practical business consultancy unit with +15 years of
tion and highlights of how well-known dimensions of guidelines on how to undertake market research in expertise in developing and emerging markets
a business model differ in developing markets. developing countries with a strong inclusion of tar- and offices in India, China, Brazil and Russia.
get groups.
The Toolbox Activities have been designed based on re-
search and analysis conducted in connection with several Besides the research and analysis, a number of design
and business consultants have tested the Toolbox Activi-
ties, and their relation to the Business Model Dimensions,
in actual field research. Through their professional work DESIGNWITHPEOPLE offers consultancy
they have conceptualized, tested and assessed the Tool-

services to NGOs and businesses in planning
box Activities to ensure their relevance and applicability
for market creation projects. Therefore the Toolbox Ac- and undertaking participatory field research
12 tivities have been created by combining best practices and design activities in low-income countries.
and methods from participatory development work and The organization offers professional
design with market research activities already known
consultancy services to NGOs and businesses

and used by many businesses. This ‘methodology’ of
the Toolbox has been labeled as ‘participatory market based on several years of experiences in
research’, which defines the approach companies managing and undertaking participatory
should apply to develop successful commercial proj- design and innovation activities in both Asia
ects in developing markets. and Africa. Experiences include both local and
global activities to develop and assess new
innovations for NGOs and private companies.
Through the voluntary organization
new networks and innovative methodologies
are continuously created through student
involvement and local co-creation to facilitate
innovative aid solutions.
of Toolbox
The Toolbox should not necessarily be read chronologically
from the first to the final page. When reading the Business
Model Dimensions or cases, you can access the Activity Tool-
box to enhance your understanding of how to apply the Tool-
box Activities to your own projects.

It is important to note that the Toolbox is not an A-Z guide,

but aims to help your company get started. This also means
that the Activities are meant as inspiration and need to be
adapted to the specific conditions of your company.


e d Lin k elf
Get Inspir Make The Do It Your
You can use the section on Business You can use the case section You can use the Activity Toolbox get
Model Dimensions to get inspired on to understand how the Toolbox advice on facilitation and access a
what to include in your participatory Activities have been used in actual large variety of tools that can produce
market research participatory market research valuable information and knowledge
COLLECTION This section will inspire you
on topics that can guide your
participatory market research
Photo to the right, shows the Toolbox Activity
14 Price mapping taking place in participation
BUSINESS MODEL DIMENSIONS CASES with a group of farmers.
World Resources Institute: Large online collection of ar-


ticles, blogposts and debates on BOP.
UNdata: Access to useful databases such as OECD Data,
FAO Data, WHO Data, International Financial Statistics and

MARKET UN Procurement Statistics.


Doing Business Index (World Bank): Provides objec-
tive measures of business regulations for local firms in 183

ASSESSMENT economies and selected cities at the subnational level.

Growing Inclusive Markets (UNDP): Case study bank of
120 inclusive business models from over 40 countries and
collection of 1,000 inclusive business models from all re-
Visits to small shops, gions and sectors.
To successfully design your although some are hard
to find, can provide
Index of Economic Freedom: Covers 183 countries across
10 specific categories of freedom, such as trade freedom,
Business Model Dimensions, useful information
business freedom, investment freedom, and property rights.

you need to understand This means that traditional approaches and relying on
desk research will not get you very far, as access to market
Corruption Perceptions Index (Transparency Index):
Measures the perceived level of public sector corruption in
the existing market and information and knowledge is typically very poor. However,
as with any other market study, the process will begin with a
178 countries.
Global Peace Index: Measure of global peacefulness by do-
get access to the right consultation of secondary information sources, but you must mestic and international conflict, safety and security in soci-
be aware of the constraining factors that limit the reach of the
information and knowledge. secondary information.
ety, and militarization in 153 countries by taking into account
23 separate indicators.
A predominant reason for the poor access in developing Asian Development Outlook and African Economic Out-
countries is the informal economies. The size and structure of look: Comprehensive analysis of macroeconomic and devel-
As illustrated in the introduction, the use of the Tool-
the informal economy is a factor of considerable proportions, opment issues of the two continents.
box focuses on the initial part of the project develop-
ment process. The rest of the chapters in this section which contributes to an inherently different business Various sources of information: BOP Learning Lab
environment. Typically, the informal economy is not taxed, Denmark,Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cor-
on business model dimensions are actual dimensions
monitored by government or included in the GDP, unlike the nell University’s Johnson School of Management, William
of a business model, whereas this chapter will show formal economy. In some cases, 70% of the workforce earns Davidson Institute, Gapminder, Endeva, World Governance
you how to take the very first step, making it possi- their living in informal markets. Indicator, Journalists Without Borders, Eurostat.
ble to initiate the development of a BOP project. The
16 rapid market assessment will give an overall estimate The benefits and drawbacks of an informal economy are
of how to proceed with the project, as it will provide many, and your company must understand the markets in
you with the knowledge and information you need in this informal economy to achieve success. As you will see in
the decision-making process. the description of the next business model dimension, the
population living in the informal part of the economy can be
included as part of your business model with great advantages.
The informal economy is often one reason why information
and knowledge can be very difficult to access.
Where to start?
When your company has decided to go into a new market or Even though many developing countries have national bureaus
country, the process typically begins with a market assessment, of statistics and other information agencies, the availability of
feasibility study or market entry analysis. Applying such tactics sector-specific data concerning production value of certain
can produce efficient results in developed markets, but in BOP goods can be very low. Due to these factors, the rapid market
assessment focuses on supporting the limited available data Visits to specific stores, for example local pharmacies,
markets, investigating and gathering information and data can during field research can produce valuable knowledge
be a very complicated task. with on-the-ground participatory market research.
ViewWorld is a smartphone- based app that easily and

and store data and information, but due to constraints on effectively collects and reports text, data, photos, video,
On-the-ground understanding resources, the information is never disseminated. sound, barcodes and GPS coordinates. The approach is
of existing market to use the ViewWorld web interface to create, import and
To develop your successful BOP business model, it is very Therefore, it is highly recommended to meet with government export data forms to and from smartphones. The ViewWorld
important to understand the existing market at an in-depth offices (e.g. statistical bureaus, information offices of App can be used for market research allowing better and


level. A comprehensive understanding of the existing market ministries, research centers, etc.) and NGOs as these types easier collection of data and knowledge.
will help you to understand how existing problems and needs of organizations typically run large programs with monitoring
are addressed, thereby allowing you to position your solution. and evaluation requirements, making it necessary to collect the ViewWorld is developed in cooperation with DanChurchAid,
The most effective approach in establishing this understanding needed data and information. Danish Red Cross, CARE Denmark, International Media
is to be present in the market, making it possible to see the Support and Rockwool Foundation. ViewWorld is a system
conditions on the ground and meet the different stakeholders, Meet the end-users on their home ground thatcan help organizations, associations and businesses
especially those in your designated target group. Perhaps the most important reason as to why you and collect, aggregate and present data.
maybe an entire team should go to the market is to meet
However, local presence is not only important in relation to the potential customer of your products or services. As
meeting your designated target group. At times, you need to mentioned, information is difficult to access. So for knowledge
go to the to the source to acquire secondary information and about consumer preferences, etc., which stresses the need for
data, as the availability varies to a very high degree and often companies to go to the market at a very early stage, it otherwise
cannot be acquired on the Internet. At times, countries collect becomes very difficult to conduct enlightened decision-making.


The target group Deep dialogue is vital when Selling the product literally Resource flow can be used Follow and observe is very Ranking values can be used
segmentation is useful in arriving to an emerging means that you sell your to generate an estimate useful when you want to to understand how people
documenting your visits and market, as it supports the product or put it up for of the input and output get a better understanding perceive the characteristics
talks with various target first contact with your target sale to get an immediate at a general level of an of the informal market. of products when they 17
groups that could become group. This activity assists in response from potential organization, such as a rural As it is very difficult to must prioritize them. This
potential consumers. Upon “getting the ball rolling” as buyers. The activity health clinic, allowing you obtain specific data and approach is very useful
returning from the rapid the interviews and contacts generates important to acquire some numbers information on the informal for creating a platform for
market assessment, the you make are bound to knowledge, not just in about available medical market, this Toolbox Activity dialogue. The exercise could
segmentation will help you spread and grow. relation to consumer supplies and staff (inputs) is used in situations such state something that is
decipher between different feedback, but also from and treated patients as visiting different types of obvious, whereas people’s
groups. shop owners, as they will let (outputs). This could be sales outlets, asking about real opinion is revealed in
you know whether there is a valuable information in pricing and distribution, etc. the subsequent dialogue.
market for your product or assessing the potential
service. market.

Customer segmentation Deep dialogue Product in market Resource flow Follow and observe Ranking values

Page 72 Page 58 Page 86 Page 66 Page 68 Page 76



This case focuses on how AAK
(AarhusKarlshamn) made a
rapid market assessment of
an edible oil market.
This case will highlight:
The ability to conduct a rapid market assessment to esti-
mate the potential for a company in a market.
How you do a rapid market assessment using the Toolbox 1 2
Activities: Customer segmentation, Follow and observe and
Ranking values.
Market overview Based on research prior to the field research, it was very
Based on desktop research, the overall market potential evident that the informal market had to be examined closely,
for edible oils was established. UNdata, such as FAOstat, as the majority of the consumers were represented in this
proved to be a reliable source and general internet research market, especially wholesale vendors. An important part of
generated a list of relevant stakeholders, such as private the rapid market assessment focused on identifying the mark-
companies and government research institutions. A number ups every time an edible oil product changed from one market
of telephone interviews provided further insight, especially participants to another.
18 concerning the informal market, which is essentially what
attained the largest potential. By following and observing the different actors in the market, it
was possible to establish how many times the product shifted
hands 1 , and by using the Toolbox Activity Deep dialogue
Digging into the informal market
in different shops, the mark-up and different products were
As the largest potential was estimated to be in the informal identified 2 . This means that a rough estimate was generated
market, it became apparent that participatory market in terms of the product’s value when entering the country
research, using the Toolbox Activities, was required. The (established from desktop research and visiting the National
Toolbox Activities assisted in collecting the necessary Bureau of Statistics) until it was in the hands of the end-user.
information and knowledge. To effectively do this would
require an involvement of the future end-users of the product, As the product in focus was edible oil, the follow and observe
which meant that valuable insight on how to generate the method also permitted the research to ask operators of
business model could be collected at the same time. Prior street kitchens and restaurants about how they used different
to the study, the team selected a number of suitable Toolbox products.
Activities and made the necessary preparation, such as
developing different focus materials, e.g. picture cards for
ranking the characteristics of a product.
An expected output of a rapid market assessment is an
identification of multiple customer segments. As noted earlier,
the primary customer segment, wholesale vendors and
street kitchens, were examined and detailed information was
collected and compiled into “personas.” The different personas
then represent a typical customer from the examined segment.
The most attractive customers identified, were female middle-
4 5 class consumers 9 and street vendors 8 .

6 7 Important as it is to visit the street vendors at the shops, it is

equally important to invite them to a location where they are able
to share their thoughts and ideas with similar shop owners 3 .

The persona description also contains the preferences of the

different consumers based on the ranked values, e.g., what is
the prioritization of the different product characteristics. An
important part of the customer segmentation is that it is an
ongoing, cross-cutting activity, which involves a combination of
notes and photos over time 7 .
8 9
Another important part of the participatory market research
was the prioritization of product characteristics, especially in
relation to the nutritional value of different products in the
market. The three largest customer segments, street kitchens
and low- and middle-income households, were presented
with 20 different picture cards 3 , all indicating different
characteristics of edible oil, such as taste and durability.
Furthermore, a number of local products were used at the
focus group 5 , including the locally manufactured red oil 6 .

The groups prioritized very differently, with the street kitchen

initially focusing on nutrition, but ultimately deciding on price
8 . Middle-income consumers heavily emphasized the need
for nutritional value 4 . However, the researchers remained
skeptical, as later research on brand preferences showed a
bias toward a very unhealthy national brand. An interesting fact
was that the low-income households perceived edible oils with
added vitamins or no cholesterol as something exclusively for
the rich people.
CUSTOMERS decide to bid on government tenders, you can typically gain
an advantage by getting acquainted with the World Bank’s
tender processes, as the majority of all governments have

implemented the procurement processes of the World Bank.

The need for end-user education

USERS The rapid market assessment will assist you in understanding

the different customer bases your company can target.
Regardless of which customer base your company decides to
focus on it will entail a certain degree of education of the end-
user. In the case of Grundfos LIFELINK, the company needed a
plan for how to educate their target group on how to use their
Select your customers and/ product.

or end-users and understand The need for education is tied to the importance for companies
when people are willing to The rapidly evolving middle income class: Lives in brick
to ensure that the end-users perceive the value proposition the
right way. An imperative step in the development of the value
pay to solve a need. houses, dresses nicely and has a daily job proposition is to understand the difference between needs and
Concerning the selection of markets and potential consumers,
past experiences have shown that companies selecting the
Identifying, building and maintaining a customer most impoverished target groups in rural areas encounter a
base among lower- and middle-income classes is a more difficult start-up process. Contrary to this, you have a
daunting task, but it can yield substantial returns higher chance for success (also towards the people living at
for a company. When you are faced with the task the very base of the pyramid) if you choose peri-urban and
of selecting and building a customer base, and the urban areas and integrated resourceful local organization, such
as co-operative groups. However, this depends on your sales
subsequent development of the business model di-
strategy, as the choice of sales channel will determine the type
mensions, you can use this chapter for inspiration on of end-users that your company will address.
how to navigate safely through the development. A
key factor to keep in mind is that the basic needs of
your target should not be misinterpreted as market
Different types of customer bases
20 demand. As in any other market, your company can sell the products on
a business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C)
basis; however, other relevant approaches exist.

Identifying and selecting your customer base For instance B2N, also referred to as business-to-NGO,
exemplifies the opportunity of selling to NGOs, such as The Visiting local communities can change your perception
When highlighting the potential of BOP markets, the huge and enhance your understanding of future end-users
number of people is typically emphasized and this leads to the International Committee of the Red Cross, e.g. the company
conclusion that tremendous opportunities exist. It is true that Grundfos LIFELINK, establishes an agreement with Red Cross
opportunities exist, but you must remember that companies concerning the delivery of the water service provision system. Unmet need is not a market
operating on these markets use different sales channels and Besides the large number of NGOs, the United Nations At times, companies misunderstand and confuse the needs
very seldom sell directly to the consumer. Although many supplies to developing countries throughout the world, which of the consumers and interpret this as market demand. The
companies do not sell directly, it can be very important to makes the UN a very attractive customer. problem arises when you translate basic needs, such as lack of
establish a direct relation to your company’s end-users. medical services, water, food, etc. As noted in the introduction,
This relations is equally important from the initial contact is Another example is B2G, or business-to-government, which is many companies have failed even though they used sensible
established to the go-to-market strategy is launched. typically based on tender issues by local governments. If you strategies. However, it is typically not a question of which
strategy to apply but spending the necessary resources in Quality standards: Consumers and workers conduct their in their everyday life. This approach has been well examined by
developing the appropriate value proposition. lives with dignity and demand both respect and quality from Erik Simanis (2010) in his work with the Solae Company, which
To do this, you need to get an in-depth understanding of the service providers and employers. was part of the BoP Protocal project.
people living at the base of the economic pyramid. Below are
Financial constraints: Low and fluctuating incomes and
a number of aspects that companies must bear in mind for a For this to be successful, you must submerge yourself in the local
limited access to credit or insurance drive the consumers to
better understanding of their target group: community and include your target group. The next chapter will
be smart shoppers and risk-adverse investors.
provide you with inspiration on how this can be done.
Trap for the altruistic: Companies tend to confuse need
with demand (who can use the product, rather than who can
buy it). Process of developing an
Cash flow blindness: Products that appear inexpensive by open-ended value proposition
Western standards cost two weeks’ salary in a developing To get an in-depth understanding of your target group, you
country. should apply an open-ended process. The process is open in
the way that you, in close collaboration with your target group,
“It’s-being-sold-on-credit-so-they’ll-buy-it”: Company allow them to define the value proposition, thereby encouraging
sales and profits are realized on the basis of increased debt
them to establish a perception of how the product makes sense
and loans for the consumer.


Follow and observe can be Deep dialogue is very useful Activity map is used to map a Learning by doing follows Designing the value Concept assessment is
used to get out among our in collecting the insights typical day of your end-users. the idea of submerging proposition to include the used when you have an
future customers. Go to a of people regarding their You develop a set of pictures yourself in the community potential customer in the idea or product that you
local community and talk perception of a product and illustrating the typical to better understand design of your product or want to present to your
or observe people in their whether they would actually activities of a day. (You the way people perceive service. Prepare different designated target group. 21
everyday lives. If you are pay for it. The activity is will have gained additional and understand things materials, such as pictures The assessment activity will
developing a business model important in determining insight after following and around them. This is an or prototypes, to facilitate provide you with information
for a new food product, it if the company can offer observing, as well as deep explorative task and does feedback from the target and knowledge, which can
can be useful to observe anything of commercial dialogues.)Then your target not necessarily focus on group. Recognize the be used in the iteration of
how people prepare their value to potential end-users. group maps out their day and any research questions or importance of an open- your idea or product.
food or how they shop. you will have a platform for products, but is an activity ended value proposition
dialogue, which can provide designed to make you where people develop
valuable insight in how value understand the living in the their own perception of the
is created. local community. product’s value.

Follow and observe Deep dialogue Activity map Learning by doing Designing value proposition Concept assessment

Page 68 Page 58 Page 62 Page 70 Page 80 Page 84



This case focuses on how
2 3
VestergaardFrandsen’s 4 5
strategic partnerships ensure
inclusion of the end-users.

This case will highlight:

The need to establish close relations with your end-users
although they are not the customer base.
How strategic partnerships can ensure inclusion of the
end-users through the activities “Learning by doing” and
“Designing of value proposition.”
VestergaardFrandsen (VF) has turned corporate social re-
In the focus country, a rural community was selected as a re-
sponsibility into their core business of creating life-saving prod-
search site. A local company that ran a malaria control program
ucts for the most vulnerable. Innovative products and concepts
provided the access to the site. The product development con-
are developed under their unique Humanitarian Entrepreneur-
sultant from VF was welcomed to the community by the village
ship business model, such as a thin sheet of woven shade cloth
chief. The consultant expressed interest in staying overnight two
impregnated with insecticide that is installed on the walls of
days in the community during the first week, showing full re-
a house to offer protection against diseases like malaria and
22 spect for the local conditions, and the chief honored the re-
quest by handing over a local abandoned house 2 3 that was
then renovated. The house and a few overnight stays did not
While the end-users are people living at the BOP target, cus-
only create direct access to the community but was further
tomers are primary public agencies (government agencies,
useful for the research to undertake most of the initial tests of
NGOs, etc.) or larger private industries interested in running
community-based malaria control programs. fixing methods 12 13 and acted as a local storage facility. In ad-
dition the possibility to stay overnight provided an opportunity
Strategic partnerships are formed with potential cus- to test other VF concepts and products with target-users and
tomers during the early research and development to prove potential customers, as well as discover new opportunities by
the safety of the product and create evidence of impact spending time in the community in the evening, observing
on malaria. While the marketability of the products depends the local behaviors at the time when the malaria-infected mos-
largely on the ability to prove the life-saving advantages, Vester- quitoes often bite.
gaardFrandsen also undertakes local field research to address
the product’s usability and acceptability among the end-
users – key factors for the actual ratio-of-use.
In addition to the textile technology, a second design challenge
was to ensure that the durable lining product would be fixed on
the walls throughout the expected efficacy period of three years.
A large variety of fixing and adhesive products were purchased
in the U.S. and locally, and tested systematically on a variety of
rural walls 12 13 .

To assess the textile, end-users were presented with small mate-

7 8 rial samples 6 and pictures of the installation during interviews.
They shared initial skepticism because the textile was similar to
9 10 that used in grain bags. Later, full room-installations were under-
taken locally to assess the training needed for locals to manage
the installation 5 8 . The full-room installations were also used
so that the community could assess the product in use and for
VF to observe the local adaption 14 .

An “Acceptability, Durability and Impact on Malaria” survey was

developed to guide later product assessment trials through sec-
ondary partners. The survey was tested before being finalized.
6 The test included surveys with households that were intentionally
given non-impregnated durable lining. The test answers proved
DESIGNING OF VALUE PROPOSITION inefficient in producing the correct answers. To avoid misleading
answers the survey now includes observations and activities that
Bed nets are frequently used inappropriately by the end-users
can reveal insight beyond people’s answers, including the use of
who instead catch fish with the net, decorate with the packag-
locals in the community as assistant researchers to tap into local
ing or get cash from selling the bed net on the market rather
than using it as intended to cover their beds. This behavior chal- knowledge and attitudes 15 .
lenges the value proposition of the product, especially the way
end-users experience the product must be attractive so misuse
is avoided. Misuse is particularly problematic if health awareness
is low.

To design the durable lining product VF needed to create attrac- 23

tive experiences for the locals. A number of local research and
design activities were undertaken: samples of the durable lining
product were “forgotten” in the village and later people were ob-
served using the durable lining product to screen their windows 12 13
for insects 9 ; many houses were visited to identify that if the
wall lining was blue, it would have great aesthetic value for those 14 15
who could not afford painting 7 ; developed acceptability and
durability surveys after the first pilot tests revealed that the du-
rable lining killed and physically screened for other rodents; 11
and that the transparency of the textile enabled personal paint-
ings on the wall to still be seen 10 . These local experiences are
now part of the product’s design and used in marketing to appeal
to the locals.
Community inclusion The inclusion of the target group in the business model
The notion of community inclusion lies at the very heart of the is often seen as a positive – and at times necessary – as-

market creation strategies, whereby you identify a community, pect of the business model. However, before you decide
which becomes the base of your initial business concept. The on including your target group, it is useful to be aware of
process of establishing contact with a community and subse- the economic lives of lower- and middle-income classes.


quently reiterating your ideas with the community can also be The reality that these income brackets are faced with can
referred to as the co-creation process. Through this process, challenge the idea of inclusion.
you develop and qualify the value proposition that your business
For example, your business model may assume that it is
model will ultimately deliver to the consumers.
positive to offer people an occupation, such as through
The time spent on the community inclusion is not a given from employment or entrepreneurship. If this approach is fa-
the beginning and cannot necessarily be scheduled, as it requires vored, you should be aware that microenterprises are un-
Create mutual value by you and the company team to submerge yourselves in the com-
munity and literally become part of the everyday lives of the
able to take advantage of economies of scale, but econo-
mists do not necessarily understand why. Many point to
including end-users in your potential consumer – what can also be described as participa- the lack of credit or systematic informality as the barriers
keeping entrepreneurs from scaling up a 1- or 2-person
tory market research. For example, the Solae Compay, a Dupont
business model – employ subsidiary, took a project team to the slums to live and work to- operation, and they leave it at that. However, other rea-
sons are also possible, as it appears that some entrepre-
your customers and let them gether with the target group. The project was a Base of the Pyra-
mid Protocol project as developed by the Center for Sustainable neurs consciously choose to engage in multiple occupa-
access new markets for you. Global Enterprise at Cornell University. The result was several
potential business models and concepts, ultimately ending up as
tions as a way of hedging against a downturn in any one
field – similar to how a sophisticated investor diversifies
a successful adoption of a soy protein product. his or her portfolio:
Risk spreading is clearly one reason why the low- and
In continuation of the previous chapter on customer This, the end result of community inclusion, is a comprehensive middle-income classes, who might find risk especially
base, you must be aware of the added value of co- understanding of the lifestyle of the target group of your com- hard to bear, tend not to be too specialized in any one
creating with and including local communities in pany, which means valuable information and knowledge that will occupation. They work part-time outside agriculture to
the business model. Co-creation – an expression for allow you to generate a successful business model. reduce their exposure to farming risk, and keep a foot in
development process with mutual benefits – is used agriculture to avoid being too dependent on their non-ag-
from the very early stages of the project develop- Co-created fridges ricultural jobs. You should also note that for many entre-
ment, beginning when you establish contact with the Companies that have gone through seeding, or participatory preneurs, this is a survivalist strategy and not necessarily
target groups to the implementation of your business market research, have gained new insights that allow them to the most profitable solution.
model, where the target group is included, such as generate non-traditional business models, such as the Indian
company Godrej and Boyce. The company manufactures a wide
distributors. Regardless of how you cooperate with
range of appliances, but had only succeeded in penetrating 18%
the target group, a certain degree of education is usu- of the Indian market with its refrigerators.
ally required.
The company decided to start a project that would address
this challenge and conducted detailed observations and open-
ended interviews with rural and semi-urban people who typically
The idea of inclusion earned $125 to $200 a month. The results showed that the tar-
A business model dimension that differs greatly in low-income get groups shared or rented fridges on a communal basis, which
markets is generating “inclusive business models.” The idea is to did not meet their needs. However, the reason they did this was
include the potential consumer into the business model, thereby not obvious. The observers found that most fridges contained
enhancing the overall likelihood of a successful and profitable only a few items, as the users tended to buy small daily quanti-
business venture. The inclusion can happen in various ways in ties of vegetables and milk. Moreover, as electricity was unreli-
the value chain, such as inclusion of consumers, producers, busi- Invitations to people’s homes can be an eye-opener in
able, the little food that was stored was put at risk. The overall
ness owners or employees. relation to the country’s cultures and norms
indications were that the fridge, as we knew it, did not propose
the typical value proposition to these Indian people – so why rent team on every aspect of the product’s design. The result was a This example addresses the sourcing of raw materials; however, you
or share a fridge? red, portable, 8 kilogram, low-energy fridge at $69, which is half can also consider including the target group as part of the sales or dis-
the cost of a basic refrigerator. tribution. Regardless of how your inclusive business model will look, it
The team concluded that what this group needed above all else is imperative that people are educated, whether they assist in produc-
was to stretch one meal into two by preserving leftovers and to ing/supplying or are consumers your product.
keep drinks cooler than room temperature. Clearly, there was no Owner-scheme and supply chain integration
reason to spend a month’s salary on a conventional refrigerator Yet another way to include the BOP segment in the business
and pay steep electricity prices to get the job done. Nor was the model is to encourage ownership, as the South African company
solution a cheaper conventional fridge. The unmet job required Mondi Recycling, which successfully reconfigured its entire sup-
an entirely new product, supported by a new business model. ply chain of used paper, did by outsourcing an essential link of the
recovery process to former employees through an owner-driver
After initial participatory market research indicated that low-end scheme. The scheme was developed as the company could re-
refrigerators were not the right approach, the team prototyped duce its costs and increase productivity by paying its transport
a unit from the ground up and tested it in the field with the con- service providers on a volume basis rather than a fixed salary
sumers. The test included 600 women, gathered to participate basis. The service providers were then in charge of dealing with
in a co-creation event. Working with the original prototypes and the more than 12,000 hawkers, which the used paper industry
several others that had followed, the women collaborated with a relies on.


Social mapping is a Customer segmentation Creating scenarios can be Ranking values can be Prototyping is an important Deep dialogue can be
very important activity will help you understand very useful in this context as used for various things. For activity, as a deep used to get comprehensive
to conduct in the early who is actually a consumer. you can use it to exemplify example, in the early stages, understanding of local insight into the dynamics
stage of your business The activity supports other how your target group it can be used for general needs and markets does of a community from the
model generation. The activities, such as deep should be included, such as feedback on different not ensure that you will individual’s perspective. 25
activity allows you to dialogue. In this case, making a picture showing concepts for your business translate these into the This can be a determining
map the local community it useful to generate an your business model that model and, at a later stage, right solutions. Include factor in understanding how
and get acquainted with overview of the different depicts how your target you can use it to rank the your target groups or local and why a potential target
relationships between target groups that you are group will be involved. importance of the different manufacturers to get group should be included in
key stakeholders, such observing. This can generate valuable dimensions of the business inspiration by sharing their the business model.
as consumers and feedback. model in relation to when ideas and feedback on your
shopkeepers. your target group should be solutions.

Social map Customer segmentation Create scenarios Ranking values Prototyping Deep dialogue

Page 64 Page 72 Page 74 Page 76 Page 82 Page 58


This case illustrates how
NGOs planned and collected
insight from field research
through local partnerships.
This case will highlight:
The potential to undertake participatory market research
through local partnerships and collect feedback through
digital media.
How you can ensure end-user inclusion through the Tool-
box Activity: Deep dialogue.
1 2
Using smartphone to plan research
Through a partnership with IBIS, the company Worldbarrow
collected information on their target groups by using the DEEP DIALOGUE
ViewWorld product (read about ViewWorld on page 17). Pre-survey in cooperation with NGO
Information was collected through a customized survey, Worldbarrow developed a digital survey from the ViewWorld
which generated a valuable overview of local farmers and website that included questions to characterize the farmers,
their characteristics. The information helped Worldbarrow optional questions on local types of crops and transport,
26 identify participants to work with and prepare activities to and open-ended questions to ask what farmers would use a
address market opportunities for an innovative wheelbarrow. wheelbarrow for.

Identify opportunities through Effective market research

local partners Through IBIS, “Deep dialogue” was undertaken with 20 farmers
The organization access2innovation collects insight on during one day by using a smartphone with the survey form 2 .
local conditions, needs and opportunities through NGO Answers, notes, pictures and GPS coordinates were recorded
partnerships. The NGOs ActionAid and CARE undertook local directly on the smartphone to develop a profile of each farmer
research, addressing renewable energy, water, sanitation and 3 . The report of the survey was printed 7 and helped the
food, at their own centers and in target communities within researcher to later identify and involve the same farmers in
one month. Research was undertaken after initial training on participatory market research activities 5 . The pre-survey
the “Deep dialogue” activity. The feedback and insight were also made it possible to adapt market research activities based
communicated digitally to access2innovation who will use the on initial knowledge of the farmers’ business and initial
the material to support and identify opportunities for new feedback on the prototype.
commercial solutions that can reduce poverty.
access2innovation facilitated a workshop for both CARE and
ActionAid to inspire and guide how to undertake research and
needs identification through deep dialogues. Both NGOs were
given the “Deep dialogue” activity description and asked to
collect insight through questions, observations, pictures and
video 4 . ActionAid used deep dialogues to specifically identify
opportunities for renewable energy at one of their local training
centers 6 while CARE was asked to identify local challenges in
general by exploring one of CARE’s communities 8 .

After one month, both NGOs delivered information from

research through reports with pictures and quotes 10 from
the target group, videos communicating local conditions 6
, interviews with target group representatives and pictures
showing local conditions 9 . The material illustrated what topics
and challenges the local partners considered important and
relevant. Based on this material, access2innovation will address
the need for further research and map potential needs that can
3 4 hold the interest of industries.

5 6


7 8
9 10

Developing material
CASE: Prior to the field study, a list of fourteen different values relevant for
the purchase of street food was defined in collaboration with a local

partner. The values were all defined as negative values of the street
food business that could prevent customers from purchasing the

END-USERS food at a particular stand, including “dirty water,” “angry vendor,”

“old food” or “costly.” Aspects were represented with a short title in
English and the local language and large pictures that wereas glued
This case focuses on how on heavy-duty cardboard to be re-used in several sessions and in
rough environments 3 . On an A3 paper 2 a scale was made with
InnoAid included the end- an arrow from “High: The value that would stop the customer from
purchasing food at a street vendor” and “Low: the value less impor-
users to develop solutions tant for the customer when purchasing street food.”

for street food businesses. Inclusion of vendors and consumers

The first ranking of values was done by approaching customers
during lunchtime at the street food vendors. Individual consumers
This case will highlight: were introduced to the activity, and by using the ground or a small
The need to undertake local field research to understand table, consumers were asked to rank the values on the A3 paper.
end-users of the solutions and include them into the de- The activity created much attention from other consumers who in-
sign process to assure that solutions are acceptable and 1 terrupted the activity with their suggestions for the ranking, gener-
affordable. ating valuable discussions that revealed differences and arguments
for consumers’ prioritization when purchasing street food. For the
How you can create a strong inclusion of the end-user customers, the vendor’s behavior, tastiness of the food and hygienic
through the Toolbox Activities: Value ranking and Prototyp- conditions were much more important than price.
ing. Individual street food vendors were asked to rank the values accord-
ing to their idea on what they thought consumers prioritized or dis-
InnoAid started an innovation project to work together with
liked the most when looking to purchase street food. The vendors
NGOs and workers’ unions to co-create with the street food
were approached during midday or late afternoon when their busi-
vendors a set of educational, financial, social and technical nesses were quiet.
solutions to sustain and improve their businesses.
Dual use
Understanding local needs and priorities Customers’ and vendors’ rankings provided quantitative insight
28 Through the use of Toolbox Activities with the vendors them- when comparing ranking of the same aspects among the vendors
selves, it was discovered that their needs and priorities dif- and consumers as well as qualitative insight by addressing notes
fered from those discovered through the initial desk research. from the discussions and dialogue during and after the activity.
While publications focused on challenges related to unhygien-
ic conditions and urban development, the vendors prioritized Looking at the consumer as well as vendors’ perceptions of the cus-
day-to-day challenges, such as how to avoid harassment from tomer gave deep and very relevant insight for the project to address
solutions prioritized by the consumers and addressing the attitude
local authorities and maintained their pride about being indi-
of the vendors. There were several differences on what the consum-
vidual and diverse businessmen.
er valued and what the vendor thought his or her consumers val-
ued. These differences became relevant when designing messages
Creating access to the end-users in the educational material on how the vendors could improve their
Local influential leaders played an important role in the businesses by looking at new value propositions.
beginning to create access to the end-users. It was discov-
The activity was very simple, but with the vendors, who mostly had
ered through initial research that to create access to work
very limited formal education and were unfamiliar with participatory
directly with the vendors, local “hawkers’ unions” had to be
activities, it provided the right level of abstraction for them to under-
approached to introduce the research to local leaders of the stand and be able to reflect on their ranking of values.
Fifteen pictures were selected of current local kiosk designs taken
during the first field visit and printed in A4 and laminated. Eight key
aspects were defined that were important to address in the design
of the kiosk, such as mobility, storage and durability. For each key
aspect a paper card was made listing different types of solutions to
consider, such as for “mobility” addressing the need for wheels, a
mechanism to push or pull, solutions on how to remove the kiosk
to clean the area, etc.

Two workshops, each with five vendors, were arranged through the
vendors’ union. During a workshop, one of the activities was to ad-
dress the design of the kiosk. The laminated pictures were present-
ed to the group. The pictures included were intentionally, local street
kitchens, but not from their own street to avoid critiques becoming
too personal and sensitive. The paper cards were used to structure
the activity and solicit ideas from the vendors on the technical de-
sign by only addressing one aspect at a time. Ideas were shared and
developed by using the pictures as a reference of current good and
bad existing solutions. The researcher and vendors used the lami-
nated pictures and other paper to draw new, detailed solutions 4
5 . The drawings, especially on the current design, were very useful
2 for the design team to further develop solutions.
3 Detailing
Design ideas from the vendors used by a group of design and in-
novation engineers who developed an improved modular kiosk that
could be adapted and manufactured in accordance to the vendor’s
financial capabilities to invest in a new solution and the specific type
of foods sold. For further feedback, a concept catalogue was de-
veloped to show the use, variety and specifications of the design
through 3D drawings and taken to India for further feedback from
the vendors, unions and consumers 7 . In addition, the kiosk design
was printed in black and white to invite selected vendors to detail 29
the design by coloring and detailing the illustration of the kiosk 6
. Allowing the vendors to design and detail the print-outs provided
5 6
insight, such as the looks of the menu and the meaning of the colors.
7 8
The revised concept catalogue, based on the vendor’s feedback, was
used to present to three local blacksmiths for additional comments
in relation to the manufacturing aspects 7 . Two of the blacksmiths
were contracted to manufacture a 1:1 prototype to both gain insight
on local manufacturing skills, how detail solutions were made, how
to communicate technical designs for local manufacturing and to
be able to estimate the cost. The prototypes were afterward lent
to two street food vendors who are currently using these to provide
additional feedback in relation to usability and durability 8 .
Sales points exist in myriad types in developing countries, espe-

cially due to the size of the informal sector. Below is a list of the
many types of sales observed:

Shelf shops: Small shops along the road are found in urban
and rural locations. The shops are very often combined with
street kitchens and evidently have irregular opening hours.


SYSTEM Supermarkets: Fully equipped supermarkets, as we know
from developed countries, are in many developing coun-
tries. However, the prices typically exclude the lower-income

Often distribution is the Motorcycles: Often used for distribution, the motorcycle is
also used as a sales platform, sometimes as a rebuild model
determining factor for a with a load, thereby allowing more space.

successful BOP business Bicycles: Bicycles are more than often rebuilt, such as with
boxes in front or back. The bicycles are very popular for dis-
model. Costs can easily tribution or sales due to the low costs and large area cover-
increase, however, this also Pushcarts: The carts offer high volumes and are often used
creates strong incentives for for heavy-duty items, such as cement or liquids. However,
the radius is rather limited due to the slow speed.
innovation and, as a result, Distribution in rural areas is very
different to urban areas Head baskets: A popular way of transporting goods is by
sustains competitiveness. Approaches such as micro-franchising, piggy-backing, product
carrying a container or basket on the head. People will usu-
ally sell directly from these basket, thereby making it a small
bundling and back-loading are examples of alternative distri- shop.
Many companies have experienced that the distri- bution channels applied to cost-effectively reach consumers of
bution and organization of the supply chain, is the lower- and middle-income classes.
determining factor enabling and sustaining the busi-
ness strategy. The reasons that this business model Aligning market strategy
aspect draws a high degree of attention are e.g. the and distribution strategy
lack of efficient infrastructure, unorganized market An important factor in determining how the consumers should
structure or high costs or operating in rural areas. be reached is whether a company is entering or creating a mar-
The size and organization of the informal markets ket. In relation to market creation strategies, distribution is a
typically suggest that companies must develop inno- critical success factor, due to what can be defined as the “margin
vative practices to enable a profitable supply of their game.”
products to the consumers.
In short, this can be explained using Procter & Gamble as an
example. The company, which marketed a sachet product, soap,
relied on very large volumes and small margins. It can be dis-
Make use of alternative distribution cussed if the product qualifies as a “BOP product” when looking
at whether it has any social impact for the BOP, however it is un-
channels deniable that through the packaging and distribution approach,
Successful BOP-business models are often ascribed to innova- commercial success has been achieved. However, this approach
tive distribution forms and creative use of supply chains. The evi- is based on the contingency that an existing market can be en-
dence of the need for innovation in this context is demonstrated tered, which results in the possibility of realizing profits on small Lack of access to transportation can produce creative
by the different types of distribution observed in BOP-markets. margins. results, such as this gigantic running wheel
Contrary to this strategy, a company can decide to create the of micro-franchising, which means that entrepreneurial individu- the eyeglasses, it does not necessarily entail that they would buy
markets, which means investing in the framework needed for a als can rent, for example, a bike and choose, on their own, the them for the simple reason that they cannot access the product.
successful commercialization, e.g. the cost of changing the life- markets where they want to sell. This meant that the company had to find a way for the dis-
style of the consumer, so they can adopt the company’s product. These micro-franchisees can realize higher profits than if the tribution of a product that goes hand in hand with a service
Essentially this requires higher margins, because the distribu- company invests in identifying and going to the same markets. that requires on-site equipment and expertise. Namely they
tion and marketing of the product is higher. Companies must be Other business companies have tried to adopt the micro-fran- needed to test people to conclude what types of eyeglasses
aware of this factor when determining the ideal distribution and chising in the business model; however it is contingent upon were needed. The solution was to create a mobile clinic that
supply chains. important factors such the dilemma between social objectives would reach the consumers at their location, thereby creating
and profitability, meaning how poor can the people included are access to the market.
Micro-franchising allowed to be. If they are too poor, they will not be able to pay the
franchisee fee, which translates to poor sales for the company. Back-loading
Determining the ideal distribution strategy evidently relies on the
type of product or service the company is trying to market. For Back-loading occurs when empty freighters move across the
some companies, micro-franchising has been a successful ap- Integration of service provision country, thereby providing an opportunity for transporting goods.
proach in reaching consumers. Examples include FanMilk, which Building on the same critical factor as FanMilk, in terms of ac- DHL in Kenya has had great success with delivering goods to re-
pioneered bicycle and push cart distribution of ice cream at mass cess to markets, the company Essilor has developed an innova- mote farmers, using the empty trucks that pick up the produce.
scale, making it possible for the company to realize substantial tive approach in creating access to new markets. The company The empty trucks have opened up as a business opportunity for
sales. However, the use of alternative transportation was only is a manufacturer of eyeglasses and through the exploration of not only DHL, but also several other companies that supply farm
part of the success. Another important factor was the integration the BOP market they found that even if the people could afford inputs to the farmers.


The social map can be used Follow and observe can be Creating scenarios involves, Ranking values is a very Price mapping is very Concept assessment
as an exercise that draws used to track products and e.g. a company presenting a useful exercise, which useful in determining the involves testing your idea
out the hierarchy in a local people, such as by physically fictive distribution scenario can assist companies in different costs that a target or distribution on your
community and reveals who following the process, for a group of people, prioritizing the value of group encounters, such as target group. For example,
the decision makers are. thereby understanding thereby gaining valuable different manners, for throughout a given supply if you can conceptualize 31
This is relevant in relation to the intricacies and risks of feedback on how companies example, if people would chain. The activity can a distribution setup, you
distribution as it allows the distribution in the informal can shape the distribution. pay for service provision as then assist in assessing the use the activity to receive
company to determine how market. part of the distribution. different mark-ups in the feedback and gain valuable
the local community can supply chain. information as to whether
be included in the business your concept is feasible.

Social map Follow and observe Create scenarios Ranking values Price mapping Concept assessment

Page 64 Page 68 Page 74 Page 76 Page 78 Page 84


distribution system
This case focuses on how
Danisco closely examined an
existing distribution system.

This case will highlight:

The need to investigate how the distribution system works
to estimate how to develop a distribution scenario that
would cost-effectively reach the farmers.
How you can explore a distribution system through the
Toolbox Activities: Follow and observe, Price mapping and 1 2
Ranking value.
Informal market channels Prior to the field study, 20 small pictures were printed that
A very large quantity of the milk is supplied through informal showed the different aspects of a farming business. At work-
market channels, such as small outlets or markets, and shops, the farmers and the informal traders were asked to orga-
informal processes also influence the organization of the nize and prioritize the different features of their businesses (e.g.,
milk collection at the farmer level. Large, industrialized milk the value of durability) 1 , which indicated to the researchers
processors exist, with a demanding value chain, such as how they valued and prioritized the different features/aspects of
depending on the season the infrastructure makes it easy their businesses 5 .
32 or difficult to collect the milk from the farmers. Combined,
these factors create a market that is complex to operate in, The activity was very fruitful in revealing how these potential
especially for the farmer himself. consumers made business decisions, such as at community
meetings 2 ; again, this provided value information for the value
The people in focus proposition of the product.
The farmer procures his products in numerous ways, through
This information could in turn be related to how the product
co-operatives, manufacturers and small shops. This indicates
should be distributed. For example, when looking at existing
that the farmer is not waiting to be taken by the hand but is
consumption habits and patterns, it became possible to esti-
a thrifty and entrepreneurial individual. The majority of the mate whether traditional distribution through an importer would
farmers are looking to grow the farm, but the complexity be relevant, or if it was more efficient to develop an alternative
of the market, most often the low access to information distribution scenario based on where other goods, such as daily
regarding sales prices and prices on farm inputs, obstructs food products, were bought.
him or her from developing the business.
The participatory consumer research also contained an
activity that encouraged the farmers and the informal traders
to disclose buying and selling prices, as well as different types
of incurred costs, (e.g., materials and fees) using simple card-
board paper 11 .

The activity was carried out on-location at the cooperative 10 .

Altogether, this information established an overview and, more
3 4 importantly, a reference point for discussion 13 . This made
it possible to discuss the economic value to be derived from
5 6 the introduction of the product. Hence, this activity turned out
to be useful for numerical information that could be used to
estimate how consumers can benefit economically.

To extract information the farmers were asked to fill out a

questionnaire 9 . In relation to the distribution of the product,
this information was very valuable to determine how best
to achieve a cost-effective distribution while attaining the
economic value that the farmers had expressed.



The researcher literally followed the farmers and informal
traders for a day 12 , to and from the points of milking, pick-up,
transportation, and delivery at the dairy. The arrangement to
follow the milking from A 8 to Z was easily organized through
a local dairy, as was focus group meetings with the farmers.

However, it should be noted that the farmers showed significant

signs of bias, as the dairy quality control representative followed
the researcher to the locations. However, following the supply 33
chain of the milk supply proved many valuable learning’s, such 7 8
as how the milk is bought and sold on the informal market or
how the milk is being handled 4 . 9 10

Altogether, the insight generated was used to determine where

the weak points of the current distribution system, e.g. such as
the current storage containers, which were not approved by the
authorities 6 .

distribution system
This case focuses on how
students mapped current
infrastructures for delivery of
products and services.
This case will highlight:
The need to understand local infrastructures and how
these can act as opportunities and barriers for new types of
healthcare services.
How you can explore a distribution system through the
Toolbox Activities: Follow and observe, Deep dialogue, and
Activity map.

Four master’s students from Copenhagen Business School

undertook a six-week project for a pharmaceutical company 1 2
to research about how to create access to new healthcare ser-
vices through micro franchising. Toolbox Activities were used
to map current infrastructures for the supply of medical drugs FOLLOW AND OBSERVE
and services, and to understand the pivotal role of local entre- By walking through different residential areas where lower-
preneurs in delivering service to the patients. income residents lived, worked and commuted, the team got
up-close impressions of the urban conditions and local health
34 Informal provision of health care services. With no predetermined plan, the group easily identified
The great number of unqualified healthcare practitioners with local diagnostic and health clinics, pharmacies and micro-entre-
little or no formal training is a challenge for Indians seeking preneurs. The lack of a firm plan provided the group the possibil-
quality health care. These practitioners are often the first point ity to observe the target groups in their daily lives, without the
of contact for a patient, as they are considered a trusted neigh- bias of an organized event where a local contact could serve his
bor who offers very low prices for attractive treatments. While
or her interests. Most people and institutions welcomed the stu-
NGOs are starting to recognize the unqualified practitioner’s
dents and the informal dialogues provided valuable knowledge.
skills to reach out into the community, and are providing them
with training and/or incentives to do referrals, companies are Through the contacts established with local NGOs and govern-
often facing great challenges in their local programs since they ment initiatives it was possible to visit the slum dwellings and
sidestep this important social actor. nearby rural villages where it was more difficult to access without
someone from the community itself. The team followed a local
Student projects based on empirical data health worker and observed the conditions in the communities
The students completed 10 days of field research with a con- 2 . The activity provided the unique opportunity to gain insight
sultant to meet with different local healthcare programs and lo- into local infrastructures and the role of the informal health prac-
cal organizations that could share insight on current challenges titioners 7 .
and opportunities from different standpoints and give access
to local communities, local practitioners and patients.
30 small pictures were printed before departure, symbolizing dif-
ferent types of symptoms, treatments, types of transport and
daily activities and healthcare practitioners.

During deep dialogue session with patients the images were dis-
played to the patient, who, with the help of a timeline on a piece
of paper, told his or her typical daily activities 6 . The activity
4 5 map changed according to the level of involvement of the patient
and the space available for drawing. Variations of the diagram
6 7 included the use of two different cards to refer to activities that
happened daily or occasionally.

The activity proved to be, apart from a great icebreaker, also a

way for the patient to open up and communicate his or her emo-
tions, and through them articulate on the challenges posed in his
or her everyday life by the disease 8 . It gave insight into the pa-
tients’ daily and weekly treatment activities that communicated
a great need for better access to health care.

To prepare for the local dialogues, a research diary was devel-
oped for each primary target group: patients, health profession-
als and entrepreneurs. Valuable dialogues were created sponta-
neously in different locations, such as on the streets 3 , in shops,
private households 4 9 , clinics, offices and during health cam-
paigns 5 . The use of audio recorders was helpful in hectic envi-
ronments. Meeting patients at their homes revealed insight into
their socio-economic conditions.
Different profiles of the patients were developed through the
research diary and later used to develop solutions on how to
bring healthcare services closer to the patient. Patients revealed
an interest not only in affordable drugs, but also the delivery of
additional valued services. Dialogue with pharmacies gave an
understanding of current supply and sales of drugs, and services
provided, such as local home delivery. Dialogues with local en-
trepreneurs provided insight into the characteristics needed for
local distribution models and services offered to the customers.
The high impact and success of sachet products is highly re-

PRICING AND lated to the nature of people’s cash flow. Because the informal
economy, most often, does not operate with monthly pay slips
and credit lines the cash flow is more volatile and can change

quickly from day to day. This means that people tend to prefer
purchases in small quantities so cash flow is freed up.

However, this has a severe impact on products or services that

have higher costs, but is better economically in the long term.
For example, during field research, a Danish medtech company
found that the most commonly used products were very cheap
(USD 0.50) and of inferior quality to the company’s own prod-
Setting the correct price for ucts. Contrary to this, the company observed that its products
products and ensuring that were also on the market, although access was very low and the
average cost (USD 5.4-10.8) was much higher than the com-
people can access finance are monly used product. However, participatory market research
revealed that even though the product prices were very different,
key priorities in these markets. Informal shops’ administration of cash is
very different to formal markets the total cost for the user differed, resulting in the cheaper prod-
uct having higher costs.
Furthermore, it is often the BOP segment, and perhaps most
Although the situation has looked gloomy, the cir- often, that pays higher prices for basic goods and services than
wealthier consumers – either in cash or in the effort they must
cumstances in developing countries are slowly
expend to obtain them – and they often receive lower quality
changing. Still, many people are living in extreme as well. For example, the most common energy source used for
poverty, but as conditions improve, so do two of the cooking in Sub-Saharan Africa, charcoal, typically has a higher
key factors determining the success of multinationals cost per meal than would electricity or liquefied petroleum gas if
in BOP markets: pricing and financing. Determining these energy sources could be accessed.
and charging the right price and relying on available
finance for the consumer has become a reality. Com- However unfair these situations might be, it sends an unambigu-
panies should beware of the common traps when ous signal that these segments have a disposable income that
developing BOP projects and the innovative methods can, at times, sustain the costs brought upon them. In other
36 words, it can be deducted from the observed examples that their
applied to ensure success.
purchasing power is low and that they are paying more for less.
This evidently opens up the doors for companies, provided that
needs are not misinterpreted with demand.
Poverty trap: People pay more for less
A commonly known fact about consumers in lower- and middle- Small quantities: Good or bad?
income classes is that they are sometimes trapped in poverty BOP markets are often linked to sachet products. A good exam-
and basic goods, such as food products, energy, education and ple of a successful sachet product is Arla’s milk power products,
health services, are overpriced. widely sold in Africa. In one instance, when marketing the prod- Popularity of mobile phones have meant that
uct in Congo, the company observed that sales were poor on the pricing information must be very visible
The trap occurs as these basic products and services cost more cheapest of their products. Through research it was found that a
– at times more than in developing countries – than they should, different and former brand had been cheap and of very low qual- The reason was that due to very poor quality, the product’s
thereby obstructing people’s consumption habits. For example, ity, therefore, the consumer connected low price with low quality. consumption rate was significantly higher (approximately five
water in Bangladesh is estimated to be more expensive for the The result was that the high-end product in Arla’s product range products a day) than the company’s own product (one to two
BOP segment than in Copenhagen. became very popular. products a week). This example shows why low pricing does not
necessarily free up capital or works in the favour of the consum- nancial means (airtime credit) to use the products (mobile Group financing: Group financing is a very popular financing
er. Furthermore, it emphasizes why innovative financing models phones/sim card). Grundfos LIFELINK, as mentioned earlier, method in rural areas, where people come together and pool
are needed to assist the consumers in accessing better products has managed to introduce a token where people can trans- their capital for investments. Typically, this type of financing
and services. fer mobile payments, and thereby use the token to pay for emerges when there is no access to formal institutions, such
services. The technology is very applicable, as it is more flex- as a microfinance institution.
Financing schemes: ible as a device than transferring from the mobile phone to
Microloans: Microloans have become very popular as a
pay for the service.
Enabling consumers to buy method to increase access to financing for people. It can be
Cross-financing: Cross-financing builds on the concept of questioned whether microloans have succeeded in reducing
Companies and communities have invented multiple ways to
subsidizing costs of a product by the earnings from another poverty, but it remains a complementary solution for com-
ensure that people do not lack access to their products due to
product, thereby catering for very different segments based panies in extending their products, which can benefit indi-
financial capabilities. Some of the approaches observed include:
on price and overall experience of the product. An example viduals or communities.
Financing schemes for ongoing services: Financing schemes is AravindEyecare, which subsidizes 70% of all the poor pa-
for ongoing services is widely applied – the best known ex- tients they treat for cataracts. Regular patients are charged
ample being prepaid credits for mobile phones. The rapid USD 350, which means that the hospital can offer the op-
expansion and adaptation of mobile phones in developing eration at USD 30. Evidently, the cross-financing only works
countries is intertwined with the company’s ability to put a because of very well-developed cost structures, such as the
vendor on street corners where people can access the fi- procedures and routines of the surgeons.


Concept assessment can Follow and observe can be Resource flow can provide Ranking values is useful in Self-observation can assist Price mapping is a
provide considerable insight used to visit a number of details on the input and getting people to prioritize you in getting an insight into particularly relevant
into the e.g. financial stores, together with your output of a household. the different characteristics details that would usually activity in relation to this
aspect of your solution. target group. This will allow For example, does the of a product or service, not emerge when you are business model aspect,
For instance, the concept you to understand how household have a loan and such as whether they value physically present. For as it can extract price and 37
might involve a financing they look for products or what is the loan financing? price over taste. It could example, you can instruct cost information of a group
scheme as part of the services, as well as collect Similar to this, you can map also be how much they people to note the prices of people. Through the
purchasing. The activity can price information. You can the income and expenses would sacrifice to buy the of a number of relevant activity, you gain a better
provide valuable insight into also visit the bank together of a shop, which can then product, such as giving up purchases, e.g. every time understanding of the
whether the target group with a local. be cross-referenced to price other purchases to buy the they buy groceries. economic value proposition
finds it attractive. lists of the shop. company’s product. of your company.

Concept assessment Product in market Resource flow Ranking values Self-documentation Price mapping

Page 84 Page 86 Page 66 Page 76 Page 60 Page 78



This case focuses on how
Worldbarrow sourced
relevant price information.

This case will highlight:

The benefits of introducing a prototype to a local com-
munity, as part of relevant price information, which can be
used for the business model generation.
How you can explore pricing and financing through the
Toolbox Activities: Resource flow, Price mapping, Assessing 1 2
product, Product in market and Self-documentation.
The activity addressed both expenses and income of a farmer’s
Price determination household and business to understand the distribution of spending.
There are different methods in determining a product’s price;
however, in BOP markets, pricing products can be particularly An elderly farmer was asked to be the first participant due to his
difficult. A specific factor for the wheelbarrow product, which is good English skills. The farmer was very thorough and wrote down
designed specifically for farmers, was that cocoa farmers are his types of resources, from church offerings to pesticides 7 . Par-
trapped in a low cash flow trap – after they sell the harvest, ticipants later had less confidence and used the categories from
38 time surpasses before the payment is received. By this time, first exercise.
they will have spent the most cash on fertilizers and pesticides.
The activity proved very time-consuming since it invited farmers to
Small returns also count proudly share insight on their crops 3 , use of pesticide and show-
Even though such factors play a considerable role, the farmers ing their farming tools. The farmers ranked the resource catego-
are very conscious about the financial opportunities of a wheel- ries in accordance to their relative yearly cost 4 , and afterwards
barrow. The wheelbarrow would increase their carry load and they tried to define the annual spending on each of them, in local
speed, thereby liberating resources, which could be allocated currency, with the help of others observing the activity 2 .
elsewhere, such as nurturing a large farm or attending to sec-
ondary income opportunities. The small returns on a wheelbar- The resource flow communicated clear examples of the fact
row would be sufficient to finance the actual purchase, as the that local spending is not always rational from our point of view.
farmer’s overall income would be increased. Through the activity, valuable insight on local spending and rev-
enue was found, as well as a local vocabulary of local resources
that proved useful later.
3 4
5 6

The participatory consumer research also contained an activity
that encouraged the farmers and the informal traders to dis-
close buying and selling prices, as well as different types of in-
curred costs, (e.g., materials and fees) using simple cardboard
paper 11 .

The activity was carried out on-location at the co-operative 10 .

Altogether, this information established an overview and, more 39
importantly, a reference point for discussion 13 . This made it 9 10
possible to discuss the economic value to be derived from the
introduction of the product. Hence, this activity turned out to be 11 12
useful for numerical information that could be used to estimate
how consumers could benefit economically.

To extract information, the farmers were asked to fill out a ques-

tionnaire 9 . In relation to the distribution of the product, this
information was very valuable to determine how best to achieve
a cost-effective distribution while attaining the economic value
that the farmers had expressed.
The activity commenced by preparing various pictures indicating


people’s positive or negative opinion of the product 13 . These
were later attached to the product itself. However, before that,
the researchers visited a number of shops.

The selection of the shops was spontaneous, as the shops are

typically very small and pre-arranged appointments are difficult
to make. However, it would be possible to coordinate with a local
partner to visit a number of selected shops for a more structured
approach. Additional value can be achieved if the researchers
pick a non-traditional shop, to allow for feedback from not-so-
obvious customer segments.

In this case, a shop that dealt in hardware supplies 17 was cho-

sen and the researchers agreed with the manager of the shop
that a product be presented at the front of the shop with the
printed picture attached to it 14 . In addition to this, he was given
a number of questionnaires 18 for his clients to fill out. Instead of
13 merely handing him the questionnaires, the researchers carefully
instructed him on what each question addressed, etc. 15 . When
clients filled out a questionnaire, they received a free pen 19 .

The product remained in the shop for three days and upon
return, the researchers had a short informal meeting with the
manager 16 . The activity provided insightful knowledge concern-
ing his clients’ responses to the product, such as the price, what it
could be used for and the general appeal.

The manager of the shop was very interested in including the

product in his stock and found the price to be attractive. It was
agreed that the manager receive the product, which can also be
useful if the researcher should return again, as this will generate
new insights.
14 19 20

Prior to departure, 20 disposable cameras were prepared with
a list of nine different pictures to be taken by the farmers them-
selves 22 .
Each of the selected 20 farmers got a disposable camera with
an exercise to take a minimum of nine types of pictures within
two days. Most farmers had never used a camera before, so
it got a lot of attention, making them proud to be participants.
They were clearly informed about the purpose of the cameras
21 . The farmers were in control of the activity and the outcome 41
15 16 was very explorative 20 . The activity was launched by letting the 21 22
farmers take 10 pictures, thereby trying out the camera – this
17 18 also allowed them to chose motives of other things that had a 23 24
personal value.
Pictures were developed after the field research and grouped ac-
cording to themes identified among the pictures 23 . More than
half of the pictures were directly relevant to the project, while the
remaining photos were of children, local activities, the research-
er, etc., and gave insight into what the farmer valued. Pictures re-
vealed alternatives uses of the wheelbarrow not revealed during
own observations, and insight on local farming tools, road condi-
tions for the wheelbarrow, how farmers used the prototype and
their general living conditions 24 .
and find out how they think it should be solved. This emphasizes

MARKETING the importance of including the local community in the devel-

opment and execution of packaging and marketing strategies.
Creating alliances and co-creating with the local community will

significantly increase the likelihood of success. Therefore, the
company should focus on studying and learning the behaviors
of the local community and integrate this behavior into the busi-

ness model.

Alternative product value

For companies, the value of a product might be apparent and
easy to understand. Even for products that are easy-to-use and
serve a specific purpose, people can and will adapt the use of
In developing markets, the product. For example, a manufacturer of mosquito nets, ob-
served that the communities in which their nets were used to
alternative methods must be protect the people from getting malaria, the nets were instead
used because the consumers being used as fishing nets.

are hard to predict. Similarly, a Danish company observed, during field research, that
battery acid plastic containers were being used for transporting
dairy products. Altogether, these examples point towards first
Alternative product value is often observed, for example of all the necessity for companies in conducting field research
The perception of marketing and packaging has by using windscreen wipers to transport fish as it brings about very important information and knowledge on
had, in many cases, to be altered when operating on product use. Second, it shows the creativity and lack of knowl-
portion of income used on alcohol and gambling, even though
markets in developing countries. Applying the same basic needs have not been met. As previously mentioned, the
approaches as in developed markets usually has disposable income can be difficult to estimate and a reason for
drawbacks, as people’s valuation of the products and this is that consumption is at times irrational.
services are very different. Typically, this is a result of
a very different behavior due to the circumstances in This is evident in the marketing and packaging of intimate health
which the people live. Consumers use the products products, such as continence care, where women at times are
in new ways, which means that the marketing and more occupied with the design of the product – that it looks femi-
packaging sometimes do not correspond with the ex- nine and discrete – than the actual functionality of the product.
42 pectations of the consumers.
The organization Ecotact, a provider of sanitarian services in ar-
eas with poor access to sanitation, has had success in completely
leaving out the core of the product: access to toilets at a central
Communicating the value proposition location (similar to that of a small shopping center). Instead, the
organization focused on the services surrounding the toilets,
The value proposition of a product is difficult for foreign compa- which were access to clean water, showers, washing clothing,
nies to communicate in developing countries, as people’s behav- but also less traditional services such as internet access, shoe
iors are based on a different set of principles than in developed shining and convenience stores. Eventually, religious and politi-
countries. cal leaders, actually making the toilets chic, have endorsed the
Ecotact toilets.
The result of this behavior can be observed in different ways,
such as the notion of irrational spending. Irrational spending oc-
curs not only in developing countries, but it is much more difficult Inclusion of the end-user is the answer
to determine the cause of the irrationality due to low access to These examples demonstrate a fundamental issue: Companies Typical packaging in developing countries comes
information. An example of irrational spending is the high pro- need to find out exactly what the challenge is for the individuals in small quantities and bright colors
edge – in this case related to packaging – of the local population, The message of the campaign can then support the usage of the In addition, the company is accumulating learning in terms of
thereby giving away important information on how the product company’s product. P&G did this in a campaign that had a posi- how the product creates value for the people involved in con-
value is interpreted and in which way it should be marketed. tive approach related to their products. The company has devel- ducting the grassroots marketing, and how the local community
oped a successful clean-hands campaign with Safeguard soap receives the output from the marketing activities, such as the
Social change campaigns that combined a message about bacteria with upbeat commer- community cooking expo.
cials of healthy, happy children washing their hands and playing.
To meet the challenges of making people understand the value
of the product or service, you can apply a number of non-tra-
ditional marketing strategies and techniques. A common mar- Grassroots marketing techniques
keting strategy is social marketing, which highlights the benefit The idea of grassroots marketing builds on the idea that a com-
of the product from a social perspective, as well as a financial pany should tap into the collective efforts of brand enthusiasts.
perspective. For example, the sales people are instructed to em- For example, the Solae Company made community theaters
phasize the health benefits of a food product, thereby providing and community cooking expos in the efforts to introduce the
an incentive to buy besides the price. In large scale, companies company’s soy products. The key aspect in these techniques is
can organize for social change campaigns, typically together with that they include the people of the local community and allow
government and/or NGOs. them to experience the value of the product.


Deep dialogue is effective Target group segmentation Designing value proposition Selling the product can give Prototyping assists you in
in acquiring a deep can be used in the process of is very important when you answers as to whether a including the target group in
understanding of people’s developing your marketing you need to understand given marketing technique is the actual design of marketing
perception of how companies and communication for how your marketing and working. By placing a product techniques, packaging of your
communicate to them, such the business model. When communication is perceived. in a shop and providing the product or communication
as in terms of the channels conducting your participatory The activity focuses on necessary training to the channels. This can be a very
used for marketing or the market research you should including the end-users’ personnel, you will receive effective method in drawing 43
packaging of the products. simultaneously segment perceptions of marketing, very specific feedback, which on unique knowledge in the
your target group. At a such as assessing whether a can assist you in deciding how community. For example, if
The activity is also applied later stage, this will allow local community theater is to market to the target group. people think that the best way
as a general activity that can you to determine how effectively communicating to communicate your product
generate necessary insight totailor the marketing and the value proposition. It could is by using very special local
and contacts for conducting communication, which can also be simpler things, such words, this can contribute
other activities. be developed using other as an assessment of the words significant value to the
Toolbox Activities. used to describe the value marketing.

Deep dialogue Costumer segmentation Designing value proposition Product in market Prototyping
Page 58 Page 72 Page 80 Page 86 Page 82


This case focuses on how Arla
obtains end-user feedback on
milk powder packaging.

This case will highlight:

The need to go into dialogue with end-users to obtain in-
sight on their perception of products and get their ideas.
How you can get this insight on product packaging using
the Toolbox Activities: Deep dialogue, Customer segmen-
tation and Designing the packaging 1 2

Getting the packaging right DEEP DIALOGUE

As in other markets, the packaging is very important in devel- The focus of the field research was defined prior to departure as
oping markets, especially in rural areas, as it can be the only well as three target groups: children, women and men living in
channel of communication to the end-user. In this case, it was small communities.
important to obtain the initial feedback from the end-users as
the company was working with an assumption that the end- Upon arrival, the researcher visited local shops, roadside entre-
users considered the product as something for children. With a preneurs and others to identify where similar products were sold
set of research questions on these topics, the market research and to approach the customers.
was launched.
The researcher started very informal dialogues with the custom-
Identifying the customer segments ers at the place of purchase to address a few key questions on
when, why and what milk they were purchasing. While some
As part of the packaging assessment, it was important to es- people had no time to talk, most people showed interest and
timate what type of customer segments the current products took time to share their preferences and habits of drinking milk.
were targeting. Generating an overview of this made it easier to No questionnaires were used, but the focus framed the dialogue
test the packaging of the milk powder product, thereby com- and notes were taken afterwards. Similar informal deep dia-
paring the different target groups to understand what differs logues were done with people in their private households, facili-
between Arla’s product and existing products. tated by a local partner.

Being at the point of sale it was possible for both the customer
and researcher to use the products displayed as reference in the
discussion – addressing the different product brands, type of
packaging, price and quantity.
A local shop owner was approached on the street with his five
friends and they were invited to a focus group activity on the
street. The scope was to understand participants’ perceived
value of milk and how this could be communicated through the
packaging material.

4 5 An A3 illustration with pictures of each locally available milk

product along with a picture of Arla´s own product was shown.
6 7 The group was asked to review the illustrations and write on the
images their interpretation of what the images tried to commu-
nicate. After the group had written keywords, such as “health,
strength, peace, for kids,” the group was asked to select the key-
words that were attractive to them and to explain why.

From selected keywords, the group was again asked about how
the packaging should look in order to attract them. The group
used the included illustrations to highlight details, such as attrac-
tive names, images, messages etc.
8 9
An activity was prepared to structure and further elaborate on
selected deep dialogues with people in shops or at their private
households. An A4 template was developed to address key as-
pects during the dialogue and to later structure notes, looking at
“what, why, how, where and when you buy milk.”

Included in the template was also the customer’s priority of vari-

ous products. Ten locally purchased products along with Arla’s 45
own samples were presented and the participant was asked to
rank a top five based on his or her own personal preferences.

The activity still provided valuable insight for marketing, such

as differences in purchase patterns, point of purchase, product
preference and the influence of local radio on which product cus-
tomers would buy.

Through the activity, it was found that to address the value of

milk for children, there would be a great difference between tar-
geting teenagers compared to when the mother would purchase
milk for their kids.
The practice of microfinance institutions is an example of how
the loans are combined with enterprise development services,

SERVICE AND if the borrower is a small business. The ability to provide

different services is a popular way of competing against other
microfinance institutions.

MAINTENANCE Selling the product by the service

While companies can increase ease of use and access through
product innovation, such as in the GE example, another
approach is to ensure that the value of the product is realized
through a service system surrounding the product.

Creating a service and Wells in villages might look like any ordinary well, but
Grundfos LIFELINK, mentioned in earlier chapters, focuses on
maintenance setup around in some cases they are businesses with cashflow and
selling a water service platform in which Grundfos LIFELINK
performs the role of technology provider. In market terms, the
a product can enhance the low or no maintenance requirements. At times, this can go
problem is not that there is a need for water, but rather there
are no existing solutions – particularly solutions delivered by
overall value. against the business model of some companies, as the revenue NGOs – have succeeded in delivering a continuous supply of
streams come from the maintenance and after-sales services water on a commercial basis. In particular, the systems break
and not the product itself. down due to lack of maintenance and non-existent access to
Many good intentions and projects have stalled or An example of product innovation, which typically cannot
failed because they lacked the necessary service and function without a maintenance component, is hospital
maintenance dimensions. Products that are deliv- equipment, such as a cardiovascular electrocardiogram. The
ered as part of a service system still remain uncom- company GE, as mentioned in the introduction, has made an
mon in developing markets, but with the fast rise of effort to develop a low-cost and mobile electrocardiogram for
information and communication technology, prod- rural locations in India. The result was that doctors in urban
ucts are increasingly supported by a service system locations, which have the skills to use the product and can
access the necessary maintenance and service, could visit
that eases access and payment. Maintenance re-
patients and make on-site diagnoses. The product has since
mains a vital part in BOP projects, as conditions are been sold in China and the United States, which makes it a case
harsh and access to educated workforces is low. of reverse innovation, where the framework and circumstances
of the developing country creates a fertile breeding ground.

Interlinking the service and the product

The dualistic nature of maintenance A successful model in selling the product of your company is to
Maintenance is a very complex aspect of the business model. link it to a service, where the two co-exist. A successful approach
There are many factors in developing countries that challenge is that of E Health Point, which a for-profit social enterprise. E
the companies operating there, such as the level of education, Health Points are units owned and operated by Healthpoint
the access to necessary components in case of breakdowns or Services India that provide families in villages and smaller towns
the financial means required to maintain the product. with clean drinking water, generic medicines, comprehensive
diagnostic services and advanced tele-medical services that
Evidently, these factors make it difficult to market products that “bring” a doctor and modern, evidence-based healthcare to their
require frequent or advanced maintenance. However, some community. By offering drinking water and other daily needed
companies also perceive this challenge as an opportunity to services, the E Health Point links people to the healthcare Nice clothing is not an obstacle if it means business, as
innovate and, for example, to develop high-end products with services, by providing them an incentive for daily visit. this woman who owns and sells second-hand spare parts
skilled labor, both at the vocational and managerial levels. involve the local workforce. They are typically knowledgeable on
The Grundfos LIFELINK’s project builds on an innovative model Some companies confronting this problem realized the value local conditions and can assist in assessing if the local community
where the community invests in a water service platform. of educating the local workforce as part of the business model. possesses the required maintenance skills.
Besides the installation and technology, the company also
has a contract that offers 15 years of after service. The after For example, Kuyasa CDM project retrofits solar water heating, For example, the organization InnoAid focused on developing
service is paid through the consumption of the water, which has insulates ceilings and installs energy-efficient lightings in 2,300 a bicycle ambulance adapted for local conditions. However, the
a metering device installed, ensuring that Grundfos LIFELINK homes. To realize this project, it was necessary to educate a adaptation not only focused on the needs of the end-users, it also
receives its yearly fee. The example shows how the service small local workforce of local craftsmen. Besides installing the focused on the maintenance, as this is vital if the ambulance is
rather than the product itself can sell a homogenous product, technology, they were also able to ensure maintenance in the to be used in emergency situations. To accommodate this critical
safe drinking water. future. issue, local craftsmen were involved in the process of constructing
the ambulance, thereby ensuring that the construction was not
Educating the local workforce Localizing service systems too advanced for other workers in the community to maintain, if
In projects, the level of success has often been determined When developing services, your company can gain additional
by the ability to deliver service and maintenance. A typical value by including your target group in the development.
drawback of projects in developing countries is the lack of In terms of maintenance, it can also be advantageous to


Price mapping can be useful Follow and observe can shed Prototyping lets you include Create scenarios for people to Concept assessment is useful if
in different ways, such as light on the perception of the target group in the better understand the different you have developed a concept
in a method for people to service and maintenance in design of the service and/ concepts and ideas that you or product and need feedback
communicate the economic a local community, such as if or maintenance procedures. would like them to provide from your target group. For
value of a service, such you follow people around and Including your target groups feedback on. For example, if you example, you have developed
as veterinary services for observe the different things especially in maintenance – if are planning to launch a service a conceptual model of how
farmers. they regard as a service and your products require such – can that will make it easier for 47
to easily clean and restore
when a certain component be particularly useful as they people to access the internet in
The activity then becomes requires maintenance. will contribute with valuable rural areas, provide people with a component of a product
a platform for dialogue, information. This could include examples of how the internet by using local resources and
and different topics can be The activity gives you a quick how often maintenance is can be used. The activity lets to validate this concept you
explored based on the prices insight into a community and required for similar products you present people with fictive need feedback from the local
that have been mapped. E.g. their ways of doing things, and how they would like to situations, such as pictures community.
if level of service is reflected in such as accessing service and access maintenance – can they of a countryside and people
the price of the product. maintenance. This knowledge handle it themselves, or would accessing the internet, thereby The activity assists in collecting
can be very useful when you your company have to carry out letting them imagine what you this feedback, so the concept
design the business model. the maintenance? are trying to offer. can be improved or discarded.

Price mapping Follow and observe Prototyping Creating scenarios Concept assessment
Page 78 Page 68 Page 82 Page 74 Page 84


The case focuses on how
Grundfos LIFELINK delivers
safe drinking water through
an innovative service delivery
This case will highlight:
How product and service can be intertwined to deliver a
greater value to the consumer.
How you can explore the need for setting up a value-adding 1 2
service system, using the Toolbox Activities: Price mapping,
Prototyping and Follow and observe.
Accessing water through a service platform Determining the price for water would seem to be a straight-
Grundfos LIFELINK, a subsidiary to Grundfos, offers a water forward task. However, as the team ventured into this topic, it
service system, which includes an energy-efficient pump, solar turned out to be more complex than anticipated. As part of the
panels, money transaction service system and a 15-year-long research, the different price points of water access were inves-
service and maintenance contract. After mapping the initial tigated through group interviews 6 . This revealed that people
outcome of the pilot project, it remained clear that many ac- paid an average of 10-15 cent per liter for water that was picked
48 cess-to-water projects fail because of the lack of maintenance. up from the nearby river 2 .
Therefore, the company wanted to integrate a maintenance
component into the business model. However, upon more research, it turned out that people had a
very different perception of the price of tap water. They based
the price on the price of tap water 3 in urban areas and were
Commercial sustainability expecting to pay no more than 2-3 cents. This insight meant that
Next, the solution had to be commercially driven so as to allow the service dimension of the business model had to be very inno-
for continuous maintenance, which challenged the company to vative if water was to be affordable. This called for the introduc-
think up an innovative method for paying for the safe drinking tion of the mobile payment system combined with low mainte-
water. The solution proved to be mobile payments, as this type nance to keep the cost very low.
of transaction could also set aside money, which would be used
for the service and maintenance. This way, the company is not
only selling a pump, but a complete service platform, which can
be installed in areas without access to electricity and still ensure
that the company receives its fee for delivering maintenance
upon request.
The prototyping established its roots back in 2005, as the com-
pany sold 25 solar-driven pumps to UNICEF. In 2009, the com-
pany mapped the outcome of the project and found that only
nine pumps were still active.

This led the company to develop a new, innovative system 9

that involved the end-user in the design of the prototype. Work-
4 5 shops and actual testing have provided valuable insights when
6 7 developing the prototype 6 5 . An important part of the pro-
totype development was to understand the challenges people
faced, such as how water was fetched. The Toolbox Activity Ob-
serve and follow provided insight into how people fetch water
by digging deep holes and letting groundwater fill the hole 1 ,
which together with Toolbox Activity Price mapping assisted the
development of the prototype.

These activities lead to the integration of a mobile payment

transaction system, which was tested extensively, ensuring that
3 this dimension of the business model was designed correctly.


The toolbox activity was used to gain insight into how the target
group accessed water. The team would literally follow the target
group to determine when and how water was being picked up,
such as with bicycles 7 . Different groups, such as women 8
and farmers 4 , were selected and in addition to following the
process, the team also observed the target group’s behavior. Ob-
serving potential end-users can yield great results, as a lot of the
knowledge needed for the business model can be tacit.
An important part of the following and observing of the target
group is the trust and confidence gained when spending time
with people. In this case, the activity provided insight into how
the service system could address some of the challenges that
people were faced with as a result of poor access to water. Also,
by observing people, it became apparent that mobile payment is
an integrated part of the everyday life. By using already accepted
technology, a community can accept the introduction of new
products, such as the provision of safe drinking water.

This case focuses on how
InnoAid addressed service
and maintenance aspects of
a rural ambulance.
This case will highlight:
The need to design service and maintenance aspects to-
gether with local stakeholders to address the sustainability
of a rural ambulance concept. 1 2
How you can develop solutions for service and maintenance
through the activities “Creating scenarios,” “Prototyping,”
and “Concept assessment.” CREATING SCENARIOS
Making maintenance feasible “If road conditions were improved, then what would be the
challenge of offering an attractive transport of patients from
The organization InnoAid identifies and develops innovative
their home to the local health clinic?” Similar hypothetical sce-
projects in low-income markets. Through local partnerships, a
narios were created and presented in small focus groups with
project was formed to develop an innovative rural emergency
health transport system. Four students were involved from the local women health workers to address additional problems and
Technical University of Denmark to complete local field research challenges relevant to the project 2 .
to prototype the initial concept for the product and service so-
lutions. The prototype was manufactured based on the widely By excluding the primary challenges of the poor road conditions
50 popular bicycle van rickshaws that minimize manufacturing in the scenario, participants were forced to think of possible sec-
costs, allow for easy access to spare parts for maintenance, and ondary challenges. Through the use of scenarios, the students
create a sense of familiarity for the driver and for the patients. were able to focus on a discussion that addressed relevant chal-
lenges not initially revealed during dialogues.
Reformulating the project
challenge from product to service system The students facilitated the first focus group while one of the lo-
Local doctors and NGOs communicated a great need for a bi- cal participants from the first workshop facilitated the next work-
cycle ambulance to access remote villages and provide safe shop, allowing the students to stay in the background to observe
transport for people to the nearest health clinic for a minimal and document learning 3 . By making questions less abstract
fee. Local research, in contrast, revealed that the targeted cus- and addressing specific situations, important challenges were
tomers did not perceive a need since it was commonly accepted identified that the locals initially perceived as secondary and un-
that an emergency trip to nearest health clinic could worsen the important.
patient’s health conditions, or even have deadly consequences.
It was found that there was a great need to address the services
surrounding the emergency bicycle, as it would have to be mar-
keted as a full-service product and not just a product reflecting a
single trip transport to a nearby health clinic.
Critical feedback about durability and need for maintenance was
obtained through dialogue with the local blacksmiths as well as
by looking at similar products in use, such as the local van rick-

By showing local residents only the frame of the 1:1 prototype,

4 5 they gave a lot of feedback related to appearance, such as the
need for colors and aesthetically to look “less rural.” The finalized
6 7 prototype was assessed for its usability and acceptability through
actual use by both locals and the students to get hands-on expe-
rience 1 9 . Different routes were mapped in the area to use
the ambulance on the variety of roads. Vibrations on the stretch-
ers were assessed by using an app for iPhone that collected data
for later analysis and to ensure the design complied with health
and safety standards 10 .

Discussions about the service delivery addressed an overall chal-

3 lenge to communicate and build services to improve the current
situation while not creating expectations of convenience similar
8 to an urban minivan-ambulance that would not be sustainable or
functional in the rural context.
A local blacksmith was hired by the partner NGO to manufac-
ture an ambulance prototype with the students using supplies
from a local bicycle shop. Students developed 3D sketches and
technical drawings that were adapted through dialogue with the
blacksmith 4 . With the help of the blacksmith, they adapted
the ideas to the local van rickshaw and included a suspension
system with locally available spare parts. The design was further
optimized during an iterative problem-solving process between
the students and local manufacturer during the manufacturing
11 . The prototyping gave valuable insights into local skills, daily 51
activities of a local blacksmith and visitors’ first impressions of
the design. Through the prototype, initial manufacturing and
maintenance costs were both estimated. Local school kids were 9 10
invited to draw and color an ambulance, which gave insight into 11 12
important details, such as logos and colors 5 6 7 .

The prototype was used as a requisite in three role-plays to pro-

totype the service-delivery system. Local participants played the
role of driver, helper and patient and tried out an emergency situ-
ation before they were included as a focus group to discuss the
needs for a service delivery system 12 .
TOOLBOX Matrix to the right shows
the Activity Toolbox Overview
White circles indicate the activities that can
be applied to the business model dimensions.
Small green circles indicate the participatory
FACILITATION ADVICES 54 72 CUSTOMER SEGMENTATION market research cases that contextualize how
DEEP DIALOGUE 58 74 CREATING SCENARIOS activities has been used to collect insight within
SELF-DOCUMENTATION 60 76 RANKING VALUES a specific business dimension.
Self- Costumer Designing
Deep Documen- Activity Social Resource Follow & Learning Creating Ranking Price Concept Product in
Dialogue Map Map Flow Observe by Doing Segmenta- Scenarios Values Mapping Value Pro- Prototyping Assessment Market
tation tion persition


CASE (page 18)

END-USERS (page 20)

CASE (page 22)

END-USERS (page 24)

CASE (page 26)

CASE (page 28)

SYSTEM (page 30)

CASE (page 32)

CASE (page 34)

FINANCING (page 36)
CASE (page 38)

(page 42)

CASE (page 18)


CASE (page 48)

CASE (page 50)

PLANNING Include time and flexibility for new appointments and for you to
visit local sites first identified upon arrival. It is advised to keep the
FIELD RESEARCH end of the schedule free of other appointments, as some local
appointments are first made once you are in the country.
GET FOCUSED Include flexibility in the program. Make room for ac-

Develop a clear goal of what the expected outcome should be tivities to take longer than planned, for the agenda to be
of the field research to gain specific knowledge relevant for the changed due to sudden unpredictable happenings, and
dimensions of your business plan. be open to whatever else awaits.
Define the challenge(s) that your field research will address

ADVICES and ensure you:

Write the challenge narrow enough to make the focus of
your field research manageable.
When working in communities, there will often be a code-
of-conduct on how to be welcomed that should be re-
spected and may take time to adapt to. It often involves
The toolbox activities support participatory market research Write the challenge broad enough to allow you to discover meeting with the chief and elders of the village or com-
that will challenge you to leave the hotel to discover the context the areas of unexpected value. munity to present your mission and request for collabora-
of your target group first hand. Identifying and creating markets Be open to challenges. During the field research, what you tion. This is followed by the elders introducing the village
in low-income countries require participation and strong inclu- learn may cause you to elaborate, or even fully rephrase, the and their interest to participate in your field research. Ask
sion of your target group during the research. You should not defined challenges and opportunities. your local partner if you should bring a local present for
only observe or interview your target group, but through your the chief or elders when greeting the community – this
facilitation have them participate actively in communicating Define your target groups, e.g., from their role within the value can include local snaps to nuts and fruits, but the gift is
valuable and deep insight. chain that you are examining or types of people within a specific often very dependent on the specific context.
income segment.
To successfully use the toolbox activities, it is important that you Consider that local researchers or the target groups may be able
pay attention to a number of aspects that are of high impor- ESTABLISH PARTNERSHIPS to undertake some activities by themselves, giving you time
tance when undertaking field research in low-income-markets. Look for local partners prior to the field research who can help to do other activities such as partnership meetings while the re-
you to make arrangements for the local research and give you search is being done.
These include: advice on the appropriateness of your planned activities by using
their network and cultural insight. DEVELOP MATERIAL
Flexibility and the right approach to plan the field
research Select, adapt, and prepare toolbox activities and visual or
Consider which types of local partners you wish to engage, such physical material such as pictures, prototypes, post-it notes and
Making sure you are ready and packed for the activities
as consulting companies, research institutions, small- or medi- pens to support the undertaking of the activities.
Adaptation and detailing of activities which are relevant um-sized businesses or NGOs. Consider that:
and useful for the specific context
54 Students can be helpful to engage as local researchers
Selecting appropriate participants for your field research NGOs can be valuable partners due to their local network
– who to choose, for what, and when and insight on local challenges, but they often have little time
Building skills and the right attitudes as facilitator to undertake new activities if the scope of the field research
Having tools to motivate participation of people who are is not aligned with their development activities
not familiar with market research activities
Align expectations with partners. Be careful to build expecta-
Knowing how to undertake activities in a focus group
tions from the local partners so that they will not only assist field
Having tools on how to provoke opinions from your research, but also become the future business partners.
Knowing the challenges and opportunities of using PREPARE A SCHEDULE
interpreters Develop a schedule for your field research, listing the specific
appointments and activities you will undertake.
No. Yes!
Keep it simple – Do not make activities very sophisticated or Look for people within your target group who are used to ex-
difficult to understand and use. Developing a simple activity will pressing their opinions and who seem to be most open and
efficiently give you valuable information and the participant will capable to purchase, use and adapt new solutions. These
build confidence to participate and share additional insight. For types of people are not only suitable participants in research but
example, one simple activity would be asking your participant to can also be considered as local researchers and/or facilitators
sort 15 images showing different types of products according to who can later become early adopters or lead users of your solu-
his or her perceived values. Complex activities will take time and tion. To identify suitable participants, look for local administra-
may lead to misconceptions that will affect the outcome nega- tors, opinion leaders, farmers, local entrepreneurs, teachers, or
tively. women representatives of local ‘Self Help Groups’.

Prepare material that takes into consideration your tar- To avoid the pitfall of creating a market for the “few” cur-
get group’s ability to read and write and language pref- rent primary customers, try to identify people who could
erences. Your local contacts can advise you on whether be future consumers or lead users to inspire others to
material should be written or needs to be primarily vi- use and value your solution.
Respect the differences of people when organizing and inviting
Develop visual material them for group activities. Consult local partners on how to orga-
Avoid symbolic images or exaggerated drawings to show a nize the groups and create an environment where participants
concept, since they can often divert the activity to irrelevant
discussions. The more you can present your idea or scenario
PACK YOUR SUITCASE feel free to speak and express themselves.
Consider how different social status, gender, occupation,
in realistic way, the better – consider the use of pictures, 3D and age can affect the dynamics of the group, e.g., includ-
Video camera and camera ing opinion leaders, such as the chief or local administrators,
drawings, small models, or prototypes. (consider a smartphone instead) may deter others from speaking freely.
Find pictures from the same or similar context. For the Notebook, post-its and pens
development of a water supply system in rural India, look for Consider using your time and resources to undertake your
Small gifts for participants toolbox activities with different types of target groups, be-
images that picture a rural Indian setting and include images (could be common goods purchased locally)
of Indian people and technologies that are currently used in cause the groups you have defined are not the only relevant
India. groups – the current non-user of similar solutions may be-
come your next customer.
Try to limit the details of the surroundings shown on an 5555
image. These details may become the center of the discus-
Consider involving young people in supporting their parents’
sion but are irrelevant. For example, participants who dis-
participation in activities or involve them as local researchers.
cuss the shape of the houses or kitchen utensils, which they
Young people often have an interest to express themselves. They
are not familiar with, on a picture that is supposed to obtain
can be included as “young journalists” or “detectives” by giving
feedback on a cooking stove only.
them the materials needed to collect data from their community
Use the same type of illustrations. Use illustrations from or household.
the same type of country, and show products that are in the
same condition such as all drawings or picture of products
that are all new or all used to avoid people expressing prefer-
ences for the ones that look new instead of addressing the
design itself.
Glue or tape image on heavy paper to avoid the images
flying around when outside or inside where there is a fan.
Another alternative is to use “Sticky Gum” as a solution.
Completing the toolbox activities and getting the most out of PARTICIPATION
them greatly depends on your personal behavior and atti-
tude. Coming in as an outsider, foreigner and professional, you Involve people at a time and place that is convenient for them.
will be challenged in your personal ability to facilitate activities Show appreciation for people’s participation by giv-
where you will act as the interested student who wants to learn ing some type of allowance. Activities take time from their
from your participants, and not become the expert who “knows family, work and other activities, so some compensation
best.” Emphasize that there are no wrong answers. should be provided for their time. However, allowance
should not be a source of bribery or a primary motivator.
In any introduction, it is a good idea for you to make Provide drinks and snacks during the session and con-
clear that you are there to learn and to not give out sider giving them a sample of your product or a similar
gifts, since peoples’ interactions may be influenced by a product on the market.
perception that you will be a source of charity or funds.
Listen, share and learn during the activities. Be open by shar-
Because you are unfamiliar with the context and are for- ing your own experiences and giving time to listen and learn from
eign to the locals, it is good to spend some time in the your participants. By doing this, you recognize their knowledge
community or with the same local people for them and make them feel relevant as participants.
to open up and share their true and honest opinions.
Within a few hours in a community, you will experience Consider including a local competition. Adapt research ac-
people starting to open up and show interest in your tivities so that they end with a local competition where partici-
work and your presence will be less intimidating. pants present their material developed from an activity, such as
a prototype, and are evaluated and given a prize by you and a
Three good pieces of advice from Participatory Rural Appraisal local jury.
(PRA) and Participatory Learning and Action (PLA):
1. Show interest in learning. Your participants should feel Make toolbox activities fun and interactive to create
that they are being looked upon as the experts, and they a more informal environment where participants enjoy
should feel that their feedback is valuable to you, even if it is themselves and where it is not “wrong” or “inappropriate”
negative. Do not correct participants but rather try to under- to express needs, critiques, sensitivity or “crazy” ideas and
stand their perceptions and why they perceive things differ- to share personal insight on sensitive topics. Role-play is
ently than you. a good and fun method to boost the self-confidence of
2. Do not rush or interrupt but instead give the participants people and fun for others to see and comment upon.
time to sit down, listen, think and discuss instead of inter-
rupting when people are trying to concentrate on a task such Consider sharing what you learned from a community in a
as making a map or diagram. local newspaper or radio program to make your participants’
needs and desires heard, for the participants to be proud of their
3. Have critical self-awareness and be open to embrace and
contributions, or to mobilize others to participate.
share errors or mistakes. Keep developing and adapting the
research activities based on your experiences
Use local indicators and terminology in your activities to build
Consider using local facilitators while you take on the role as
Include local measures, from “inches” to “head baskets.”
observer by supporting the local facilitators when needed.
Ask your participants to define the local criteria they will use
to assess a solution.
Ask your participants to share their perception of the mean-
ing of, e.g., happiness, status, and development to discover
that they may be very different from your assumptions.
PARTICIPANTS: Depending on the activity, 4-10 participants
plus you and a translator/facilitator.
TIME: One to two hours depending on the activity, at a conve-
nient time for the participants so they do not feel rushed.
WHAT: Define a clear purpose of the focus group session and
the types of people who should participate. Local partners can
help you to find and select your participants.
WHERE: Find a place near your participants that is large enough
for everyone to sit down, see and hear each other.


Start with a warm-up activity to create an open and informal To get the attention of your participants and motivate them to
setting during group activities, e.g., break down barriers with a share opinions during an activity you can consider including
practical task, such as asking people to reorganize the place for either provocative or mismatching prototypes or scenarios.
the group activity. The task will also reveal who is an initiator and Provocative content will make your participants feel uncomfort-
who is more passive. able and they will therefore start to transform the presented
material into something that they find more appropriate and
Explain the goal of the meeting and the “rules of the game” through this develop new solutions that they accept. Keep in
such as that no opinions will be judged, that every comment is mind that provocation can be sensitive and make sure it is only
welcome, and that all participants are asked to contribute active- used to bring inspiration to the session.
ly to the session. Make sure that people understand the goal for
the outcome of the session and how they can benefit from this.

Ask people to introduce themselves only by name to avoid

preconceived perceptions or hierarchy within the group. USING AN
Consider addressing questions by including a bowl or box Where an interpreter is needed, you should spend a minimum 57
with questions written on small notes that you wish to address of 10 minutes before any activity to share the content and the
during a focus group. Ask a participant to randomly pick one of “rules of the game” of the activity.
the questions to read out loud so the participants feel they are
part of structuring the session and not to be shy to speak to the Make sure that the interpreter is informed that you
group. would like participants to participate openly and actively
during the activity and that the interpreter should not
Try to involve passive participants by asking them a direct answer in place of the participants.
question or help them when undertaking the given activity.
Include questions that each participant shall write his or her an- Facilitating activities through a translator will take time, and it can
swer on a card and give to you anonymously to make sure that be good to use the same translator when repeating the activity
all participate and address sensitive topics in a sensitive matter. elsewhere so that no additional training is needed.
Follow these steps: VARIATION
Consider training local people to undertake the deep dialogue and

STEP 1: Generate a list of key topics that you would like to report findings to you. Local researchers could be skilled people from

address in your research, what knowledge you will like to gather, the community, students, people from an NGO or a research consul-
and the type of target groups that can provide you with this insight. tancy (See case on page 26).
Draw on your organization’s in-house knowledge, desk research

and expert interviews.
STEP 2: Prepare your “Research diary” 3 for each selected
target group you plan to have an informal interview with To build your local network, you can ask the interviewee to
suggest people who should be included in the research.
and include:
1. Questions to obtain general information about the person Test the content and length of the “Research diary” on one or
Semi-structured interviews 2. Research topics under which you will organize questions two people and adapt it before using it for the local dialogues to
make sure you will have time to get answers to all your relevant
obtain deep insight into 3. Notes on how you wish the dialogue to happen, e.g.,
whether the person will show you around, demonstrate a questions. Have a general flow and structure to your “Research

individuals’ knowledge, product, engage in an activity, or see visual material you

have prepared. 2
Diary.” Indicate the most important questions in your “Research
Diary” for you to incorporate at the time of the interview.
needs and experiences. Do not try to control the dialogue too much, but remember

STEP 3: Arrange individual meetings with selected people from
your target groups at a time and place convenient to them. Meet to listen and follow topics that seem interesting to the person
people in local settings where they are at ease and are relevant to interviewed.
The activity guides you on how to undertake and moti- your research. 5 6
Consider hiding your list of questions to help build a dynamic
vate semi-structured interviews with individuals from STEP 4: Set the stage by introducing the program for the activity dialogue. Learn the key questions by heart or keep a short list of
your target group. Preparation activities, such as making and how the research will be used. Make sure that people give overall questions in your notebook during the activity. 4 6
a diary of questions and various visual materials to sup- their consent. While you and a translator will focus on creating a
dynamic dialogue, it is recommended to have another person who The “Research Diary” can be a good framework for the com-
port the communication, will ensure that the activity will
will focus on taking notes and/or recording the session. plete field research, so include other activities in this toolbox
spark a structured and motivated dialogue. Supplement that can bring answers to a number of the included key ques-
your quantitative market surveys with this activity to get STEP 5: Show interest by first asking questions related to the tions.
a deeper and more varied insight into your target groups, person’s background before you address the research topics. Use
your diary of questions to facilitate the dialogue. Avoid leading
which is critical to identify real opportunities and under- questions but rather use open-ended questions encouraging
stand current challenges. the interviewed person to provide in-depth answers. Feel free to
pose new questions and not necessarily follow the order of the Verify information – Ask different types of questions and confirm
questions in the research diary. by drawing, showing pictures or using the environment as reference.
STEP 6: Motivate interaction by asking the interviewed person Keep the interviews short – If the interview is long, participants be-
Outcome to enact a scenario or process or to use a product available in come tired and lose interest, which will negatively affect the outcome.
Deep insight into your target group’s: the environment, such as showing how a basket is used to carry
goods. Make use of activities included in your “Research diary”
Personal knowledge, attitudes, perceptions, and
to obtain answers through more than just a question, such as by
experiences demonstrating a product or using visual material 1 .
Experienced (and perceived) needs and challenges

Daily life, context and networks STEP 7: End the dialogue session when you have no more
questions or when you feel that you may delay the person in
undertaking important personal activities.
STEP 8: Try to document the key points you learned right after
Interview the interview and add any additional questions or comments in Self-documentation (page 60)
Observation the “Research diary” for the next interview. Follow and observe (page 68)
Focus group Customer segmentation (page 72)
STEP 9: Assess insight from the deep dialogues to develop a
profile of your target groups’ characteristics. Creating scenarios (page 74)
List your relevant key questions in a notebook, like a checklist, before going to
the field for your interviews. Print out illustrations in colors that will help you
to explain your ideas and consider if there would be local products that you
could include in the dialogue as specific references to your ideas or questions.
Arrange to meet people at work, at the market or at home. Be open to
where the dialogue may take you. Keep in mind your key questions you want
answered and consider how to explain abstract questions through a story (see
Creating scenarios page 74).

Including end-users (featuring NGOs, page 26)
Distribution system (featuring CBS, page 34)
Marketing and communication (featuring Arla, page 44)

Works well with individuals, a single household or a small focus
group of two to four people.

Two hours to develop “Research Diary” and template for debriefing.
One hour maximum for each deep dialogue.

“Research Diary” or similar question guide
Notebook and a template to note what you learned
Printed images relevant for the key-topic you will research 1
Camera, dictaphone , video camera, smartphone
1 59

2 3 4 5 6


1.1.1. SUB 1.1.2. ACTIVITY

Follow these steps:
Camera and a list of 10-15 pictures that participants should take

STEP 1: Define a short list of research components where 1 2
insight may be communicated best by people themselves. SMS questions sent to participants mobile 5
STEP 2: Review the list of questions and select or create the Drawings for people to add detail, write on, and color 4

appropriate number and type of self-documentation activities, Ask people to collect specific products available in household or
such as reflection; type of information that you would like people to market to address local purchase habits 6
document; type of data (visual 1 /written/reflective, qualitative
4 /quantitative 5 ); the skills and types of people you would GOOD PRACTICE
like as participants, e.g., skilled people from community or young
Select people of different gender, age, status and profession
Give your target group the people who like to share their story; time frame for the activities.
to undertake the self-documentation in order to capture very di-
STEP 3: Design the self-documentation activities and easy- verse viewpoints and perspectives.
tools to document their needs to-follow instructions and adapt them to the context of use.
Be inspired by local technologies and ways of communicating
Instructions can be a simple day-to-day diary listing the
and aspirations on their own. activities and/or reminder of daily activities sent out to people’s
when selecting or adapting the self-documenting activities, e.g.,
does everyone have mobile phones and a camera?
mobile phones. Keep it simple: the participants are more
likely to complete a limited number of specific and easy self- Make the self-documentation tools look attractive and re-
documentation activities. Use illustrations rather than text at ward participation so that it is desirable to be a local reporter/
places where illiteracy is high. researcher.
The activity provides an alternative insight into local con-
ditions, undisturbed by an outsider’s presence. Invite your STEP 4: Identify, recruit and instruct people from your Communicate clearly to the participants when they need to

target group to become active researchers of their own target group on how to undertake the self-documentation. deliver their “documentations” and make a local person who
During a focus group session, show them how to do the self- is known among the participants responsible for the collection.
daily practices and experiences by using templates and
documentation. Bear in mind that self-documentation takes time Ensure that people know whether they will get a copy of their
tools you have developed. The material and insights col- and skills, therefore you should consider how to compensate drawings or pictures or it will only be for your research.
lected are a valuable basis on which to start a focus group people for their effort. Select participants who may not only
discussion and to dig deeper into conditions, needs, and be consumers but skilled people from the community that you Collect names and records of all participants in order to find
them for later collection.
opportunities. Complete this activity when you want to recruit and train to be local researchers, or who will support the
know your target group on a deeper level but do not have locals in their self-documentation. Make sure that if you involve local researchers that they are
the time to spend with them. fair, unbiased and have no stake in the research results.
STEP 5: Supervise and follow-up on people’s self-documentation
if needed, possibly through a local researcher. Consider designing
activities so that participants continuously report insight back in a WATCH OUT
convenient way instead of only at the end of the research period. Inform participants of the intended use of the insight that will be
OUTCOME STEP 6: Review your target group’s reportage and identify generated and what they should document to limit the possibility
Deep insight into daily practices and experiences differences and trends within the material 3 . Validate findings of people misusing the templates, e.g., to take family portraits rather

Focus on research and visual material reflecting your by completing a deep dialogue with a few selected people document than local activities.
target groups’ own priorities and perceptions who are part of the reportage. If there is time, then present
Discover concerns not expressed honestly in your findings anonymously through personas and scenarios for your Understand relevant dynamics and power relations in the re-
presence target group to validate and elaborate on during a focus group search area before selecting local researchers or people involved in
Insight that does not require your presence discussion. reportage, because local perceptions that you are showing favoritism
Quantitative and qualitative insight over a longer can be damaging to your reputation.
period of time, such as by using mobile phone for self- STEP 7: Develop relevant material that can communicate
diversity and trends from the reportage. Consider developing
posters of all the material collected with images and drawings USE IN COMBINATION WITH
made by people and your comments and additional notes from Deep dialogue (page 58)
TYPE OF ACTIVITY the following focus group discussion. Follow and observe (page 68)
Target group’s own interview, observations, and design
Customer segmentation (page 72)
Creating scenarios (page 74)
Following an interview, ask the interviewee to undertake a few activities in
his or her own time until you will meet later the same week. Activities might
include: getting the number of the house owner to send him a daily mobile
message asking about his daily spending; ask the housewife to collect and
bring the types of cooking oil she uses; or ask the young girl to write her
ideas on how to improve the local water pump after she has talked with her
community during the week. Upon meeting again, your participants will bring
you deep insight on which to base a deep dialogue.

Pricing and financing (featuring Worldbarrow, page 38)

You may encounter that not all participants report back their self-
discovery activities or understand the activity in order to deliver valu-
able insight. Therefore, it can be good to invite 10-20 participants to
undertake the activities for variety.

Preparation depends on the template you use. 1-30 days for partici-
pants to undertake the activity depending on the scope and content of
the activity. 1-2 hours for focus group discussion following the review
of people’s reports.

1 61

2 3 4 5 6
Follow these steps: Map a process: Develop an activity map of a process rather
than a daily schedule, e.g., the process of cocoa farming. Create


STEP 1: Define the type of local activities you wish to an activity map with a small group of cocoa farmers to address
understand. The activity could be “local water collection” and relevant aspects of the activities such as locations, stakeholders
wanting to understand aspects such as “water technologies, and resources.

stakeholders, resources and related emotions.”
Choose to further develop the same activity map with other
STEP 2: Prepare by printing images that can symbolize stakeholders involved in the process to map a complete value
variations, e.g., different water collection technologies, “smiley” chain, e.g., the process of activities that follow when the farmers
emoticons, resources such as “liters of water” and “money.” Use have sold the cocoa.
Assist groups or individuals the web to find generic and inspirational images. 2 5 6
Address the past: Map activities and major events in the past.

in mapping what they do STEP 3: Invite one to three people with similar profiles to a
session and start by drawing a timeline on paper or on the
For example, invite opinion leaders to map the major events or
challenges in the past for the community and learn how they
during a day or week to better ground. Give the introduction “This is Yesterday” and indicate
time of day on the timeline.
overcame the events to bring inspiration for your new solution.

understand the local practices STEP 4: Start broad by giving participants the possibility to talk GOOD PRACTICE
and lives of the local people. about what they typically do during a day, then direct the dialogue
to specific activities of interest. Ask people to make use of the Select pictures appropriate for the local culture and which
printed images and place them along the timeline, symbolizing people can relate to in the local setting. 5
the activities they do during a day. 1 Invite several participants to make one activity map together
The activity invites your target group to share their process
of daily activities during an interactive session with you. Par- STEP 5: Focus on specific activities when a typical day has been since a group will generate valuable discussions for you to listen
outlined by asking deeper questions like “who else was involved” in on, e.g. when they disagree on which and when activities are
ticipants will make a simple map that represents their activi-
or “how do you feel about…” and invite people to detail their done. It is much harder to get an individual participant to “think
ties within a given timeframe, such as “yesterday’s sched- out loud” during the mapping.
ule.” The activity is a good introduction into the current local map by using the images 6 . Motivate people to draw or write
new variations of activities if your selection is not sufficient or Limit the time of the session by having a focus on mapping ac-
practices and lets you understand the journey of a day or a
representative 3 . tivities for “one day.” Then ask how activities differ throughout a
specific activity to identify opportunities on which improve-
STEP 6: Facilitate a dialogue by continuously asking questions week to avoid participants mapping repetitions.
ments could be made.
to help participants elaborate on their typical activities. Share
your understanding of the activity map that was made to make
sure you have the right understanding. Ask what happens in the
time between the included activities on the map. The value of the session is in the dialogue during the activity map-
62 Outcome
ping, the questions raised and people’s interactions. The value is not
Identify and obtain target groups’ assessment of: STEP 7: Ask participants how they would like to make necessarily in the final physical activity map developed. Therefore, it is
Daily activities improvements by using the map as a reference 4 , e.g., how important to make time for questions during the mapping session
Products and services used time could be minimized if some services were available at the and for a follow-up dialogue.
Stakeholders involved same place instead of having to travel to several places.

Resource flow STEP 8: Document the activity map with video and pictures.
Local value chains and sales channels Write down if new stakeholders were identified and your five key
Current challenges and desired solutions points you learned from the session, including facilitation advice
Identify hot-spots for next session. USE IN COMBINATION WITH
TYPE OF ACTIVITY STEP 9: Write a short story that represents each of the types of Deep dialogue (page 58)
activities identified so what you learned can be used as scenarios Follow and observe (page 68)
Interview in research toolbox activities. Customer segmentation (page 72)
Focus group Creating scenarios (page 74)
Before an interview, list in your notebook the types of daily activities
you would like to understand better through your target group. As an
icebreaker for a dialogue ask the interviewee to explain what he or she
does during a day. Draw a line in your notebook, indicate morning and
evening, and ask questions to outline the day with specific activities
by asking what, when, how, and who? Write the activities along the
“timeline.” You may ask about specific activities, try to recount the day
to confirm the contents, and ask how the activity map illustrating a day
differs from a week/month/year.

Distribution system (featuring CBS, page 34)

Works well with individuals, a single household or small focus group
of a maximum of four people.

Thirty minutes to two hours per session, depending on the group
size and number of aspects you will address.

Facilitation guide listing type of activities and questions
Printed images relevant for the focus
Pens and small pieces of white paper to draw and write on
Camera, video camera or smartphone
1 Notebook and pens 63

2 3 4 5 6
Follow these steps: Use the activity on a household level to identify social relations
within and near the family, such as who is responsible for the

STEP 1: Define the type of networks you would like to understand, household resources and making decisions, and who might be the
whether they relate to a specific community, business or activity. To potential end-user of a product or service. 6
understand a local market it could be relevant to e.g. understand
Use a local map of the area to map larger areas of social classes,

social structures of a selected community as well as the network
for a local micro entrepreneur. farming practices, distribution chain, etc. 5
STEP 2: Develop material that can help you and your target Use existing community maps to identify key-stakeholders with-
group develop the social maps, such as: a list of possible in a community, differentiation between individuals or commercial
stakeholders; a list of the type of relations you would like to address or social hot spots. 1 2 3
Focus group activity that and analyze; small pieces of paper in different colors and shapes
(square and circular); printouts of iconic illustrations of men and Use a circular diagram illustrated on a poster or in the soil to map
allows your target group to women; pictures illustrating different types of relations (e.g.,
money, resources, trust).
and analyze relations between stakeholders.

map the relationships between GOOD PRACTICE

STEP 3: Identify and invite selected people whose networks
relevant individuals and you would like to understand, such as inviting village elders
and community representatives to create a social map of their
Develop your own social map and grow your network through
your initial local contacts that can refer you to their local contacts.
organizations. community or a vendor who sells dairy products in the community.
Try always to ask questions that can reveal people’s opinions
STEP 4: Identify individuals and organizations relevant to your about each other.
target group by asking the participants to draw the community on
Use the activity early in your research to identify relevant the ground using colors and local materials. For example, if the Undertake the mapping in the relevant context, for example at
stakeholders and locations for your business case through activity is done with a local entrepreneur you can ask him or her the business, place of activity or given community.
deep dialogues. Ask participants to map out the people to to map the stakeholders that are involved in his or her business Verify the map and your understanding. This can be done by
they are related to through their business, community or while you create a simple map using pieces of paper to represent summing up your interpretation of the map and let participants
daily activities. Use the map as an analytical tool to address each stakeholder. A method to elaborate on the social map is to correct you or confirm.
ask questions such as: “Is this all the people in our community –
local socio-economic relations. The social maps represent what about the school and health clinic?” or “Who removes your Invite people to highlight other differentiations or relations
participants’ perceptions of, for example, the organization waste?” or “Where did you get the kiosk from?” than the ones you ask for and suggest – you may not understand
of a community. all types of local dynamics.
STEP 5: Create the social map by using the ground or a large
piece of paper, place pieces of paper to represent each stakeholder, If using existing maps, try to understand what indicator people
and write their characteristics. For a social map of the community, already use to diversify the community.
the mapping will be done according to the physical layout of the
Outcome community, although with a vendor it may relate to the time of
Your target group’s definition of a community and what day when he has contact to his customers. Use existing maps as
Be sensitive about how to identify relations in a community map by
services should be provided reference if they exist. For example, an NGO might have previously
not asking directly “who is poor or rich?” but think of what could be
Identify target groups and individuals created a map. 1 2 3
used as indicators instead.

Networks and relations STEP 6: Ask participants to indicate specific relationships
Power structures, such as mapping the decision-makers according to their perception of who has no access to safe water, The maps do not necessarily represent reality but may say more about
in a community who is often sick or who has an outstanding loan. Consider asking the perceptions of your participants.
People’s perceptions of each other participants to map stakeholders in accordance with subjects
Insight for target group analysis and segmentation like wealth, power, trust, friendship, communication, etc., by
rearranging pieces of papers that each represent a stakeholder. 4 USE IN COMBINATION WITH
TYPE OF ACTIVITY STEP 7: Establish new contacts by asking if participants can Deep dialogue (page 58)
Interview introduce you to, or give you contact information for the different Activity map (page 62)
Focus group types of stakeholders so that you may involve them in a similar
Follow and observe (page 68)
session to confirm the relations or identify a different set of
meanings. Customer segmentation (page 72)
Ask your focus group to indicate different types of stakeholders on a
geographic map that you printed by using a program like Google maps
or that the community had. Indicate actors or stakeholders – people,
objects, organizations – by adding small post-its and asking questions to
make sure stakeholders of your interest are included. When stakeholders
have been mapped, then reorganize the stakeholders and draw lines in
between them on a sheet of paper in accordance to a relevant analysis
such as power/influence, a process (flow chart), relations or relative
influence. Retell the situation mapped to the focus group to ensure you
have understood and to address if any stakeholders are missing.

Works well with a focus group of local opinion leaders or e.g. repre-
sentative from local women groups.

Execution takes ½ – 2 hours depending on the scale of mapping (com-
munity vs. activity) and the number of participants.

List of possible types of stakeholders
List of different types of relations
Pack of small papers to write on
Printed illustrations of men, women, and types of relations
Pens, notebook, camera, video

1 65

2 3 4 5 6

Follow these steps: If the system is a product-service system such as provision of water
from a public water pump, the activity could be done near the pump


STEP 1: Select up to three types of systems of local resource with five people who all use the same water pump. Set focus on out-
flow that you would like to understand. In a project with a focus put and outcome by asking participants to list everything that the wa-
on farmers, it could be relevant to address the resource flow of the ter pump delivers, such as income, liters of water, health, experiences

farmers’ household as well as the famers’ crop-business. (such as exhaustion), time consumption, etc. Then focus on inputs by
asking participants to list everything that the water pump requires for
STEP 2: Develop an A3-size worksheet for each system with upkeep, use and maintenance, such as: expenses, time, education,
illustrations, e.g., one picturing the household and one picturing transport, etc.
a local business. Prepare small pieces of paper and develop your
own list of possible types of resources related to the systems
Activity that will give you in categories like “medicine, education, clothes, etc.,” for the GOOD PRACTICE
household and “crops, farming tools, transport, etc.,” for the Arrange a second session with the “passive participants” to
insight into the ingoing and faming business. Consider printing images to represent some of crosscheck and compare stories, e.g., between women and men if
these resources. 3 the first session is dominated by certain people.
outgoing resources of a local STEP 3: Invite selected people from your target group to a focus Conduct the session close to the chosen system, such as at
system such as a household or group 1 5 or individual session. You may do the activity with five
farmers working on the same farm, followed by individual sessions
the household to make it possible for participants to demonstrate
how both the resources and the system works. You will also be
business. with each of the five famers and their families to understand their able to observe and ask about resources that might not have been
household economy. included for example by addressing the household’s spending on

STEP 4: Introduce what will happen in the session and the
With this activity you will engage selected people from your systems that will be addressed. The pieces of paper where people have written additional resourc-
target group to map out their ingoing and outgoing resourc- es can be used in later Resource flow activities. For example the
es in relation to a system, such as the household or business STEP 5: Focus on income by asking participants to list everything
pieces can provide a reference point for the participants, such as a
that generates money for the household/business. Write each of
income and expenditure. During a small focus group session farmer that have written different types of farming tools in a local
the aspects on separate pieces of paper and place them on the
or individual dialogue, you will ask people to communicate language. These papers can be used in future sessions with other
right side of the worksheet. Use your list of resources to devise
examples of resources that can generate income. You may also farmers.
their flow of resources by addressing one type of resource
at a time and then listing the resources on a template devel- have printed some illustrations to visualize resources. 2 3 People could rank the resources in accordance to their relative size,
oped by you. The participants will prioritize the resources. STEP 6: Set focus on expenditures by asking participants to list then work together with the participants to quantify resources in
everything that costs money for household/business on separate local currency – this might be what they are spending and earn-
The participants will be asked to indicate who typically man-
pieces of paper, and place them on the left side of the worksheet. ing on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis.
ages the types of resources.
Use your list of resources to come up with examples of resources
that are expenses. 6 WATCH OUT
OUTCOME STEP 7: Rank resources by asking participants to rank the pieces The activity can be time-consuming so be clear about how much de-
of paper cards according to what provides the largest income and tail you want about each type of resource. For example, whether you
Source and type of household income and spending
what costs the most. If participants are able and willing, ask them will only classify spending on “food” or “groceries” and not address each
Decision maker and manager of resources
to estimate resources in quantity and price – this can be time type of grocery as this is not relevant for your solution.
Resources used to purchase, use and maintain a system consuming but may change the order of the ranking by addressing
as well as the perceived value and outcome of the each aspect specifically. 6 It can be a sensitive subject for people to “reveal” their spending to oth-
system ers in their community so evaluate with local partners who to include

Ways of financing the resources and how they are STEP 8: Identify the person(s) responsible for the resource(s) by in an activity.
prioritized asking the participant(s) to tell who controls which resources listed
within the business or household – you can list the names directly
on the papers. 2 USE IN COMBINATION WITH
STEP 9: Address purchases and investments by asking how often Deep dialogue (page 58)
mapped products and services are bought as well as the reasons Activity map (page 62)
Focus group for the frequency of purchases, such as due to limited durability or Follow and observe (page 68)
large consumption.
Bring 20 green and 20 red A6-size pieces of heavy duty paper and a
picture to illustrate the system that you wish to map the resource flow,
e.g. a house or a given type of work. Ask someone who can read English
from the community to write in the local language on the cards the type
of categories that are relevant for local input and output, guided by your
interest. Map the resource flow in sessions with either a household or
one from a given profession. Let the participant first review the cards
made and motivate the person to write more if needed, then ask
the participant to prioritize the cards in accordance to the amount of
resources and then ask him or her to quantify the resources.

Pricing and financing (featuring Worldbarrow page 38)

Works well with individuals, a single household, or small focus
group of maximum of four people.
½ – 1.5 hours per session depending on the group size, number
of systems to address, and the detailed level of the resources to
List of possible types of resources related to each system
Small pieces of paper to write or draw on (25 min. per session)
A3 paper to arrange the paper listing resources
Pens, notebook
1 Camera, video or smartphone 67

2 3 4 5 6
Follow these steps: Assess your own or similar products by following people and periodi-

cally asking them questions such as ”Why do you do that?” or ”How

STEP 1: Define who, where and what could be relevant for did it feel to…?” or “Could this be easier?” Consider presenting a num-
you to observe and discover. A good idea is to have a plan for ber of exercises that you can ask your participants to try out while using
a combination of visits: e.g., the village where farmers live, the your product and then observe them in action. 2 .

farm where the farmers’ undertake their daily work, the farmers’ Understand local distribution systems by following one aspect of the
travel to market using your wheel barrow prototype, the nearby distribution for a day or be open to follow different stakeholders to
town where farmers’ tools can be bought. Develop a list of key gain insight on the various stages of the distribution.
research topics that you would like to observe and discover, e.g.,
in relation to products, people and environments. GOOD PRACTICE
Unplanned visits and walks STEP 2: Plan visits with local partners who can make Trust and build trust with the people you meet. Be explorative
in selected places to identify arrangements with local contacts. Make sure to have a plan that
you can Follow and observe activities on a day when they would
and not afraid to follow the lead of a local or to approach people
in a local shop, because they will usually welcome your interest.
and discover current local naturally happen, e.g., going to the market or selling a given crop.
Include the activity on one of your first days to collect your own
conditions and interactions.

STEP 3: Complete the activity by following your contact through initial learning’s before doing other activities.
an area 1 4 . Observe, meet people, ask, listen, discuss and
identify problems and solutions 3 5 . The areas that turn out to Ask for a local community map for you to use as an icebreaker
for an introductory dialogue and to plan the visit through the com-
be most interesting may first be discovered during the walk, so
munity. Communicate what types of people you would like to meet
The activity helps you to get into the local context to identify be open to change course or extend your walk. or specific sites of interest you would like to visit.
relevant stakeholders and obtain deep insight on your target STEP 4: Take time to stop and talk with people you meet on
group’s local conditions. Follow and observe selected peo- To avoid affecting people’s behavior by your mere presence,
the way – you may use your notes from the “Deep dialogue” consider installing a camera to record observations at a given
ple from your target group in their activities, environment, activity as inspiration for your questions. Pay attention to identify place. The recording can be used as a basis for a deep dialogue.
or during the specific use of a product. The activity invites possible gaps between what people say and what you observe
you to ask questions along the way to obtain deeper insight. them doing when you ask them about their activities 2 . Be Consider structuring your observations by dividing them into:
aware that people are not expecting you, so ask if they have time 1. Environments where you make the observations
However, the activity stresses to collect and analyze insight
to answer questions, ask if it is okay for you to observe them, and 2. People involved in activity
based on observations to get beyond what people say, to un- explain how you will use the information 5 .
derstand what they do and feel. 3. Objects people interact with
STEP 5: Continuously document your observations and tasks 4. Messages that are being transferred during the activity
by writing notes, taking pictures or recording video 2 6 . Both 5. Services that enable the activity
contextual and detailed pictures as well as video are important
Outcome communication material for others in your project team to WATCH OUT
68 Establish contact with relevant stakeholders visualize the challenges and opportunities. Your smartphone Make sure that your local contacts show you places that represent
Insight into local conditions, such as the infrastructure can easily and discretely take pictures and record video as an local conditions and not only the areas where NGOs are giving special
alternative to larger equipment. attention in a program that may not show the full scale of local develop-
Identify sales and distribution challenges
ment challenges.
Insight into actual use of products or services STEP 6: Consider following and observing other stakeholders
Innovative opportunities to address the gap between what than your target groups, e.g. understand what people purchase People may stop all activities due to their curiosity of your presence.
people say and do when they are wealthier than your target group or why some Tell them to continue their work, as you would like to learn from them.
people in a community do not share the same challenges or Not all people would like you to take their picture without permission,
needs. so try to ask first or be very discrete.

Interview STEP 7: Collect contact information for the people you meet if
Observation they are interested in being included in later activities relevant to USE IN COMBINATION WITH
your field research.
Deep dialogue (page 58)
STEP 8: Sum up your observations and interview by writing
Activity map (page 62)
down your initial impressions to ensure they are considered in
later analysis. Social map (page 64)
Plan to walk around and make observations of sites and people on the
first days upon your arrival. Make time to change direction or search
for people you met during your walk. When finding relevant places or
people, be prepared to undertake observations and interviews in the
moment. People are more open to allow you to observe, follow and
interview them if you explain to them that their participation will be
anonymous, or you buy something from their shop or give them a free
sample of the product they will need to use during the observations.

Rapid market assessment (featuring AAK, page 18)
Distribution system (featuring CBS, page 34)
Distribution system (featuring Danisco, page 32)

Observe and follow one or a very small group of people. If you are in a big
group, then try to divide into smaller groups in order to explore different
areas or Follow and observe different people.

Walking communities or to follow the activities of a supply chain can take a full
day, while observing the use of a product can take as little as 1/2 an hour.

List of target groups, areas, situations or products you wish to observe
Notebook and pens (may include a template to structure observations)
Camera, video or smartphone
1 Map of the area can be a good idea 69

2 3 4 5 6
Follow these steps: VARIATIONS
Homestay can have great value even when only spending one or

STEP 1: Consider homestay if you need to build trust with one two nights locally. Depending on your target group, people will most
community or a local household to be allowed to undertake a
likely give you the possibility to stay in some of their best facilities.
number of activities or to gain insight into their life from morning
The conditions may not be much different than the nearest lodge or
to evening.

hostel, but may give you a very different experience.
STEP 2: Prepare by making sure you will have clean drinking
water, some nutritional snacks, protection against local diseases, GOOD PRACTICE
and required sleeping equipment. Be prepared to participate in local social activities that you may
STEP 3: Identify who could arrange for the homestay through not have planned on but may happen during your stay, such as
relatives of your local contact, the NGO, or community chief of to be invited to a local wedding, Sunday church 3 or a funeral.
a local community. Depending on the given community, safety
When you are presented with a variety of the local foods, drinks
Go the extra mile, spend time and climate, you may consider bringing your own tent, 1 finding
accommodations in a public building 2 , or sleep in a private
and snacks, try to taste before saying no to anything or be very
diplomatic in your rejection, saying that you have allergies, cer-
with people from your target home.
tain beliefs, etc. 6

group, and participate in their STEP 4: Show appreciation in your gesture and openness of
the limited facilities available. Give only small gifts of, for example, Roles are reversed when you work alongside the locals. You will
not be the expert but trying to learn how to undertake local daily
daily activities. household supplies, as appreciation for the people hosting you.
activities and through this learn about their problems. Let your
STEP 5: Participate in the daily activities and express your target group become the teacher and you “the student.” 5
interest to not be treated as an “outsider” by the community
Honesty, reflections and good ideas are often expressed but your interest is to learn from them. The homestay is a good
while people work together or during informal chats in the chance to undertake some of your other research activities. WATCH OUT
evenings. Follow and participate in local daily activities to Ask your target group how you can participate in their daily activities
build your own experience of the daily life challenges and – if it is related to their work, then make sure you do not endanger

create an informal environment for dialogue. Consider the STEP 1: Define the kind of daily activities or processes that are their work by taking too much time, lowering the quality, or act-
value of spending time with your target group in the evening, relevant for your research and how you may be able to work ing like the expert rather than the student.
night, and early morning to discover their use of services and alongside your target group to experience and observe 4 .
Examples could be learning to understand the cooking culture The experiences you have when working alongside locals are not
products, and what new challenges they may face at a time
by helping a woman in the full cooking process from purchase of necessarily the same as your participants, since you are inexpe-
when research is rarely done. Build empathy and interest for
ingredients to the cooking itself, or to understand a consumer’s rienced and may not do the task correctly. It can be a good idea to
your research, and show respect for local conditions by ar-
reason to purchase specific products by becoming a sales
ranging a homestay for one or two nights in the community. share your experiences during the activities to hear whether your
70 assistant in a small roadside shop 4 .
participant shares the same experiences.
STEP 2: Start by arranging the possibility for you to work with a
OUTCOME local through your local partners; or approach a shop during your It is a honor to be invited to spend the night in a community or with a
Build trust and respect in the community to accelerate first days to ask if you can work there; or seek permission to set local family. Do not expect that the allowance is guaranteed and it
other activities up a small road side table, purchase some local products, and is therefore a good idea to get advice or help from your local partner
Insight into needs and desires outside of the “opening sell them along the street. If you are positive, open-minded and on whom to ask for permission. Be modest and show appreciation
hours” show interest, most local people will find your interest amusing when sharing your interest to spend the night near your target group.
People’s honest ideas, feelings and critiques and allow you to undertake the work alongside of them.
Everyday life and activities STEP 3: Observe, interview, and interact with the people you
Time and place to undertake other activities at a time are working with on a very informal basis during your activities
when people are not busy with other daily activities to tap into their current situation and request for changes. Have
a list of important key questions in your notebook, such as a Deep dialogue (page 58)
TYPE OF ACTIVITY discrete checklist of the key research-aspects to address. Keep Concept assessment (page 84)
Interview in mind that you are new to these activities and your personal
Observation challenges might not be the same as your local target group’s.
Consider during what times people would be using your product or
service. If it is relevant, then arrange to also undertake Follow and observe
activities and Deep dialogue during the later evening or early morning.
This may only be feasible if you spend the night locally, so explore this
possibility through your local partner, a trustworthy contact or someone
from a local community committee.
To get into the mind-set of your target group, then put yourself in their
place by asking a person from your target group if you can work alongside
him or her for a few hours. Share your experiences of the work with your
“co-worker” to start a dialogue on his or her experiences. Consider offering
a few hours to help in a local shop where you will get an opportunity to ask
consumers to reflect on their choices at the moment of purchase.

Customers and end-users (featuring Vestergaard Frandsen, page 22)

Best to have one or two primary people of your target group who you work
alongside and/or one family that you stay with overnight.
Depending on your interest, working alongside can take from 1 hour to a full
day and overnight stays from 1 night to longer stays of several months.
List of questions you can ask when working alongside
Notebook, pen, camera or smartphone
1 71

2 3 4 5 6
Follow these steps:
The activity set focuses on segmentation that is based on qualitative
STEP 1: List the type of information you would like to collect about data where aspects such as target group’s behaviors and attitudes are


your target groups such as information about demographics, addressed. Information on demographics and lifestyle may be avail-
behavior and lifestyle. Consider including people who may not be able online or through local agencies in to be able to undertake segmen-
current consumers of similar services but are relevant for future tations with some significant evidence.

markets 1 3 . Develop your questions as a questionnaire or
have a more open format for your dialogues 1 4 , addressing Target group segmentation could also be done without developing
the aspects shown in the illustration 2 . elaborate “Personas” but through a workshop where local opinion
STEP 2: Plan how you will collect the information: through leaders or representatives of various groups both outline the different

Research and analysis activity deep dialogue, self-documentation, larger surveys using local
researchers, or during your visits to a community where you can
types of, for example, consumers and their attributes by which they are
grouped and segmented. It is a good idea to crosscheck analysis and
to identify specific attributes of collect some of the information using other activities, such as
“Ranking of values.”
assumptions by following up with a deep dialogue with people from the
clustered target groups.
a target group that are similar

STEP 3: Collect information on your different types of target
and dissimilar to other groups, groups through local researchers or by yourself.
STEP 4: Review information gathered and assess the need to Developed “Personas” 4 can be useful material for your design
and to identify and customize define new types of target groups if the ones initially defined do
not reveal the actual differences within your group. For example,
team to make sure the solution is developed with their characteris-
tics in mind. The profile can also be used in other field research ac-
your markets. it could be that gender does not represent any clear differences in tivities, such as inviting locals to develop ideas for service-delivery
attitudes and values in comparison to social classification or level to this type of target group.
of education.
The activity provides you with templates on what type of in-
formation can be relevant to collect about your target group STEP 4: Develop material that can summarize the characteristics Consider how other activities can provide valuable insight to devel-
in order to understand their similarities and differences of different target groups. Consider to arrange learning’s from op the “Personas,” e.g., by learning about peoples’ values through
similar people in one format to create a “Persona” 4 that is the “Value of features” activity or daily activities by creating an “Ac-
as customers and end-users. Based on the target group’s
a fictive but representative person-profile that can represent
characteristics, you will be able to segment these in accord- tivity map.”
someone from a given target group. Make the personas personal
ance to your parameters. The parameters to segment target by giving them a name as well as including quotes and pictures to
groups should be relevant for you to address the opportuni- visualize what you learn. WATCH OUT
ties, size and challenges of the market.
STEP 5: Define meaningful and actionable segmentation Be aware that your segmentation and profile of target groups will
attributes of your target groups, such as demographics that affect be strongly influenced by the few individuals you include in
Target group segmentation is an activity that helps you cre- consumer needs (gender, age, belief, status, profession, rural/ the study 1 3 . It can be a good idea to undertake deep dialogue
ate a market for a target group of relevant market size, as urban), behavior (such as open to change/content, user, non-user, with the same type of people in places or regions to see if there
72 well as being able to estimate and draw the characteristics etc.), or lifestyle characteristics. are any differences. Crosscheck your assumptions by present-
of future market segments.

STEP 6: Develop a digital or physical map where you place your ing findings to local NGOs or grassroots organizations.
target groups in accordance to two of the segmentation attributes.
It can be interesting to develop different maps based on different For markets where the customer and consumer are not the same,
OUTCOME segmentation attributes – some attributes may be relevant such as the case of relief products, it is relevant to undertake two
Structured insight into your target group for marketing while others relate to, for example, pricing 5 . target group segmentations to address both purchase and con-
• Knowledge, attitudes, and practices Depending on the data available, you can indicate an estimated sumption patterns.
• Opportunities and challenges size of each target group. Segmentations can be used to focus on
Aspects that define differences within your target groups whom to create a market for and who could be future customers/
Segmentation of target groups end-users. USE IN COMBINATION WITH
STEP 7: Analyze the segmentation in relation to relevant Deep dialogue (page 58)
TYPE key questions for your market creation – e.g., whether you are Self-documentation (page 60)
developing solutions for the right target groups, what to focus on
Interview in marketing, and if there are current non-users that could become Activity map (page 62)
Focus group future users. Designing value proposition (page 80)
Define who could be your potential customers, e.g., the “rural/urban
mom and rural/urban teenage girl” for a beauty product. Print pictures
of different beauty products or bring your prototype. Develop a one-
page “Persona” template similar to 4 listing topics 2 and space for
your notes. Use the persona when you undertake deep dialogues. After
collecting the information, compare what you have learned and see if
you need a more appropriate way to differentiate your target group, such
as by behavior and motivation (“teenage/adult feminine and teenage/
adult natural”). Visit a local shop that sells beauty products and ask the
shopkeeper to share experiences on what and how to sell to each of the
Personas. During the dialogue, try to do a target group segmentation e.g.
based on the Persona’s willingness to buy new products such as yours.

Rapid market assessment (featuring AAK, page 18)
Marketing and communication (featuring Arla, page 44)

From 10 – several hundred people depending on the scope, use of information
and resources.

1 hour for Deep dialogue, 1-2 hours for segmentation activity with focus group if
Personas were developed beforehand.

Template to develop the “Persona”
Notebook, pens, camera, video, computer
1 Paper cards, poster to make the segmentation 73

2 3 4 5

up &
COnTenT Open TO
pROuD mODeRn
Follow these steps:
Create scenarios to present the relevant information you have

learned from your field research to your project team using pic-

STEP 1: Review your key research questions for your field trip
– are there any that might be complex to explain and would be tures, video, quotes and personas.
more easily expressed through creating a scenario or telling a

SCENARIOS story? Scenarios can become relevant if you want to talk about Scenarios can be prepared from home and planned to clarify ab-
sensitive topics, desires for the future or a product that does not stract key questions or, in other cases, developed “on the spot” dur-
exist. ing an activity where you face the challenges in getting participants to
give answers to abstract questions.
STEP 2: Draft a simple story line for the scenario that may

be a situation, a small story, or a set of different scenarios to
Build situational stories to address and elaborate on the same question. Contextualizing is
Create scenarios for your target group to “fill in the gaps” of a story.
Present the “beginning” and “the end” on two separate papers, which
make it easier for your target important and it is good to build the scenario using local words
and images of the conditions. Consider whether you will include
could be scenes of “now” and “future” or “without” and “with” sce-
narios, and ask the participants to come up with realistic and/or “out-
group to understand abstract fictive people with names in your scenario or include your target
group as the people in the scenario. It is often easier for people
rageous” ideas about what has happened in between.

questions and for you to to be open, critical and subjective if the scenario includes fictive, GOOD PRACTICE
but realistic, characters.
communicate what you have STEP 3: Consider how you will present the scenario depending
When a translator is needed, ask around if there is anyone who
is good at storytelling who might also be good at presenting
learned to your project team. on your available time, facilitation skills and target audience. your scenario and facilitating the focus group session. 4 6 You
While you may try to explain the scenario in words, it is often can also ask if there is anyone who likes to draw who may assist
a good idea to include a few illustrations or the surroundings you in creating illustrations. 4
This activity is a guide on how to build scenarios or situ-
to support your storytelling and for people to understand the
ational stories to contextualize your questions. Scenarios situation. 1 5 6 Use material from people’s “Self-documentation” activities,
are good to use for deep dialogue or focus group meetings pictures, notes and other material from your first days of field
and can be used in situations where you want your target STEP 4: Develop the material that can support others’ research to create new or more descriptive scenarios.
group to understand a complex situation or question. Creat- understanding of the scenario, such as:
Make your questions less abstract by creating a “sacrificial
ing scenarios can also be useful for you to triangulate your Notes in your book about the story line and key questions concept”: Turn abstract questions into concrete, scenario-
findings. Develop a story that sums up your understanding A few cards with basic illustrations or writing that may, in based questions with two options, for example: “If you had to
and then present it to your target group for clarification and combination, become different scenarios 3 choose between…”
feedback. Creating scenarios can help you to compile and Picture, diagram or drawing 5 6
easily communicate your findings from the research to your A short movie clip from earlier research done elsewhere Addressing the future can be difficult, so instead of asking your
project team. Scenarios can be both fictive and realistic and target group “what will the solution be?”, create a scenario
74 presented through storytelling, an illustration, a diagram or STEP 5: Use the scenario to tell a story – be descriptive, specific where the solution already has been implemented and ask your

other visual material. and open to elaboration on the story with input from people who participants, “(Imagine) What has the solution done to make
will try to reflect themselves in the story and adapt it to their them…”
OUTCOME situation. 1 4
Story or illustration of a situation you would like to While you can present a full story to them, you may also give
communicate. a more general and less detailed story for your participants to Build realistic scenarios that people can relate to. If you address so-
Information on your target group that is easy to access, discuss. You could present the beginning of a story that includes lutions that do not exist, then try to describe a fictive family.
understand and use within your project team. some of the local dilemmas and ask your participants to develop
Tool for you to make abstract questions easier to the continuation of the story. Peoples story can be presented in
understand for your target group. USE IN COMBINATION WITH
a focus group. Give people time talk and to interpret the story. 2
Deep dialogue (page 58)
TYPE OF ACTIVITY STEP 6: Document the discussion of the scenario and outcome
by taking notes and video 2 . Consider making illustrations that Self-documentation (page 60)
Development of communication material Customer segmentation (page 72)
shows your participants greater detail of the scenario so that
(Activity to support) Focus group sessions
they can confirm or elaborate on what they see. 4 Price mapping (page 78)
(Activity to support) Deep dialogue
When facing abstract questions during a deep dialogue or focus
group activity, try to think of how you can contextualize your question
by telling a fictive story your participants can relate to. Rephrase your
question into a story and consider making a few simple drawings to
support the content of your story.
Develop three daily-life scenarios that visually and structurally
communicate your field research and what you have learned to your
project team. Personalize and contextualize each story by including
pictures you have taken.
Scenarios can be based on relevant forecasts, such as different
scenarios on how to create a market and how your product will be
put into use to create value for your consumer.

Service and maintenance (featuring InnoAid Ambulance, page 50)

One person to develop the scenarios, maybe with the help of local artist. Sce-
narios can be presented to individuals or a smaller focus group.

From 5 minutes to 3 hours of preparation

Illustrations, drawings, or cards to write on
Notebook and pens
1 Camera and video (or smartphone) 75

2 3 4 5 6
Follow these steps: VARIATION
Some alternatives may be more costly than others so consider a
STEP 1: Generate a list of topics that you would like people’s

ranking activity where you give people real or fictive money to “buy” a

perceived valuation of. A topic could be “considerations when
number of the alternative – but they have to rank and prioritize, as
buying street food.” Select one or two topics and generate a list of
maximum 25 different alternatives or solutions within each of the they will not be able to afford them all.
topics, e.g., “price, hygiene, location.”

Start with a “Value ranking” activity before a focus group discus-
STEP 2: Develop and write one small paper cards, each of the sion on value creation and perception since this may seem very
alternatives or solutions. Depending on literacy levels and your abstract to your participants at first. Invite participants to present their
time, consider printing images to symbolize the options or to value ranking to each other and then start a deep dialogue about val-
develop a list of the alternatives and then ask a local contact to
Challenge your target write the paper cards in the local language. You could evaluate the
alternatives using a scale shaped like a pyramid, a line or a circle.
ues at a point where the participants have been actively and mentally
involved in expressing their own values.
group to actively value and

STEP 3: Invite one or several people from your target group to GOOD PRACTICE
rank products, services participate. Present the topic, quickly go through the alternatives
you have brought, and show the scale on which they should Review your printed images with a local partner or someone
or detailed aspects of a rank the alternatives 5 . Motivate participants to include new
alternatives they value under the topic given, by including a new
with local knowledge to know whether participants will under-
stand the images or not.
solution in accordance to paper card. Include a name of the value on the image and an ID number
their perceived value. STEP 4: Ask the participants to rank the alternatives. 1 2 3
4 You should act only as facilitator and give participants freedom
that you can write down to easily record the ranking for a later
comparison. Ask a local contact to write in local language the
to undertake the activity themselves. Try to only have one activity meaning on the picture.
The activity prepares you to develop material for an individual at a time and sit in the background to observe and listen.
or focus group session where participants will rank a number Consider undertaking the same Ranking values activity with
STEP 5: Clarify and support the understanding if needed. If you other participant than your customers as it may be relevant to
of alternative products, services or aspects relevant to your
have not defined the scale of what is “high value and low value,” address other decision makers ranking of values for you to create
research. By asking people to prioritize, participants will start then ask participants to define this, giving valuable insight into a market – e.g., the consumer of candy may be kids but it will be
a mental evaluation process to both address what “value” in their way of perceiving value. the mother making the decision to purchase.
general means and how different solutions or alternatives are
rated on a scale that is predefined or defined by the participants STEP 6: Review the final rankings of the alternatives and ask the Make sure you meet participants at a place where there will be
themselves. The activity is simple in its format but can lead to participants to talk about their priorities. 1 6 space to sit with the cards.
valuable discussion between participants when they have to ad- STEP 7: Follow-up by addressing some more general questions,
dress their own as well as common perception of value and how either from the session or that you have prepared beforehand. If WATCH OUT
this is embedded in a given number of alternatives. you had asked participants to rank, for example, different labels Try to do the activity in a quiet place since your presence will
76 of milk products, then you could ask them to rank in accordance
create a lot of attention and others will come to interrupt with
to what they consume the most and what the unit price is – you
their opinions. This is especially important with women.
OUTCOME may find that there are different perceptions on “quality” and
purchasing value.
Value Proposition and consumer expectations – what and The cards might be misunderstood and this could affect the
how people value and prioritize STEP 8: Repeat the session with others from the same target rankings. Motivate the participant to feel free to continuously re-
Differences between individuals and target groups group but also try to address the possibility of other relevant target view and change the ranking order while explaining the ranking
People’s perceptions, knowledge and understanding groups, e.g., asking the street food vendor about his priorities to to a focus group.
see if they align with the consumers.
People’s valuation of products and services

Diagram that can be used for quantitative studies STEP 9: Document the process with notes/video and take USE IN COMBINATION WITH
pictures of the final ranking of paper cards. Write down the key
points you learned from the session and if any new options were Deep dialogue (page 58)
TYPE OF ACTIVITY discovered. 1 Customer segmentation (page 60)
STEP 10: Assess the variation in priority within a specific target Creating scenarios (page 74)
Focus group
group and among different target groups. Designing value proposition (page 80)
Develop a list of 5-10 values that you have thought to be possible
unique selling points for your solution, e.g., for a radio to last for
five years, have digital screen, available in three colors, etc. In
addition, generate 10 alternative values that you think may affect
your customers’ choice of what to buy, such as transportable on
bike, price, waterproof, connects to car, plays tapes, etc. Invite five
boys and five girls, divide them into two groups, and have them
undertake the ranking of values in the groups. Ask participants to
include other values that you may have forgotten. Have each group
present their rankings, talk about the differences in their rankings,
and their reasons for the rankings. Write the values in English and
also the local language on post-it notes and ask participants to rank
them on a poster.

Rapid market assessment (featuring AAK, page 18)
Including end-users (featuring InnoAid Street Food, page 28)
Distribution system (featuring Danisco, page 32)

Individual or small focus group of maximum of seven participants in each group.

From ½ – 2 hours depending on discussion that will follow the ranking

Illustrations, drawings, or cards to write on
Paper to write a scale
1 Notebook, pens, camera, video, or smartphone 77

2 3 4 5 6
Follow these steps: VARIATION
Use the Toolbox Activity “Activity map” to map a distribution chain


STEP 1: Decide on what type of revenue and cash flow you wish
or service delivery before making the price mapping activity. This way
to map with your target group to identify value propositions and
you can use the activities map to address the expenses and revenues
opportunities for investments. Participants could map prices of
for each of the distribution activities, e.g., to address the cash flow of a

competitive products, their own type of spending’s, and what
milk farmer from cow to point of sale. 6
values they see in the competitive products, or map the cash
flow of your target group’s household to understand their liability.
STEP 2: Prepare the aspects you wish to address by writing
each one on a color paper card and have a local assistant write Consider giving selected participants a list of things they should
Organize a group session the meaning in the local language. 1 write down the price and amount of a few days before the ac-
tivity. This gives them time to collect some information from
where your target group maps

STEP 3: Select and invite selected people from your target the market as well as address the household economy with the
group to a session where you will brief the participants on the household members since it may be difficult to remember if not
economic information that content and purpose of the focus group. It should be at a place
where you can use the wall for the mapping so everyone can see.
being prepared.

is then used to identify value STEP 4: Break the ice by asking people to write their names
The activity works well in groups if you only address a few as-
pects to map as it may be a very time-consuming activity.
propositions. on paper cards, have them introduce themselves, and stick the
nametags in a row on the wall. 1 2 Make use of paper cards in various colors to provide a visual
structure of the mapping, e.g., aspects in one color, spending in a
STEP 5: Ask participants for their inputs on an aspect that different color, and revenue in yet another color. 5
should be relatively easy for them to indicate – such as the name
The activity provides you with tools on how to involve your
and price of a product they own and serve a similar purpose as Complete a few “Resource flow” activities with similar target
target group in mapping different types of economic informa- groups and hang the posters that came out of this activity up on
your solution. Place a card with the name of the aspect on the
tion. The map allows you to do simple analyses together with the wall before you start the price mapping activity. Use these
wall and ask the participants to write their individual answer on a
your participants and address their capacity to invest in new posters as a point of reference when you undertake the price
new paper card and stick it underneath their name. 1
solutions and, through this, also address value proposition mapping since the posters will list a number of local type of
from an economic point of view. STEP 5: Allow participants to discuss and help each other to spending’s you may wish to address during the price mapping.
write the cards. 3 Clarify the meaning of the cards by asking See Resource flow poster on the upper left on picture 5 .
participants to elaborate verbally on what they wrote on the card.
4 Use scenarios when you have more complex questions that you
OUTCOME wish to ask to your participants.
Current prices on the market STEP 6: Address new aspects by, for example, asking the
Target groups’ financial liability and cash flow participants to write other products they know on the market
People’s spending and if they pay more for less on a new card. Have them list the product names as well as the
Value proposition estimated price in local currency. It may be sensitive for people to map their revenue stream in front
People’s current skills and priorities in making budgets of others. Their rough estimation may result in showing false revenue
STEP 7: Continue the mapping on the wall with other, maybe
that exposes them to the village. Therefore, it is important to empha-
more complex aspects for people to share insights on. Try to
TYPE OF ACTIVITY develop an order of aspects where the former map can help
size that numbers are relative and address the need to complete the
activity in small groups in enclosed areas.
Observation participants give input to the next. Address products, spending,
Interview values, profits, etc. 5

STEP 8: End the mapping by drawing some conclusions related USE IN COMBINATION WITH
to individual revenue streams or general observations that can
lead you into asking how new investments could support their Deep dialogue (page 58)
economy in relation to the functionalities of your product. Take Resource flow (page 66)
pictures of the map and notes from the discussion. 6 Creating scenarios (page 74)
What will be the type of value propositions of your product? –
Productivity, business, status, convenience, health? List a number
of aspects that can structure a session where you will first map your
target groups current spending’s, then values and lastly challenges
to provide you the insight and basis to address what value your
product should be able to deliver. Invite five people from your target
group to a session where you guide them to indicate on cards one-
by-one their individual answers to your questions by starting with
general and easy questions before you ask deeper questions about
resource flow and pricing.

Distribution system (featuring Danisco, page 32)
Pricing and finance (featuring Worldbarrow, page 38)

Group session of maximum five people within the same type of target group.

Should take maximum 2 ½ hours, including some snacks and a break. Time
needed will largely depend on the number of participants, number, detail of as-
pects and the complexity of your questions.

Paper cards in various colors, Sticky Tack to stick them onto the wall
Pens for each of the participants
Camera and notebook
1 79

2 3 4 5 6
Follow these steps: VARIATION
DESIGNING Invite people to design the packaging material by giving partici-

STEP 1: Prepare relevant questions and visual material that
pants a white poster or a paper box that they can then decorate and
focuses on the type of product or market you target. If your ideas

VALUE are in the very early stages, print out a picture of or purchase draw on to present their ideas for the packaging, giving insight on key
similar types of local products. For example, designing mobile messages, slogans, illustrations that communicate value, etc.
phones for women could mean collecting different local mobile

Have people use the product for several days with no or little
phones, other technologies popular for women, or women introduction to the product to find out how people will make use of
products popular in general. If you have a prototype, then illustrate
the product. Your target group may use your product in unexpect-
or bring it along with “similar” products purchased locally. Develop
two simple illustrations of different scenarios: one with a woman ed ways and therefore give insight on unexpected product values
looking angry with a mobile phone and a woman who looks happy or challenges (See case of Vestergaard Frandsen page 22).
Co-creation activity to about a mobile phone. Seek inspiration from illustration 4 . Try to repeat the activity with different types of target groups to
STEP 2: Invite people from your target group for a small focus map differences. If possible, consider having the different groups
design products and services group session. Try to invite people with similar characteristics such present their final ideas to other target groups to get feedback and
as age, gender, income level and maybe profession. 1 start a discussion about how to meet different values or the need
according to your target for a selection of products and services.

STEP 3: Present the pictures and products 5 as if you are
group desired benefits. interpreting the pictures together with your participants. It
is important to not tell anything about specific use, price, or GOOD PRACTICE
perceived values of the products, including your solution. End your
presentation by presenting the two scenarios where you ask open Look for people who like to draw in the community, they could be
questions about why they think the women are having different kids, and include them as participants or to support participants
This activity focuses on first identifying what values and ex- experiences while looking at their phones. in visualizing their ideas.
periences your target group would want to include in your
product and service. You will then invite selected people from STEP 4: List people’s comments to the scenarios on paper cards Make sure not to “sell” your solution when you introduce it but
or a poster. Continue to talk about people’s experiences and be very general and only tell what people can see themselves.
your target group to a small co-creation activity where they
values by showing the other pictures and products to get more
will be asked to create ideas and concepts of how you should
ideas from people about what is a good or bad experience about Ask participants in the end of the activity when people have listed
translate the value into specific solutions. Local perceptions mobile phones and why certain products are so valued 2 3 . You their own values whether they also see the values of your solu-
of products and services can differ greatly from your own. can also ask leading questions by addressing relevant topics such tion that you had initially designed for.
Therefore, a dialogue on how your target group experiences as status, safety, durability, beauty, etc. Consider including some physical products that people can
design is relevant to both design of the marketing and pack-
STEP 5: Review the list of experiences generated and invite touch and use in order to look for additional values and use as a
aging material and well as the product itself to make sure it
participants to add more experiences if any are missing. reference to support your target group to explain the values they
will communicate value through the right messages and de- find in your product.
sign features. STEP 6: Focus on what to co-create, e.g., packaging material (can
80 be good if your product is a service and less tangible), or co-create
a physical product. WATCH OUT
STEP 7: Invite your participants to share ideas about how to Not all people may like to be involved in an activity where they
OUTCOME design the packaging material or product in accordance to the list have to be very creative. Therefore assess the interest and skills
of desired experiences developed in step 5 – the ideas can relate of your participants in making drawings or prototypes and design the
What people perceive as important values and how they to the choice of materials, information given, size, color, features, activity according to this level of creativity and interest. Consider involv-
think it should be integrated in a new product etc. List the ideas next to the desired experiences. Motivate the ing a local artist to support.
Concepts of marketing and packaging material to participants to suggest different ideas and list them all even though
communicate the desired experiences they may be different. Invite participants to sketch or draw on the
Concepts of product solutions that can give the user pictures you have brought for the changes they desire. 3 6 USE IN COMBINATION WITH
desired experiences

STEP 8: Invite participants to detail their ideas for a group Deep dialogue (page 58)
presentation. This could be done as a one-hour session or a
Self-documentation (page 60)
TYPE OF ACTIVITY several day task. People could go home to their families and,
with the help of their children, draw the product they would value. Creating scenarios (page 74)
Focus group
Subsequent to this, the target group would present the results at Concept assessment (page 84)
Co-creation a group presentation.
Prepare an A3 paper where you include images of locally available
products similar to yours – it can be images of products in use,
packaged or an advertisement. Select pictures where the products
are in similar conditions, such as all being new. Print also 2 images
that expresses “to like” and “to dislike” 4 . Arrange to meet four
people from a specific target group and ask them to share their
insights on what a person like themselves would like or dislike with
the type of product you are developing and what he or she may look
for when deciding on the purchase. Then ask them to share ideas
about how the product should be designed to comply with these
values and be attractive for them to buy.

Customers and end-users (featuring Vestergaard Frandsen, page 22)

Four to six people in a focus group

From 2 hours per workshop, depending on the group size and number of as-
pects you will address.

Images or products similar to yours
Two Scenarios on a A4 paper – can be as simple as (4)
Questions or notes to address specific values you will talk about
Pens, paper, paper boxes to draw and create ideas
1 Notebook, camera, video, smartphone 81

2 3 4 5 6
“It is great!
I will buy it!”

“i don’t like
I will not buy!”
Follow these steps: VARIATIONS

STEP 1: Decide on what level you would like to involve people in It can be easiest to present prototypes of service solutions through
the design of your solution, e.g., to design concepts 11 , detail part a poster, a role-play or enacting a scenario 6 . For inspiration, see
of your solution 8 , address local manufacturing 1 2 or develop the case of InnoAid Ambulance.
the marketing.

STEP 2: Develop material to inspire what type of solutions
Include local materials that enable participants to create mod-
participants should prototype as well as material that can enable
els of their ideas and solutions. Select materials based on local
people to communicate their ideas to you. Consider how you can
availability but consider including clay, paper, cloths, sticks, recy-
help participants to deliver relevant ideas and creations:
cled material such as cans, etc. Provide some material but also

Give your target group the List of challenges and opportunities you have identified
that people can consider when prototyping; this could be
motivate people to use what they find appropriate.
Support participants’ creativity and skills to develop models of
opportunity to prototype developed as a persona (see “Creating scenario” activity)
Sketches of existing solutions or your initial ideas that people
their ideas by involving local artists. Local artists can be con-
tracted to help participants in making the models whether the
solutions derived from local can detail 7
Manufacturing manual to build and detail specific prototypes 1
artist is a painter, blacksmith or ceramicist. Inform participants
that local artists will be available and that they can get support
needs, skills and resources.

STEP 3: Involve people from your target groups depending on from these artists to make their models. It is important that par-
your ideas about the prototypes. Some examples include: ticipants still take the lead in the modeling and that it is not the
artists’ ideas but participants’ ideas that will be communicated in
End-users: by promoting a drawing competition to gain insight
final models.
The activity supports a creative and practical process where on appearance 4
your target group becomes active participants in converting End-users: by providing sketches of your ideas for people to Plan the participants’ creations to be evaluated and presented
identified needs and challenges into conceptual or physical color and detail in a focus group session 7 to a local “jury” to not only motivate people for the chance of
solutions. Address important aspects such as local accept- End-users: by giving them a pack of different modeling “winning” but to learn more about the criteria upon which the
ability, manufacturing, service and maintenance. Your target material for them to have on days on their own to develop 3D local jury will evaluate participants’ creations.
group can provide great insight for the design and prototyp- prototypes they can later present 9
ing. A deep understanding of local needs and markets does End-users: by giving them initial prototypes or product WATCH OUT
not ensure that you will translate these into the right solu- samples to further develop or change 8 10 Involve people in prototyping activities that match their skills and
tions. Include your target groups or local manufacturers to Local manufacturers: who you will show drawings or time available so participants will not be overwhelmed by the chal-
share their ideas on detail design or overall solutions to in- manufacturing manual to construct the solutions using local lenges presented to them. Consider what material can be developed
spire your product design. process and materials 1 2 3 5 to support the process while still not giving too many boundaries that
would prevent the expression of new ideas.
STEP 4: Support the prototyping by being available to help and
82 OUTCOME consider involving kids or a local artist to communicate visually the Greatest value of the activity is not the prototype itself but the rea-
Conceptual, detail or complete solutions presented through ideas that people have for prototypes. For local manufacturing, soning and ideas behind the prototype– remember to capture the
physical models or drawings for product assessment develop 3D sketches or manuals beforehand and observe and reasoning and ideas!
Prototypes with focus on local service delivery, maintenance, follow the prototyping for a continuous dialogue and discussion on

cost, sustainability, materials the design.
Local skills for manufacturing STEP 5: Invite the focus group and local community to present
Ideas on what to name and how to brand your solution and assess the prototypes for you to collect additional comments.
How locals translate needs and values into concrete solutions Try to conclude on the important design aspects mentioned
through this dialogue, perhaps by trying to illustrate the new details
TYPE OF ACTIVITY or conceptual solutions that come up. Elaborate on the concepts
by creating scenarios with the product for people to clarify and Deep dialogue (page 58)
Focus group
elaborate on their intended use and value of their solution. Customer segmentation (page 72)
Co-creation workshop STEP 6: Document the activity and prototypes developed through Concept assessment (page 84)
video, pictures and notes as material for your further design
Print out a black/white outline, sketch of your solution or illustrations
of existing solutions and invite people in a focus group to color and
detail the drawings based on their personal preferences – make
sure that participants present their ideas that went into the design.
Consider giving people time to go home, detail the drawings, and
return two days later for a presentation and talk.
During a product assessment activity or when people are giving
feedback on your ideas and solution, then ask them to suggest
what a better solution might look like – making 3D models by using
material from the surrounding area 3 or making drawings in your
notebook. Ask people why they would recommend this solution.
1 2 3
4 5 6 Including end-users (featuring InnoAid Street Food, page 28)
Service and maintenance (featuring InnoAid Ambulance, page 50)

The number of participants depends largely on whether you are opening up the
competition for people to submit their drawings. There could also be people work-
ing closely with a local manufacturer to develop a 1:1 prototype.

Depends largely on what type of prototype will be developed.

Material to present your scope of the prototypes, such as a list of needs to
prototypes solution for, 3D drawings or a manufacturing manual
Material to develop prototypes or identify manufacturer that will use his own
7 8 9 materials available 83
Video, camera, smartphone
Notebook and pens

10 11
Follow these steps: VARIATION
If you have a 1:1 prototype, try to give it to people with no

STEP 1: Develop visual material that best describes your
prior introduction or even intentionally “forget” a sample of

concepts and solution. It is good to illustrate a variety of solutions
or detail solutions that are different to force people to distinguish your product in a community. Make a visit several days later to
and select their preferences. Consider purchasing or illustrating see what potential end-users have used it for when they have not
local existing solutions to use as a reference in your activity 1 . been given any information from your side.

ASSESSMENT Service solutions are best presented through illustrations, video, a

scenario or a role-play. 2 5
STEP 2: Develop a list of aspects to assess such as related
Try to use your product yourself under the local conditions as
this may foster new insight on how to improve the product.
Test your prototype under extreme conditions to identify weak-
to product appearance, affordability, availability, acceptability,
Your target group’s critical durability, usability, etc. 3
preparation GOOD PRACTICE
assessment of your concept or STEP 3: Plan a focus group. Before showing your solution, ask
Make sure to emphasize that your target group should feel free
participants to mention and assess where there are existing
solution. solutions that target the same needs – you may have some to speak honestly and critically, as you are not there to im-
press them with a finished solutions but to learn how to improve
pictures or samples of these.
your product.
STEP 4: Present and explain your solutions by only introducing
the functionalities and not trying to “sell the product.” Capture Consider getting help from local contacts to identify opinion-
The activity can give you ideas on how to obtain local feed- the participants’ first impression by asking: “what would you use it ated people. In a focus group, you could provoke discussions by
back on your concepts to be able to further detail and devel- for?” or “why is it better or worse than other solutions?” or “what having people from different target groups represented who may
op the solution to meet local needs and markets and forecast would you change?” or “what does it remind you of?” or “what not intend to use the product the same way.
the later local use of and interest in your product. The activity does is cost?” 4
is relevant when you have developed a concept or prototype Consider including illustrations or pictures from a similar village


STEP 5: Structure feedback: Present functionalities of the and not just from the ones you will visit to make sure that critical
and you would like your target group’s assessment of the con- concept or catalogue of various concepts one-by-one. Display an
cept. Concept assessment can address local available solu- feedback does not become personal or sensitive.
illustration of each concept on the wall or make them available
tions for your target group to identify weaknesses and needs on a table. Present the assessment aspects you have defined
for improved solutions. one at a time and ask people to assess your concepts based on
the appearance of the products in relation to affordability. Create Pay attention to the level of abstraction, size, choice of materials,
scenarios for people to understand better your illustrated ideas or and possibility for participants to adapt to the prototypes. Would you
questions. 4 like people to give inspirational feedback on your prototype at an early
stage of your project or critical feedback to finalize details of your
Outcome STEP 6: Document feedback by writing on the illustrations about
the concepts or on post-it notes. Feedback on the aspects can be
84 Feedback on your solutions from your target groups about
a rating of your different concepts or statements on what to keep, Develop appropriate illustrations. It can be difficult for participants
aspects such as usability, acceptability, affordability and
add or change. 1 to fully understand abstract and symbolic illustrations and prototypes,
STEP 5: Diversify people’s way to assess by initiating different because participants may try to understand the concept too literally.
Ideas for re-design or further detailing


activities, such as: have someone use your product by themselves If you, on the other hand, present a very detailed “new and shiny”
Ideas for services or new solutions
for a period of time; Follow and observe people using the product prototype, they will be too overwhelmed by the details to address the
and give them specific tasks to undertake; assess the product concept as a whole or not be critical to important details, as it looks
TYPE OF ACTIVITY by addressing specific assessment aspects defined in step 2; “modern and high-tech.”
Interview undertake deep dialogue at the place where similar products are
Observation sold to have some initial market assessment. 4 5 6
Focus group STEP 6: Develop and present to your target group your
Deep dialogue (page 58)
understanding of how the solutions could be improved based on
Activity map (page 62)
the participants’ assessments to understand if you are translating
feedback into the right changes. Follow and observe (page 68)
Creating scenarios (page 74)
STEP 7: Document people’s interactions with your physical Prototyping (page 82)
prototypes on video and pictures for later assessment.
Laminate 5-10 illustrations, through pictures and drawings, which
can present a solution in already in use or for sale. 1 Include five
bullets for each product specification and functionality. Write the
aspects you would like to assess about your solutions based upon
on separate paper cards. On each paper card, list five key questions
and a scenario that can elaborate on the aspect.
Present the concepts to a focus group of different end-users. Ask
participants to assess the concepts by addressing one aspect at a
time that you have written on your cards. Write the feedback on new
cards and place next to the concepts. Finalize the talk by having the
target group rate their comments based on their importance.

Customers and end-users (featuring Vestergaard Frandsen, page 22)
Pricing and finance (featuring Worldbarrow page 38)
Service and maintenance (featuring InnoAid Ambulance page 50)

Different activities can be undertaken with up to 10 people in a focus group.

Depends largely on how the activity is performed but a focus group would take
45 minutes – 1½ hours. User-tests can be done during several days but do not
require your full participation.

Material presenting your concept (illustrations, prototypes, etc.)
Pictures or samples of local products targeting same market (optional)
Notebook (including your assessment aspects and questions)
1 Different colors of paper cards and pens 85

2 3 4 5 6
Follow these steps: VARIATION
STEP 1: List types of relevant point-of-sales, such as specific The potential point-of-sale may not be an established shop but a

local health worker offering healthcare services from home, an ice

business, places or entrepreneurs who currently reach out to your
target customers. cream vendor on his bike, a street vendor, or a place that may not
sell similar products but where people often go, such as the collection
STEP 2: Brainstorm on how you can best present and display point where farmers weigh and sell their crops.

your prototype or solution at the point-of-purchase.
A small roadside vendor may not have time, employees or interest
1:1 functional prototypes allow customers to see, touch and
in having their customers spend time to answer a questionnaire. De-
test the use of your prototype 1 .
velop a small list of key questions, along with the display of the proto-
Packaging material is important because service solutions type for the shopkeeper to ask more randomly when customers visit.
Display your prototype at a are often intangible. Customers often assess food products
or services by their packaging materia
Offer to give the vendor a notebook to take relevant notes during the
days of the activity.
local point-of-purchase for Posters or promotion material are often used to
communicate and sell service solutions.
your target customers to STEP 3: Develop a short questionnaire for the customers to fill Do not be afraid to approach local shops but do not take for
assess the product and the out. Include maximum 10 key questions that the customer can
answer by yes or no or a check the box 4 . Include questions
granted that they will be interested in participating. You will get
further by being open and showing interest in and respect for
related to the price, comparison to other products in the shop,
shopkeeper to co-create a and level of interest in the product. Make space for customers to
their current practice.
illustrate ideas on how to improve the design. Undertake the activity at more than one type of potential
sales strategy. STEP 4: Develop visual material to attract the customer’s interest point-of-sale to validate research already obtained insight or
and motivate them to assess your product. It is a good idea to to identify diversity. In a shop that is very busy, consider if there
develop three to six short questions and illustrations relevant to would be a student worker who you could involve to ask custom-
The activity can help you to create an early and motivated your questionnaire. Either stick them on your package or poster, ers for their feedback.
dialogue with potential local retailers or entrepreneurs who or print out and hang on your product 3 5 . Visualizations may
Create incentives to encourage the point-of-sale and custom-
might already sell products and services to your targeted cus- communicate “I like” or “I do not like” or “I would like to change”
ers to participate. Giving small gifts, such as free pens or key
tomers. You will engage a local salesperson to display and or “The price is..?”
rings, to customers participating and for the shopkeeper the pro-
collect feedback on your prototype or visual material from STEP 5: Visit on your own or with a local partner relevant local totype displayed can be enough for them to feel motivated and
his or her regular customers. After several days, you will col- markets and point-of-sales. Present your prototype – start to feel your appreciation.
lect customers’ feedback and invite the salesperson to share assemble it together 2 . Ask a few questions to understand the

ideas on how to optimize the design and market based on the business, current products, and customers. Introduce your market Ensure to communicate that critical feedback from the cus-
experiences gathered through the dialogue with customers. research scope and present your interest in displaying your tomers is valued to improve the solutions and that you are not
86 solution for customer feedback. If the person in charge seems to only looking for the positive, pleasing comments and answers.
show interest and an understanding of the activity then ask for the
possibility to display the product there for a number of days. Make sure you inform the shopkeeper that your solution is a
Outcome prototype and not ready to be sold. The shopkeeper may see the
STEP 6: Introduce the questionnaire by reviewing it together. interest and want to participate later, but needs to know that it is
Characteristics of target customers Ask the businessperson or entrepreneur to help their customers

not happening “tomorrow.”
Potential point of customer purchases to give feedback on the questionnaire. 1 Inform them that your
Indications of margin and sales price prototype is still under development so it should not be sold to any
Thoughts on marketing – how to brand the product
Requests for further re-design of prototype to meet Not all shopkeepers will be interested in participating. You should re-
STEP 7: Help to display your prototype and material at a place spect this. Also consult the shopkeeper about where to display your
customer needs and values where it is easy to see and close to any similar products. product so you are not just intruding on his or her business.
TYPE OF ACTIVITY STEP 8: Plan how many days the prototype will be displayed to
customers for feedback. Plan for a minimum of three days.
Target groups’ own activities STEP 9: Revisit the point-of-sale to follow-up on the activity or Deep dialogue (page 58)
to review the questionnaires. Start a deep dialogue about the
feedback and how to market the product as well as what changes Concept assessment (page 84)
there should be to the solution. 5 6
Bring up to five samples of your prototype or images of your solution.
Develop a list of 10 easy, formulated key questions that you would
like to get feedback on in relation to the customers’ perception of
your product. Look for local shops or vendors selling products to
your target group, approach them, and ask if they would like to help
you to collect feedback on your solution for four days. In return, the
customers will get a free pen after answering 10 questions. The shop
or entrepreneur will be one of the first to receive a free prototype
(or another PR gift). Arrange to come back at the end of your trip to
meet the entrepreneur for a talk about the customers’ feedback and
their personal recommendations on how to reach the customers and
market the product.

Pricing and finance (featuring Worldbarrow, page 38)

Two to six local shops or roadside entrepreneurs

0.5 – 1 hours to introduce activity to local shopkeeper
Three to 14 days for the activity (not by you but by the shopkeeper)
1 hour for the follow-up dialogue with the shopkeeper

Solution represented through prototype, package or poster
Printed visual image cards to hang on the prototype
Questionnaire or other type of material for customer feedback
Pens – many pens are needed if given as reward to participating customers
1 Camera and notebook 87

2 3 4 5 6