Originally posted by Kulsoom Ally on The Practitioner Hub for Inclusive Business (original post here)
At Sanergy, we provide hygienic, accessible and affordable sanitation in the informal settlements of Nairobi, Kenya. Currently, our network of 620 toilets branded as Fresh Life, are generating over 26,000 uses every single day. We are the largest provider of hygienic sanitation in the areas that we serve.
We always want to raise the bar and serve more community members at each of our toilet locations. Designing and delivering improved sanitation is key, but not enough. We want to take a step further and ensure we provide effective interventions that change human behavior. How do we drastically reduce the number of individuals using unsanitary facilities or practicing open defecation?
In the last six months of 2014, we worked closely with Populist and GRID Impact, research and design firms, to help us understand behaviour change and a deeper grasp of our target audience. The team undertook extensive human-centered design research and identified several key consumer insights that we are keen to explore in our operations.
Fresh Life usage is a very addictive behaviour; once someone has a positive first experience, they will almost definitely become consistent customers. The challenge, then, is inspiring that first usage. We need to explicitly connect the brand to specific, tangible benefits that distinguish it from other options specially at the moment of choice when someone needs to use the toilet and motivate people to break their current habits in order to try Fresh Life.
Another insight: the toilet does not speak for itself. That is to say, even though there is widespread brand recognition, non-users have their own perceptions of what it's like inside or who the target customer is. For example, some think children are our main target because we have a growing presence in schools. While many can recall seeing the blue toilet or Fresh Life logo, there is not an easily recalled understanding of what happens inside. Potential users are not armed with a concrete expected experience, and are therefore less likely to find Fresh Life a resonant choice. So how do we change preconceived notions among our potential customers to generate more demand?
A final insight: finally, we need to work with our FLOs to show them that actively recruiting new customers is just as critical as providing high quality service to their existing customers, and that shifting their focus just a bit will help their business grow. We need to come up with better, easier ways for our FLOs to feel comfortable as they promote their services.
We are excited to incorporate some of these insights in our work with the community in 2015. Watch this space for regular updates as we seek to provide hygienic, affordable and accessible sanitation for everyone forever! To learn more about our work, click here.
This blog is part of the Hub mini-series on Tracking Reach at the BoP, a set of resources looking at the different approaches, methods and tools used by businesses and investors to track impact on clients or 'beneficiaries'. VIEW THE FULL MINI-SERIES HERE