I have been reflecting on this recent article in Fast Company for several days now and will now dip my toe into the pond of thinking. I’m sure I’ll have to dip in again over the coming days because there is so much to say. The excerpt from Sarah Lacy’s new book, Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky, How the top 1% of entrepreneurs profit from global chaos, summarises such a ridiculous amount of observations I’ve followed over the last several years that I truly had a ‘damn I wish I’d thought of that’ moment.
A few key points that Ms. Lacy summarises so well stand out:
That digital absolutely is relevant to consumers in emerging markets, especially the poor
That in India (and in many other emerging markets) digital = mobile
That mobile has reached a critical mass and is clearly the most profoundly effective platform to reach and serve consumers.
That the unpredictable lifestyle and cultural value system of the millions of BoP consumers defies industry norms and requires a deeper look leading to a radical rethink of who we are serving. Think in micro units and you’re on your way.
And that the most exciting, fulfilling, rewarding creative opportunities come from solutions that serve the poorest of the world’s population. And frankly speaking, that excitement and energy is what gets me out of bed in the morning. That’s why we’re all here reading, commenting, conversing — and making, destroying, rethinking and remaking.
But let us not forget the value of co-creating, prototyping and testing on the spot with the consumer audience.
You’ve got to dig beyond the media reports if you want to really understand what makes low-income BoP consumers tick. Most of them are simply outside the bounds of standard quantitative market research reports, so relying on those won’t get you to a useful creative spring board.
Go there. Observe. Listen. Learn.