The Value Engineers was originally founded on May 17th 1986, so 2011 marks our 25th anniversary! Over the years, as well as a huge collection of brand memorabilia and more AirMiles™ than George Clooney, we’ve accumulated a wealth of experience and knowledge of brands and innovation. As part of our celebrations this year, we thought we’d share our ‘Eleven for 2011’ – eleven precepts for branding and innovation, brought to life with some contemporary product and brand examples.
The precepts we’ve identified from the past twenty-five years are designed to act as inspiration for the next generation of new, successful ideas. Use them individually or together, on your own or with your team – as stimulus to explore new ways to grow your brands and your business.
We will be sharing these precepts as a series of blogs. ‘Look Down’ is the first of these.
Almost a third of the world’s population earns $2.50 or less a day – that’s a market of more than five billion dollars a day at the bottom of the population / earnings pyramid. Add the next segment (up to $5 a day) and the total becomes more than ten billion dollars a day.
At this impoverished end of the market, there’s a significant lack of innovation, but if businesses can offer a better product that’s more efficient, provides better information, increases productivity, is safer, cleaner, faster or otherwise improved, it has the ability to change the world… and to grab a share of that $10bn a day!
Many thousands of poor South Africans, particularly in the townships, are hurt or killed each year in raging fires caused by the use of unsafe paraffin appliances. BP Arivi is a low-sulphur paraffin fuel for domestic cooking, providing access to an affordable, high-quality fuel, in safe and child-resistant packaging. The Arivi stove is designed not to ignite or explode when knocked over and the flame self-extinguishes immediately when the stove is moved. It also reduces the amount of time and money spent cooking because it is very efficient,
and will also reduce indoor air pollution that could cause respiratory ailments, as it produces less than half the amount of carbon monoxide permitted by law and creates almost no particles or smoke.
After noticing how whole families in India often travelled balanced on a single scooter, Ratan Tata, owner of the Tata Group set himself the task of making a ‘people’s car’ for 100,000 rupees, to cater for the poorer families in the domestic Indian market. What resulted was a rear-engine model, 8% smaller than the average car, and affordable for a far greater proportion of the Indian population.
This UK-based brand provides innovative mobile phone technology to consumers in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa earning less than $2 a day, by giving them shared access
to a phone network through a virtual ‘Cloud Phone’ account. Not only does this have the benefit of attracting large numbers of poor, rural families to their service, but also improves its consumers’ livelihoods by providing access to mobile banking and other personalised information services.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT…
Is there an opportunity for your company to access this market?
How can you break the ‘rules’ of your category in developed markets to create new products and services for developing ones?
Think end-to-end – this may involve business model, supply chain or manufacturing innovation as well as new product development.
If you can’t wait for the next blog in the series, all eleven precepts can be viewed here.