GHANA: Cornell University’s Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise and SC Johnson have launched WOW, a membership-based club that offers products and services to help low-income homemakers care for their homes and families, in the village of Bobikuma, Ghana.
The WOW club concept aims to turn the stressful practice of caring for the home and family into a bonding group experience, according to SCJ. Memberships, which are sold to groups of seven homemakers, include a bundle of four different SC Johnson products in refillable formats. The bundle is comprised of pest control products to manage insects and home cleaning products to keep homes clean and fresh. In addition to the products, the membership includes group coaching sessions around home and family-care best practices. Members also enjoy loyalty rewards for every three consecutive months of membership.
The launch is a major milestone in a three-year project. In 2010, $1 million in funding was dedicated to the project by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the SC Johnson Fund to create a new business model to bring SC Johnson mosquito repellents and insecticides to low-income, rural families in developing countries. In doing so, the venture aimed to reduce the transmission of malaria, which caused an estimated 655,000 deaths in 2010, mostly among children in at-risk populations.
“SC Johnson is committed to preventing insect-borne diseases as well as creating sustainable business solutions to help strengthen communities in developing countries,” said Fisk Johnson, chairman and CEO, SC Johnson. “The WOW concept is a tremendous opportunity to make a real impact in the lives of families in these communities.”
“The WOW offering and business model are designed to tackle two key business challenges that come with low-income markets,” said Dr. Erik Simanis, managing director of market creation strategies at Cornell, who worked with SC Johnson to develop the WOW concept. “The first is to persuade consumers to adopt very new routines and behaviors associated with the products. The second is to generate the margins needed to sustain the high-intensity sales process for acquiring and retaining customers.”
The Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise and SC Johnson have a history of working together on sustainability, including a previous partnership in Kenya to create a business serving urban slum communities.