Category Archives: Frugality

The end of the global middle class: A more frugal world?

The past half decade‘s worth of financial crises and increasing scarcity of resources have led to an increasing equalization in the global water level. Instead of the high tide that would lift all boats, the leveling off of growth is leading to an entirely different equation of purchasing power parity. Tomorrow’s equilibrium seems to imply […]

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Global consumer data shows demographics have changed completely

The past half decade‘s worth of financial crises and increasing scarcity of resources have led to an increasing equalization in the global water level. Instead of the high tide that would lift all boats, the leveling off of growth is leading to an entirely different equation of purchasing power parity. Tomorrow’s equilibrium seems to imply […]

Also posted in Assumption filter, Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Emerging Markets, global, Marketing, Perspective, Research, Scarcity, Strategy | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Is there a tipping point price for low income customer behavioural change?

When the price of the LPG cylinders dropped significantly earlier this year, it was noticed that increasing numbers of urban lower income customers were purchasing the entry level size of 6kg – seen displayed along the top of the display unit above. “A good number of my customers come from the slum,” said Kinuthia on […]

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Leapfrogging the cookstove

Take a closer look at those LPG (cooking gas) cylinders stacked around the pole, displayed for sale. The small ones on top have a rough and ready metal fitting attached to them which converts them into stoves. However, you’ll  note in the delivery cart that these small cylinders are without the addition. This makes me […]

Also posted in African Consumer Market, Afrique francophone, CEMAC, Consommateurs, Design, jua kali, Marchés africains, Perspective, Retail in Africa, urban | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Introducing The Global Prepaid Economy

This week, that venerable newspaper The Financial Times, published an original piece of writing on the World Economic Forum’s Agenda blog. Its not a reprint from their own publication. It proposes the end of “Emerging Markets” (EM) as we know them: Now, commentators say, it is the world’s mental map that is in dire need […]

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Breaking bulk and profiting at the margins

Michael sent me this information from Nairobi last week. He’d spotted informal retail within the context of a mini-supermarket – known as traditional trade in the jargon of consumer product distribution and retail. He adds, “So 500 ml of Rina cooking oil retails for 120KES, 1 litre for 195 KES. What the owner of this […]

Also posted in African Consumer Market, Consumer Behaviour, Kenya, Mama Biashara, Marketing, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Retail in Africa, Strategy, urban, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meeting the challenge of consumer demand

Understanding consumer demand is an inherent part of the informal trader’s expertise. In the cash economy, unsold inventory is sunk cost. The balance between risk and return is a constant juggling, interwoven with the need for incoming cash flow to meet outgoing expenses. This tabletop – informal retail – caught my attention for its unexpected […]

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“Cheap is expensive.”

Mama said something very profound when I asked her which of those kerosene stoves she would purchase for herself, “Cheap is expensive,” she said, making a moue at the low cost imports jostling for space in her kitchengoods shop on the outskirts of Kibra. While the limitations of cash in hand may drive her customer’s […]

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Loyalty cards to incentivitize vaccinations – service innovation from Kenya

We most commonly tend to associate loyalty cards with grocery shopping at our local supermarket chain – swiping the card for the occasional discount on milk or eggs. Now this same concept is being used in an entirely different context in order to lower the barriers for rural Kenyan mums to invest in the time […]

Also posted in Africa, Alternative currency, Assumption filter, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Innovation Planning, Kenya, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Sub Saharan Africa | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome to the new home of The Prepaid Economy blog

  Instead of two separate locations, all my research, fieldwork, analysis and synthesis as well as news snippets covering all aspects of The Prepaid Economy project, systeme D, the informal and rural cash based markets of the developing world will now be available here together with the original Perspective blog. The Research category will pull […]

Also posted in Airtime, Alternative currency, Analysis, Banking, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Expenses, Flexibility, global, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Mobile platform, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Rural Economy, Scarcity, Sub Saharan Africa | Tagged | Leave a comment