Better Lives Blog
Wednesday, October 8, 2014

New Beginnings in Ghana

Nina Henning 


Last month SC Johnson launched a new and improved WOW™ product offering into a new region of Ghana. This expansion is a big milestone for the WOW™ business, which we launched in 2012 with the objective of reducing the transmission of malaria through the creation of a financially sustainable distribution channel that delivers repellents and insecticides, as well as other household and personal care products designed to improve the lives of our rural customers.

In my June blog post, I described a bit about the new product development process that our team underwent to deliver the new WOW™ offering that launched this week. Each member of our research and development team did homestays and conducted extensive ethnographic research with consumers in rural Ghana. The insights that came out of these interactions created the foundation for the new product design. But we are also attempting to create access to these products through a self-sustaining business model that does not require subsidies and can therefore scale without relying on charitable funds. Raid Dual Action Insect Repellent & Home FreshenerTherefore product cost is a very important factor. Our team was tasked with the challenge of creating maximum value for our customers within a very ambitious cost target. Here are the results:

Raid® Dual Action Insect Repellent & Home Freshener: This is a brand new product and product format for SC Johnson, and the WOW™ product we believe has the biggest potential for helping us meet our malaria reduction goals. Customers receive the spray bottle, and the colorful poster (made with PET plastic) decorated with a well-known Ghanaian adinkra symbol called “Gye Nyame”, which translates to “except for God”, and is a reflection of the deeply religious character of the Ghanaian people. Raid Multi Insect KillerThey are instructed to hang the poster in their sleeping room and spray it ten times every three days to release a pleasing floral fragrance, and the active ingredient that repels mosquitoes and other flying insects. This product does not require electricity and does not emit any smoke.

Raid® Multi Insect Killer: This is a new formula and new packaging of a product that is well known in Ghana (This same product is typically sold in Ghana in a larger, much more expensive aerosol can). The new formula has a much more pleasant floral fragrance; and the trigger pump makes it easy to use.

OFF! Lotion with Insect RepellentOFF!® Lotion with Insect Repellent: This is another critically important product in terms of achieving our malaria reduction goals because OFF!® Lotion provides up to six hours of protection from mosquitoes and can be used anywhere.  The mosquitoes that transmit malaria are active at night, so this is especially important to use when people are sitting outside of their homes in the evening hours, a common habit in rural Ghana. This product also contains Aloe Vera to soothe skin, OFF! Cooling Body Spray with Insect Repellentand of course a nice fragrance!

OFF!® Cooling Body Spray with Insect Repellent: Another brand new product for SC Johnson, the design was inspired directly from insights we gained from our customers in rural Ghana. They told us that they wanted a product that could provide some relief from the typically hot and humid climate, while at the same time protect from mosquitoes and other insects. And we learned over and over again that Ghanaians love fragrance. This product combines those three attributes into one, easy-to-apply body spray that can easily fit into a pocket or a purse.Mr Muscle All-in-One Cleaner

Mr Muscle® All-In-One Cleaner: This product is specially designed to clean any type of surface, as well as dishes and laundry, leaving a powerful fresh lemon scent. This multi-functionality is important to customers in rural Ghana, who typically can’t afford to buy separate products for their different cleaning needs. Kids Cooling Patch

Kids Cooling Patch: This product was sourced from a manufacturer in China as part of our effort to diversify the new WOW™ product offerings and increase the value of the WOW™ bundle to our customers. The decision to include the Kids Cooling Patch was inspired by learnings from Ghana, including a strong desire for parents to have access to affordable treatments for their children when they fall ill. This non-medicated product delivers immediate cooling relief from fever discomfort, and is safe to use on babies and children older than three months.

We are excited to finally put these products into the hands of our customers, and look forward to receiving their feedback on which product attributes they love and which could use improvement. This is an ever-evolving process of understanding and refining, and we will continue to use this space to share what we are learning. Stay tuned!

Sales agents and distributor 

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