Chapter 12. Implementing Within the Product


Safaricom is the largest telecommunications provider in Kenya, with a diverse range of products—from phone service to mobile money to music streaming. They hired the Busara Center, a behavioral economics consultancy based in Nairobi, Kenya, and with projects across the developing world, to help them explore a new education insurance product. The product would help students and their families prepare for school costs—both by saving for it and by ensuring that school fees would be paid even if disaster struck, such as the death of the parent. After talking with Safaricom and conducting qualitative research in the field, they identified the key obstacles and developed a suite of potential interventions.

Often behavioral teams may have multiple interventions they want to test and aren’t sure if any will be effective and profitable enough to warrant a full-scale rollout. Busara handled this problem by iteratively developing the product over time, starting with a series of low-cost tests in their lab using members of the target audience. They “built” the product first as a set of wireframes and product marketing materials and tested the audience’s willingness to use them. In this low-cost format, they could test multiple interventions: how the product was framed, how often people contributed, how much they contributed, and whether other features ...

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