Previous Next

3.1 Introduction

How to put yourself into the shoes of your consumers and translate their problems and aspirations into an innovative idea that they love to engage with.

The inclusive innovation process is not for the faint-hearted. It can be messy, complicated and frustrating. It can also be impactful, inspiring and rewarding. The difference between the two often lies in whether or not the innovation aligns with the aspirations and needs of the target group. The world of inclusive innovation is full of stories of failed innovations. What many of those failed innovations have in common is that they did not create a good product-market fit. Despite their good intentions, innovators sometimes neglect to properly understand the lives and environment of their consumers and create a solution that is not attractive to these consumers. In other words, their idea failed to fulfil the ‘Desirability’ check for inclusive innovation.

In this module, we will explore why it is critical to take time to understand your consumers and discover what they really want. There is a whole spectrum of consumer research methodologies to choose from, ranging from interviews to smart sensors, and from observations to self-documentation. We will provide a step-by-step process for how to gather consumer insights and how to use these to create a value proposition for your consumers. This value proposition becomes the foundation for the new product or service you develop.

After going through this module you will understand why:

  • A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world. Go out and talk to your consumers, keeping an open mind and letting go of preconceived ideas.
  • What people want and what they say they want are not always the same thing; your job is to figure out the difference. Go beyond ordinary surveys or interviews and use new methods to gather consumer insights.
  • There should be a perfect match between your consumer insights and the value you bring. A mismatch leads to a failed innovation.
  • While your consumer is always right, he or she is not the king. Desirability is only one of the checks. For your innovation to be viable and feasible as well, you will need to differentiate between non-negotiables and nice-to-haves.

Bopinc Inclusive Innovation Course


It is an exciting time for Inclusive Innovation. As international awareness grows on the need to include low-income communities and underserved groups in the development of products and services, new business opportunities arise for entrepreneurs that want to combine profit with making a social impact.

The Bopinc Inclusive Innovation training provides you with a unique opportunity to discover the fundamentals of designing and delivering impactful business solutions for low-income consumers or the “Base of the Pyramid”.

Why invest your time

In this training course, Inclusive Innovation experts from Bopinc will share inspirational stories, useful tips and practical assignments that allow you to apply new knowledge to your own case. Each course module will build your capabilities to better cope with the challenges that entrepreneurs often experience when entering underserved markets.

What you can expect

The Inclusive Innovation course is best enjoyed in 7 modules. Expect to spend approximately an hour to read the module, and another 1 or 2 hours to work on the assignment. That is less than 3 hours per module. While you can follow this course individually, we highly recommend you work in pairs or teams. If you want you can use the discussion board to find a buddy.

Note that while we published the modules sequentially, this does not mean that the modules themselves have a specific order or particular level of importance. All topics are crucial to the success of your Inclusive Innovation and should be considered and revisited throughout your journey.


Each module follows the same format:

  • Introduction & key learnings
  • Podcast featuring inspirational entrepreneurs
  • 2 or 3 theory sections inspired from real cases
  • Quiz to test yourself on new theory
  • Assignment to apply the theory to your own business case
  • Additional reading materials
Previous Next