In a conversation with Charlotte Vangsgaard, CGAP’s Gerhard Coetzee discusses how to help the financial sector discover the business potential of low-income customers
And learning from customers is not a one-off thing but rather a continuous process. People evolve, markets evolve, and institutions can easily fall into rote delivery.
For-profit companies, on the other hand, are placing ever-greater emphasis on building a deep understanding of people and are looking to the social sciences for insights to help solve their most complex problems. Nonprofits seem to be lagging behind.
Several years ago, a governmental agency tasked with foreign affairs in Denmark was under siege by the Arab world after it defending the right of Danish cartoonists to publish cartoons depicting Mohammad in the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten. They enlisted ReD to help explore how Arabs perceive Danes and Denmark in more depth.
Between June 2009 and December 2010, a not-for-profit Danish and Egyptian cultural institute approached ReD to work on a project with them. They hoped to understand the value systems of everyday Egyptians through a series of research activities and methods. Regardless of class, age, gender, political leaning, religious affiliation, or geographical location, the project intended to explore dialogue-building among Egyptians based on shared values.