Project Everest

Proposed Experiment

[Proposed Experiment] Solar Malawi DEC 18 - Barber Shop Distribution Experiment


Lean Phase: Channels


The use of Barbershops as an effective agent should be tested.

Time Box: 3/12 – 6/12

Success Metric:

The proportion of people in the Nancholi region that claim to be using barber shops to charge mobile phones.


Green Light - If the success metric is archived, the team will approach the shops to see if the operators would be interested in selling the solar unit for a commission or other payment structure. 

Success Point - More than 50% of those we engage within our customer segment utilise barber shops for phone charging services at least once per week.

Orange Light - If the outcome falls below the success metric, further investigation into the validity of using the barber shops as a channel will be required.

Failure Point - Less than 20% of residents use barber shops to charge phones. A low failure threshold has been established due to the very large CS which spans all residents in Nancholi that have mobile phones.  

Red Light - Reassess viable channels for the sale and distribution for the solar products.  

Experiment Build:

  1. Develop 3 question lists for the three different community engagement opportunities: community meetings, individual interviews and barber shop interviews.
  2. Interview at least 60 people, ensuring a variety of individuals are engaged with, to prevent bias in results.
  3. Compare results with any previously collected data from previous teams.
  4. Collate and evaluate the data.
  5. Calculate the ongoing cost to the barber’s for providing this service and develop a potential payment structure if the success metric is met.

Experiment Results:

edited on 3rd December 2018, 10:12 by Jayden Stevens

Andrew Vild Dec 3, 2018

I really like this idea and proposed channel.

I think an interesting aspect you should concurrently look into here is the prepared-ness of a barbershop to undermine their core business model (and replace it with commission structure from us).

It would also be interested to build a simple experiment around understanding how much revenue they make/week OR the number of customers they received in a daily/weekly basis (depending what metric you want to measure: revenue vs customer value).

Revenue would be important to understand so you know what kind of income they need for their business model to be made obsolete.

Number of customers to understand what the potential reach of your customer segment you will achieve.

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Jayden Stevens Dec 5, 2018

Thanks for those comments,
In my questioning I think it may be difficult for the barber to deduce how much profit they make as their total electricity cost will include the usage from the barber equipment.
Therefore, I will make an approximation of their profit based on the number of customers for phone charging p/day, the price the barber charges (100MWK) and the approximate electricity consumption/cost to charge a typical phone.
From this result, we will determine a viable incentive structure for the barbers such that they would consider selling the units on behalf of PEV.

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Andrew Vild Dec 3, 2018

Status label added: Proposed Experiment

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Fiona Aaron Dec 18, 2018

Hi Jayden, Any updated on this experiment? How's it going?
Also, I really like the idea behind this - assuming the success metric is met, will you then develop another experiment to target Barbershops directly with the information you've received from the community?

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