Identifying Opportunities in Household Care Products for the BoP

Project Brief

Unilever's Household Care (HHC) portfolio identified breakthrough innovation opportunities in product mixes, packaging, and business models as a way to drive the next growth driver for the company: converting non-users at the base of the pyramid to active users of branded home care products.

Quicksand was commissioned by Unilever to develop opportunities for hand dishwash products in household care targeted at the base of the pyramid, in India and Nigeria. The brand seeks to understand various facets of how rural users of proxy dishwashing products (such as ash, laundry powder, tamarind, mud, lemon etc) can be migrated to specialized dishwashing products. While product innovation remains one of the pillars of such a strategy, more holistic market development was identified as the route to success.

Our efforts to address the unmet and unsolved home care needs of these low income consumer segments were focused around mapping the current rituals, practices and products around dishwashing including the larger product ecosystem involving retail, marketing & promotion and through this knowledge uncover opportunities for specialized dishwashing products in India and Nigeria.


The project involved research and product testing in sample households in 2-3 cities in both markets : Pune, Lucknow and Kolkata in India; Lagos and Kano in Nigera. We worked in partnership with a quantitative research agency, Quantum in India and South Africa based design research firm CIA in Nigeria.

Our work was synthesized through film narratives, user stories, and insights on product use experience, household routines, day-in-the-life & supporting brand environments.

Field Research

Concept Sketches

Workshop Toolkit

Insights from research and existing project learnings were synthesized for ideation workshops in each country that brought together various local experts who generated a set of ideas around product formulation and delivery systems.

Ideas generated were consolidated by Quicksand across markets and presented to Unilever in a workshop that reviewed and prioritized concepts that aligned with the company's goals and design considerations along with existing consumer knowledge. The finalised ideas were then storyboarded and taken back into the field for quantitative testing by our partner, Quantum.


Currently new formulation and product development is underway for dishwash product for both markets, India and Nigeria.

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