behavior change communication

Piloting Improved Cookstoves in India

Despite the potential of improved cookstoves to reduce the adverse environmental and health impacts of solid fuel use, their adoption and use remains low. Social marketing—with its focus on the marketing mix of promotion, product, price, and place—offers a useful way to understand household behaviors and design campaigns to change biomass fuel use. We report on a series of pilots across three Indian states that use different combinations of the marketing mix. We find sales varying from 0% to 60% depending on the promotion strategy used. Behavior change promotion that combined door-to-door personalized demonstrations with information pamphlets was effective. Households clearly identified price as a significant barrier to adoption, while provision of discounts (e.g., rebates given if households used the stove) or payments in installments were related to higher purchase. Collectively, these pilots point to the importance of continued and extensive testing of messages, pricing models, and different stove types before scale-up.