Botanical Passport

A single source of up-to-date botanical, legal and safety information for importers of medicinal plant materials.

In partnership with:
Kew Logo 2015
The Brief

Research and design a product for Kew Science that utilises the data, tools and expertise of their Medicinal Plant Names Services, introduces a sustainable source of funding and meets the objectives of the Kew Science Strategy.

Data Gathering & Research

In their own words, the Medicinal Plant Names Service at Kew is a:

global nomenclatural indexing and reference service for medicinal plants aimed at those involved in global health, regulation and research.

The service is highly technical and due to its complex nature needed an approach that would quickly onboard our team to the science. So we mapped the stakeholder landscape and identified key staff to interview for information.

Once we had  a strong understanding of the scientific jargon and service itself, we were then able to design a research methodology that allowed us to identify market segments for further research.

Our key activities were:

Stakeholder mapping
Power/Influence Matrix & CATWOE
Interviews with staff
Literature review and project wiki creation
Value chain review of the supply chain
Workshops with stakeholders

They led our search for novel ways to use our information resources to better meet the needs of our user community. It was a complex brief given the arcane nature of our research data and a challenging mix of scientific and commercial drivers. Their interactions with key partners and users have led to closer collaboration on several fronts and their creativity has been impressive.

Bob Allkin
Bob Allkin

Audience Understanding

Through the literature review and expert interviews we were able to document the tasks, pains and gains of each of the different segments that made up the botanicals supply chain. We then mapped these to Kew’s science strategy and identified the segment that could have the biggest impact on Kew’s objectives.

PESTLE Analysis
Audience Segmentation
Market review & analysis
Interviews with leading academics and industry professionals
Workshops with domain experts
Contextual interviews of potential customers
Research summary


The next step was taking the research and transforming it into potential product or service ideas. We keep things very open, using a systematic approach to innovation where we create models for all of the factors that need to be considered.

We take these factors and tag them, mapping out unexpected connections and different categories that allow us to see through the research and find something exciting.

From this, we had identified three product ideas with three very different value propositions. We then created three business model canvasses and worked with key stakeholders to identify the preferred route.

Value Proposition Design
Value Mapping
Innovation workshops
Business model canvas
The Botanical Passport is a platform that saves time, money and effort for importers of botanical materials. It's a single source of information that improves identification, quality, safety and sustainability for imported botanicals. And the peace of mind from knowing it is supported by experts at Kew.

The Botanical Passport

Using a decision matrix, the Botanical Passport route was chosen. It has the most potential to develop an independent revenue stream and meet the objectives of the Kew science strategy. All while responding to a commercial market need.

From here we created a business plan, go-to-market strategy, features backlog for an MVP and revenue model. The project is currently progressing through various potential funding routes, partnership development and a lean market test with its target audience.

Business Case
Lean go-to-market strategy
Funding pitches & presentations
Product roadmap
Lean market test
Minimum viable product