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Challenges in Marketing Socially Useful Goods to the Poor

Abstract : Market-based solutions to alleviate poverty have become increasingly popular in recent years. Unfortunately, there are very few examples of profitable businesses that market socially useful goods in low-income markets and operate at a large scale. This article examines three case studies of multinational firms that tried to market unquestionably useful products--clean water, eyeglasses, and nutritious yoghurt--to the poor but did not succeed commercially. The article also discusses two positive examples of profitable BOP ventures: mobile phones and detergents. Developing strategies for marketing socially useful goods to the poor, far from triggering a revolution in business thinking, requires firms to get back to the basic principles and rules of economics and business.
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https://hal-hec.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00517194
Contributor : Antoine Haldemann <>
Submitted on : Monday, September 13, 2010 - 6:08:48 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 7, 2019 - 2:34:15 PM

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Bernard Garrette, Aneel Karnani. Challenges in Marketing Socially Useful Goods to the Poor. California Management Review, University of California Press, 2010, 52 (4), pp.29-47. ⟨hal-00517194⟩

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