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Journal Articles California Management Review Year : 2010

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.

Dates and versions

hal-00517194 , version 1 (13-09-2010)

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Bernard Garrette, Aneel Karnani. Challenges in Marketing Socially Useful Goods to the Poor. California Management Review, 2010, 52 (4), pp.29-47. ⟨10.1525/cmr.2010.52.4.29⟩. ⟨hal-00517194⟩

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