Marketing to the Bottom of the Pyramid

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Case 3-4 Marketing to the Bottom of the Pyramid

Central Issues

The concept of the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) market was originally developed by C.K. Prahalad in “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid” to highlight a large potential market made up of a large segment of the world’s population that has, until recently, been an ignored market segment among multinational companies. In an age of increasing global competition and near-saturation for some products in more mature markets, this multi-cultural segment, made up of people from all parts of the world that earn less than two dollars a day, can generate significant revenues and be profitable for companies who have developed appropriate strategies for reaching this market segment. Among the issues related to BOPMs are establishing appropriate distribution channels, developing and pricing products that have value for those in these markets, and finding creative ways for financing. In terms of financing, this would include not only that related to the purchase of a product for those with relatively low incomes, but would also include strategies for financing business initiatives on the local level.


Stakeholder would include the local populations that make up the BOPMs. Cultural considerations must be a key component of product development and advertising. Care must be given that products will not harm those to whom they are marketed.

Also, companies are stakeholders in that new strategies including BOPMs may be important ways for a company to grow organically. In extension, many large multinational firms are public-traded companies. As such, shareholders are the owners and increasing shareholder value is a goal.


• Ethics of marketing certain products to people in the BOPM.

• Issues related to distribution channels.

It seems that companies marketing to BOPMs must think beyond the traditionally accepted distribution channels. Many people in BOPMs...
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