What Comes After the Yellow Pages
The Economics of Customer Creativity

Serving New Markets by Seeing Them on their Own Terms

Perhaps the hardest job in marketing is to see your opportunities with clear eyes, unclouded by past success, as the Proctor & Gamble Director of Corporate Sustainability, George Carpenter, discussed with the Development Gateway Foundation, over at GreenBiz News.

...while only the rich lobbyist and stockbrokers had cell phones in New York, if you went to Mexico City, everyone had cell phones because the regular phones did not work. Not only was the adoption rate faster, but the developing countries will never build the same hardware infrastructure we did.

Based on these observations, we thought that there is a way to think about consumers we do not serve today, that if we design products specific to their needs and aspirations and the realities of their life, rather than transferring products that were designed for Europe and North America, that we could create large new markets. That was a hypothesis. The key was that we were going to develop products specific to those consumers -- not try to sell them what was left over from the North.

Since then, we have launched several products for the bottom of the pyramid market. The first one was in nutrition; it is a drink mix that provides micro nutrients to children. It was developed when UNICEF approached us to develop a fruit drink with appropriate nutrients for children.