Awards for digging the ‘untapped gold mine’

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BOPThe bottom of the pyramid is an untapped goldmine as per CK Prahlad. The category is difficult to understand as there have always been challenges to bring innovative products into this market. The BOP consumers usually remain non-receptive to new products, but at the same time it gives the marketer the competitive edge to create something innovative and capture a new consumer base. While many experts believe that there isn’t much work being done by marketers to explore the BOP, others contradicting Prahlad say that there aren’t any margins at the BOP. Yet, the Pitch Brands 50 – Awards for Excellence in Marketing, presented by ABP News, in partnership with Percept, will award some of the exemplary work being done at the BOP by marketers. Nearly 25 cases – works in the last 12-18 months were discussed by the Pitch editorial team. After scrutinisation and on merit 10 were selected to go to the next level and were presented to a jury. While the jury ha locked the final five winners, let’s take a look at the 10 that went to the jury.

The category entails shortlisted brands such as Fanta Fun Taste Powder which was introduced into rural markets as a smaller SKU and sold at five rupees sachet. The brand claims to have fortified the product with vitamin B3, 6, 9 and 12 and makes a 200 ml beverage when mixed with water. Targeting the BOP in Gujarat and Maharashtra, the product has been launched across 15,000 outlets. The other shortlisted brand is Essilor India, which has introduced Rs 250 spectacles taking BOP into consideration, dispensing the pair within an hour to the villager.

Mother Dairy too has made it to the shortlist with its initiative of rolling out milk costing five rupees for slum dwellers in Delhi and NCR. Another such an initiative that made it to the shortlist is of Aakash Tablet, which is pegged as a low cost tablet for Rs 1,130, aimed to connect 25,000 colleges and 400 universities in an e-learning program. Talking about education, HUL’s Khushiyon Ki Doli was an initiative to reach out and educate media dark villages about hygiene and create a connect with the consumers to change brand adoption metrics.

Essmart, which gives rural retail shop owners access to products that enhance customers’ lives. For example solar fitted lamps, torches and filters are provided to those who are unable to access technology products. Pepsi’s Lehar Iron Chusti also made the list with its range of biscuits that are pegged at iron fortified biscuits priced at two rupees. The product is targeted at adolescent girls of small towns having less than 2,000 demography. Parle too has launched Happy Happy, which is a cookie pack pegged at five rupees, thus going down the value chain.

Nourish Co’sTata Gluco+ also has been shortlisted; the JV between Tata and PepsiCo has brought forth a beverage that has different flavours, pegged at six rupees and has glucose as well as mineral salts along with iron to provide instant energy. The Sonata Super Fibre has also made it to the shortlist with a watch prices at Rs 225, it is claimed to be the cheapest home grown watch brand. the watch has features like a stop-watch, light, alarm, day date and is designes with polyurethane giving it a sturdy youthful appeal.

logo-Brand-50-AwardsThe jury members included professionals and professors such as Rahul Sen, International Brand Advisor; Subroto Chattopadhyay, Chairman, Peninsula Foundation; Sunil Gupta, Marketing Partner, South Asia, Results International Group; Ramanajuam Sridhar, Founder and CEO, Brand Comm; and Ashok PratapArora, Marketing Professor, MDI. The jury was chaired by Ramesh Jude Thomas, President, Equitor Consulting. For BOP the jury was in two minds, whether to focus on private or public sector. Even though both the public and private sectors have done a lot of work, Gupta said that the impact should be taken into consideration. The BOP category took into consideration the population that lives on two dollars a day and the huge population that comes into this category in the country, proves to be like an untapped gold mine to marketers. Arora added that BOP does not have that much of advertising but the product still somehow reaches the bottom. “The product should be brought to focus rather than the advertising, where will the low cost materials fit in,” suggested Sen. Opposing to this; Gupta claimed that the easiest way is to bring down the cost of the product, but to establish a brand with its core proposition is what should be considered.

One category down, nine left, do visit this page for the more categories and the shortlisted brands that might just become the top 50 brands of the year 2012.

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Neeta Nair

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