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What are bottom of the pyramid markets and why do they matter?

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>09/2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Marketing Theory
Issue number3
Number of pages4
Pages (from-to)401-404
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date28/05/13
<mark>Original language</mark>English


There are thousands of journal articles that concern themselves with markets at the bottom of the pyramid (BoP).1 What is there to say that hasn’t been said already? In 2002, an article published in the Harvard Business Review (Prahalad and Hammond, 2002) brought to the forefront of business and academic attention a ‘missing market’ that was claimed to be lying dormant, ignored by international and multination corporations yet worthy of attention for its potential to contribute to both economic and social prosperity. The notion of markets at the BoP is concerned with providing the ‘poor’ in developing and emergent economies with access to markets. Prahalad and Hammond (2002) champion the needs of the ‘invisible poor’ to the marketing efforts of multinational corporations. Prahalad and Hammond’s (2002) assert that the poor as ‘consumers’ constituted a sizeable market opportunity but this view has been criticised. In this essay, we explore how BoP markets might be reconceptualising to better shape interventions that relieve poverty.