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Branding paradigm for the bottom of the pyramid markets

Rajagopal (Professor and National Researcher based at the Graduate School of Administration and Management (EGADE), Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico City, Mexico)

Measuring Business Excellence

ISSN: 1368-3047

Article publication date: 13 November 2009




This paper aims to deliver new models of brand management in bottom‐of‐the‐pyramid (BoP) markets, considering the personality traits, image, technology and reputation of firms associated with the brands.


Reviewing the previous research studies, the paper advocates new strategies for enhancing the performance of global brands in BoP market segments, improving brand‐positioning approaches, measuring brand performance and consumer value, evaluating brand attributes, and underlining brand dynamics in the competitive marketplace.


The study argues that the performance of global brands in low‐profile consumer market segments is constrained by high transaction costs and coordination problems along the brand promotions, consumption and consumer value chain. Hence, firms looking towards managing brands in BoP market segments need to reduce brand costs by increasing the volume of sales and augmenting consumer value. Brands of BoP market segments are socially and culturally embedded. They are co‐created by consumers and firms, and positioned with the influence of brand equity of the premium market. Unlike traditional brands, BoP brands may be sufficiently malleable to support brand interpretations in the rural and suburban consumer segments.

Research limitations/implications

Acquired brands need to be merged into the existing structure, especially where these brands occupy market positions similar to those of existing brands. A balance needs to be maintained between the brand name and its equity. Managers should keep themselves better informed about consumer needs, market changes and company initiatives, thereby enabling staff to help consumers to improve service quality, which in turn can improve market positioning.

Practical implications

In today's rapidly changing product markets, a firm needs to focus on a limited number of strategic brands in international markets in order to consolidate and strengthen its position and enhance brand power. The paper offers new business strategies to managers on brand positioning and targeting in suburban and rural markets with convenience packaging, pricing and psychodynamics.


New initiatives to manage global brands in BoP markets comprising suburban and rural markets that need to be implemented in the existing organizational culture are discussed.



Rajagopal (2009), "Branding paradigm for the bottom of the pyramid markets", Measuring Business Excellence, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 58-68.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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