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Marketing 101 has taught us all about market segmentation, targeting, and positioning. Traditionally, companies segment the market according to purchasing power or income level. Then they target and position themselves in that segment where members have money and high consumption levels, are easy to reach, sophisticated, and knowledgeable about the various products and brands present in the market. These members constitute the segment most fought over by companies as they belong to Class AB or the middle and upper class, otherwise known as the “top of the pyramid”(TOP).
Marketing to the have-less poses challenges in terms of discovering the peculiarities of the emerging have-less market as this segment has consumption and spending patterns different from the have-more. Moreover, marketing to the have-less means having to contend with a different kind of physical environment. However, the age-old principles of marketing remain: well-defined segmentation; accurate targeting; and clear positioning, which leads to innovations in product development, packaging, pricing, and distribution. Ultimately, the challenge to companies doing business with the have-less is to mine the fortune held in small quantities by the huge number of the yet-to-be tapped customers.