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Franchising at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP): an alternative distribution approach

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Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) markets provide distinct marketing challenges to firms either serving these markets or intending to enter these markets. BOP markets have often been criticised for having weak supporting infrastructure such as inefficient or non-existence of distribution systems which hinder firms' ability to distribute products to consumers. Franchising is one distribution strategy which firms can use to enhance distribution at the BOP. Using findings from research conducted in Zimbabwe, this article demonstrates how firms can use franchising as a distribution strategy to facilitate distribution of products to those at the BOP. Both consumers and firms derive benefits from the use of franchising. Firms face distinct challenges in using this strategy and need to re-invent the way they do business.

Keywords: Bottom of the Pyramid; consumers; distribution; firms; franchising

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Marketing, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith South DCSydney1797, Australia

Publication date: September 1, 2011

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