Marketing to the Base of the Pyramid and Community Activities

On November 7th, Kouzin Dlo participated in a Cholera Prevention Community Outreach Activity held by out partner PENAH in Cite Limye. The scene was a classic Haitian block party complete with DJs, community organization stands, food vendors and lots of dancing. The Kouzin Dlo managers had a chance to demonstrate our product and safe water storage buckets for the crowd.

On a marketing level, one of the most important parts of the event for Kouzin Dlo was offering drinking water for the crowd. We had a table setup near the stage where we gave out drinking water treated with our product in our branded buckets. Over the past five months of launching Kouzin Dlo in-country one of the most consistent feedbacks on the product we sell (Gadyen Dlo) has been its superior taste to other chlorine water treatment options (such as Aquatabs or chlorox, which are common in Haiti).

I (Jess) am currently enrolled in an Acumen course called “Marketing with Dignity at the Base of the Pyramid.” One of the important concepts we cover is the issue of “truth” in purchasing decisions. A major difference between consumers in the US and consumers in impoverished countries such as Haiti, is the concept of buying something new. For the most part, consumers at the bottom of the pyramid are not in the habit of purchasing new products, so the majority of their budget goes towards buying exactly what they bought yesterday, a month ago or 5 years ago.

How does this relate to Kouzin Dlo?

Allowing potential customers in the communities that we serve to try our product before they buy something new actually helps to lower the risk. Therefore, when our sales agents come by, offering the product to buy people already have a positive experience with the product to influence their purchasing decision.

It’s all a learning game and only time will tell how these types of activities can improve or increase sales. But we wouldn’t be a start up if we weren’t paying the trial and error game, would we?

About the author:
Jessica Laporte

Jess graduated in May of 2014 from Tufts University with a degree in International Relations and a concentration in Global Health, Nutrition and the Environment. One month later she was in Haiti launching Community Chlorinators (Kouzin Dlo), as the Co-Founder of the Archimedes Project's first clean water social enterprise. Jess is passionate about social entrepreneurship as a mechanism to allow communities to meet their own needs in an aid dependent society. 

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