Market Entry, Emerging Markets, BoP, Base of the Pyramid


Purpose – The purpose of this article is to describe the marketing-oriented market entry approaches that businesses are currently using across the three levels of the world economic pyramid (i.e., WEP). These levels are the Top-tier, the Middle-tier, and the Base of the Pyramid-tier (i.e., BoP-tier).

Methodology – The literature of the BoP was reviewed, and market entry approaches were itemized across the three WEP levels. Secondly, BoP strategic theorists including Prahalad identified the need for a BoP marketing focus replacing the traditional 4Ps marketing approach (i.e., Product, Price, Place and Promotion) with the BoP-specific 4As marketing approach (i.e., Awareness, Affordability, Access and Availability). This 4As marketing approach is discussed.

Findings – New marketing-oriented market-entry approaches are proposed for each of the three WEP levels. These approaches are based on where in the WEP the firm currently exists, and where in the WEP the firm desires to refocus market-entry activities; identified approaches include: inter-country expansion, intra-country entry, adjacent market entry, and extended market entry. Secondly, the absence of a clearly articulated marketing strategy for middle-tier markets was observed.

Practical implications – This article has two specific applications. First, it summarizes the evolving market entry perspectives to provide a context for future market research in both emerging markets and the pre-emerging BoP markets. Second, the future requirement for an articulated marketing strategy for middle-tier markets is suggested.

Originality – This article examined existing market entry approaches across all three levels of the WEP, inclusive of the BoP economic level. The language used to clarify market entry movements was extended, providing a specificity of description not previously found in either the existing market entry or BoP literature.

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