Marketing to the BoP: From getting it right to getting it sold

Niek van Dijk
By on June 24, 2016

The farmer that starts working the field early in the morning, the mine worker preparing for a hard day’s work, the kid that is getting ready for school. They all need a good start of the day.

A lot of people in Ghana rely for this on typical local dishes like Koko or Tom Brown. Because of the popularity of these dishes and the ever increasing need for convenience in preparing food (yes, also at the Base of the Pyramid!), different local companies have started producing these products on a commercial basis.

One of the companies that is doing this is 2SCALE partner Yedent Agro from Ghana. The CEO of Yedent Agro, former Unilever sales manager Samuel Kwame Ntim, used his business savvy to start Yedent Agro, producing different processed food products based on local dishes such as Gari and Tom Brown. The inputs for the products such as maize and soybeans are bought from local farmers in Ghana, and to add to the nutritious value of the products, vitamins and minerals are added to make a “complete” product.

That’s where the real challenge starts. How do you convince consumers who often make their own Koko or Tom Brown, or buy freshly prepared products in the streets, to buy a processed, ready-to-use and fortified food product? For this reason, 2SCALE organized a workshop at the end of April in Sunyani together with Yedent staff, distributors and clients to get a better understanding of what is needed to improve the marketing and sales of Yedent Agro’s products. In the 2-day workshop, that was a combination of training (on marketing and distribution) and idea generation, the groundwork for a new and revised marketing strategy to better reach BoP consumers was laid.

In the coming weeks, this will be further developed and implementation will start. For example, for Yedent’s key product Maisoy, a new name, tagline and packaging design will be launched, and a pilot will start to distribute Maisoy through existing networks of independent women entrepreneurs, selling fresh Koko to BoP consumers in rural Ghana.