Journal of Consumer Marketing
Purpose The purpose of this article is to examine the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) proposition, where private companies can both be profitable and help alleviate poverty by attending low‐income consumers. Design/methodology/approach The literature on BOP was reviewed and some key elements of the BOP approach were proposed and examined. Findings There is no agreement in the literature about the potential benefits of the BOP approach for both private companies and low‐income consumers. However, further research on characterizing the BOP segment and finding the appropriate business model for attending the BOP can provide some answers to this issue. Practical implications The article provides some guidelines to managers as to how they need to adapt their marketing strategies to sell to the BOP market, and what type of partnerships they need to build in order to succeed. Originality/value The article presents a thorough analysis of the key elements involved in the BOP initiative: companies’ motivations, characterization of the BOP consumers, and the business model to attend the BOP.