“May not be used to store food or drinking water”

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For enterprises marketing to the Base of the Pyramid, should the container’s design take into account the likelihood that the container will be recycled (in this case, used to serve tea)? A feature such as an easily re/upcyclable container could be woven into the marketing narrative about the product. In the crowded low-price and distribution driven bottom of the market, the right container is just as important as the contents itself – and a brand imprinted on such a container could find itself distributed (at no additional cost) throughout a BOP market segment in the form of a carrying device, tea thermos, or whatever an enterprising customer choses to re-purpose your container as.

 This holds particularly true for the maintenance service of tea thermoses here; a staple of almost every rural household here, the tea thermos is worn down through frequent use.  Having a functional tea thermos is important not just for serving oneself and one’s family tea, but also for acting as a responsible host who is able to serve tea to guests.  A given village may not have sufficient demand, materials, skilled artisans, etc. needed to make a sustainable enterprise for someone out of maintaining tea containers, so the responsibility falls to a mobile repairperson whose job is to travel from one village to the next within an area, carrying his tools and necessary materials along with him. If your product’s container is the easiest to stack, carry, and re-use, then it will be your product’s container that becomes ubiquitous throughout the very market you are angling to penetrate with conventional media.

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