What Can I Get for Five Rupees? The Guard

In marketing these days, poor consumers are all the rage. Corporations like Nestle and Gillette are realizing that growth isn’t going to come from middle class or rich consumers, but from the bourgening legions of those who make just a few dollars a day.

Soda in poor countries often is served in plastic sachels. Little sacks of juice, the size that a kid could bring home from the bodega.  A story a month ago in the WSJ described the pursuit of small change. A food marketer wanted to offer a tiny taste of yogurt, and so they put them in a pack that would cost just a few rupees.

It’s reverse engineering…they find a very soft price point, a few cents or a few nickels, and then make the product to suit. Today another story in the same paper discussed Gillette’s new moves in India.

Think about the potential…nearly a billion beards that need a trim! The company has figured out that 11 cents is their disposable razor sweet spot…and so a new no-frills model called “The Guard” will come out for just five rupees. No lubrication strip. No colorful design on the handle.

In the US, you won’t find The Guard for sale. No, here they’d rather peddle their top of the line, five-blade, battery-powered titanium models.