Saturday, June 26, 2010

Marketing to Fill a Need

Marketing electric gadgets in areas where power is unavailable part of the day and consumers have little disposable income can be a real challenge. It requires a combination of entrepreneurial spirit, knowledge of local markets, understanding of local customer behavior, and--of course--adequate funding for the company and for its customers.

Nuru Energy markets LED lamps in Africa, which users recharge using pedal power. The new lights take the place of smoky kerosene lamps and also open business opportunities for entrepreneurs, who get microloans to purchase pedal-powered generators that can recharge the special LED lamps in just a few minutes.

D.light is a young company focused on marketing solar-powered products such as task lighting for home use. Active in India, Africa, and other nations, D.light has already met the needs of millions of consumers. It's now benefiting from the entrepreneurial attention of Stanford Business grads, media coverage, and much-needed venture capital.

These are two examples of marketing that satisfies personal and societal needs . . . opening the door to new innovations and unlocking human potential at the same time. Talk about a win-win.

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