Why branding is important for people living in poverty

Branding is everything
Image credit: tweeted by Amy Nadine Dix @amyndix

Thanks to our friends at Maternova (@maternova) for bringing this image to my attention just as I was thinking: “I must to a blog post about branding and poverty”.

So, why is it that brands are so important to everyone, including those living in poverty?  Why is it that so many of us are willing to pay $3.25 for a Starbucks Coffee when we could get “a coffee” for $1.25?

Let’s consider what a brand is. Firstly, a brand is not a beautifully designed logo stamped on any old product. Brands are built on reputation. There are bad brands and good brands. Good brands don’t necessarily equate to good products. Good brands are built on products that deliver to, or exceed, consumers’ expectations. And to survive, brands have to continue to do this all the time. Essentially, good brands are about trust.

Of course, there is a snobbery around brands and many people buy very expensive branded products to demonstrate their wealth and to associate themselves with the quality and reputation of that brand. Poor people can’t afford to do this. But why do they choose to buy branded products when they can? Is it because they cannot afford not to? By definition, if you are poor, you have very limited disposable income. This means when you do decide to buy something, you need to be sure it will deliver to your expectations. You cannot afford to make a mistake. You cannot risk buying white pills in a brown paper bag labelled ‘Paracetamol’ because they may not be. Instead, you pay twice as much for a branded product called ‘Panado’ which is . . . paracetamol.

This is why we are working hard to establish Kit Yamoyo as a brand that poor people can trust.

Kit Yamoyo logo (outlined)










  1. Via email says

    I would just add to your sentiment – I learnt early on when working for Procter & Gamble who wrote the book on brand management that a brand is simply a “promise delivered”. As a result for any organisation or brand, the questions regarding what is a brand are: 1) what is the promise you are delivering; 2) how well do your customers rate your delivery; and 3) what is their perception of what you are delivering and your delivery?

    Your promise is clear with Kit Yamoyo and Kit Yamoyo essential. It seems your users and retailers are more than happy with the performance (promise being delivered). This in turn justifies the value – pricing.


  2. Via twitter says

    This is how entities in sanitation missed the bus! It has to be branded. It has to be local! "@WBG_Poverty @ODIdev— K-V Musakanya (@KMusakanya) May 26, 2016

  3. Via twitter says

    So interesting. We associate branding with greedy capitalism and manipulation of consumers. Changing worlds…
    7:09pm · 26 May 2016 https://twitter.com/lalalawilliams/status/735895530639884288