The phenomenon of sachet marketing: Lessons to be learned from the Philippines

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Sachet marketing, or the effort to increase market penetration for one’s product by making it available in smaller, more affordable packs, is usually thought of as a tool for penetrating the market at the bottom of the economic pyramid. But is the existence of a large economic underclass the only prerequisite for the successful use of sachet marketing? This paper studies the pervasive and highly successful use of sachet marketing in the Philippines and traces the economic and socio-cultural factors that might have made this market more susceptible than most to this marketing practice. The authors draw the following insights that can guide other organizations looking to employ this same strategy in other markets: critical factors for the successful implementation of a sachet marketing strategy include not just the prevalence of poverty, but the existence of a retail distribution network that can be conveniently accessed by this market, exposure to Western media and the existence of a strong consumer orientation, and finally the availability of technology that can bring down the cost of sachet sizing.