chapter  5
22 Pages

Conducting Transformative Consumer Research: Lessons Learned in Moving From Basic Research to Transformative Impact in Subsistence Marketplaces

ByMadhu Viswanathan

In contrast to macrolevel economic approaches or midlevel business strategy approaches, such as the base of the pyramid model (Prahalad, 2005), our approach begins at the microlevel, starting with individuals, consumers, entrepreneurs, and communities and studying them in their own right. We coined the term subsistence marketplaces to re$ ect our determination to understand these preexisting marketplaces in their own right and view them not just as markets to sell into but also as individuals and communities to learn from (Viswanathan & Rosa, 2007). Our primary goal was-and is-to understand and enable these marketplaces to be sustainable along multiple dimensions: economic, ecological, and social.