Danimal in South Africa: Management Innovation at the Bottom of the Pyramid

Case Solution

Verity Hawarden, Helena Barnard
Ivey Publishing ()

The case focuses on management innovations in the South African dairy industry and describes how an innovative new yogurt product, Danimal, was developed specifically for the bottom of the pyramid market. Explain how product line management has incorporated the various innovation opportunities and challenges. The concept was initially introduced to test the feasibility of serving this market profitably. The project was not just about presenting a cheap brand to poor people, but about creating brand awareness in the market at the bottom of the pyramid. The new product took into account nutritional deficiencies in infant nutrition in this market and also took into account the lack of available infrastructure for electricity and refrigeration. The case shows how important it is for a product to be affordable, relevant and available to this market. The innovation went beyond product design and also considered the need for a lean sales channel. This took the form of microdistributors, the so-called danimamas, which included residents of the municipality, the unemployed or part-time workers. The case provides insight into the complexities of doing business in developing countries. The company admits that it was not a sustainable business model in terms of current profitability, but the long-term value gained through social marketing and branding has been excellent. The case closes with the challenge of how to ensure that the project continues its upward trend. The objectives of the case are to encourage students to better understand the strategies necessary to operate successfully in low-income markets in developing countries, the various metrics that can be used to assess the impact of interventions on the market base of the pyramid and the importance is to seize the opportunities and master the challenges of innovation in management.

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