(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Rural Product Marketing Strategies

(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Rural Product Marketing Strategies


Rural Product Marketing Strategies


  • Rural product marketing concept is a customer centric ‘sense and response’ philosophy. Here are some of the strategies followed by MNCs and local companies for rural product marketing successfully.

Key points:

  • Product Strategy: The rural consumer is very conscious about getting ‘value for money’. Low price, high quality and multiple uses are some of the basic considerations for rural product design in addition to other features like nutrition, medicinal feature etc. Based on product features and target segment, it should be packaged taking due consideration of affordability, ability to differentiate, convenience of usage, product appeal, protection of products and aesthetics.
  • Pricing Strategy: Optimum pricing strategy should be followed as per the nature of the product and quality. We may have to be very competitive in terms of pricing while focusing on the rural markets, while the same product can be priced at some premium price for urban consumers by highlighting the nature of the product, its creation, tradition, geo-tag etc.
  • Promotion Strategy: The challenge is to create communication that would help the rural and urban consumers in recognising brands, logos visuals and colours. A brand must associates with their culture and personality for the effective marketing of rural products.
  • Product Placement and Distribution Strategy: Physical collection, distribution, managing logistics and controlling marketing communication are major impediments for marketing of rural products. The collection and distribution structure involves stock points in feeder towns to serve the retail outlets at rural and urban centres. Multiple distribution strategies may have to be used depending upon product, target customers, availability of logistics, transportation and warehousing infrastructure.

Challenges in rural product branding:

  • Deprived markets and Deprived People in Rural Areas: A majority of rural population
    in the country is under the category of Below Poverty Line (BPL) and the markets are
    underdeveloped. Further, the customers are of more tradition-bond rather than brand-bond.
  • Multi-linguistic Customer Base: Indian rural market has many languages and dialects that create a barrier for communication.
  • Low Literacy: As compared to urban customers, the rural customer base has lower literacy rate which creates print media to become ineffective and irrelevant. Many times, illiterate customers can hardly recognise the spurious brands in the local market.
  • Difficulty in Understanding Brand as an Asset: Lack of thinking to an extent of other brands in general leads to difficulty in understanding the importance of brand and its value. More thought process is required to create a brand in the case of rural product marketing.
  • Maintaining the Relevancy and Consistency is Difficult: Most of the rural products are of nature dependent. Hence, branding must be approached proactively and holistically. Sometimes, it is difficult to address the negative responses of the customers and maintain enough energy to deal with these responses posted in the social media.
  • Branding is a Costlier Affair: Since branding is much costlier, it has to be created at the aggregators or organisational level.

Suggestions for Rural Product Branding: A few suggestions for branding of rural products can be created as follows:

  • Use of Geographic Indication (GI) tags – the sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess origin-based qualities and reputation in the region help largely in promoting the rural product as brand.
  • Creating brand Ambassadors by the Government - Unlike other FMCG products to promote branding in agriculture, Government should utilise the top Government Officials (especially IAS Officers) and Ministers as Brand Ambassadors. The GI tags, nutrients and quality parameters may be used as their special features of the products. Further, appointing the local celebrities as brand ambassadors to promote rural products were found successful in the state like Karnataka, wherein the brand ‘Nandini’ of Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) has received highest popularity in the state.
  • Highlighting the Product Features – Creating the awareness about brands by highlighting the features like organic nature, nutrition, origin (like Madhubani painting, Alfanso mango, Litchi honey etc.), tradition etc.


  • There is a growing demand for rural products in India. In spite of multiple issues and roadblocks, it provides a good opportunity for producers as well as marketers to tap this potential. 
  • As mentioned earlier, due emphasis is required to be given to the activity of aggregation of produce, creating localised market through rural marts, promoting collaborations with large commercial organisations, new product development, skilling rural workforce, contextual communication and promotion, digital, online and direct marketing and branding for successful marketing of rural products. 
  • Multipronged strategies of product development, pricing, promotion and distribution will be required to en-cash the growing market for rural products.



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Courtesy: Kurukshetra