Genesis of a Green Brand in the Mayan Rainforest

by: Mary Conway Dato-on, Silvia Cacho-Elizondo

Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Length: 18 pages
Product ID#: 1-429-386

Core Disciplines: Base of the Pyramid, Economics, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, International Business, Marketing/Sales, Social Impact, Strategy & Management, Sustainability

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Teaching Note

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3rd Place Winner – 2014 NextBillion Case Writing Competition. A consultant to the Mayan gum growers consortium has only three months to prepare the launch of the first organic biodegradable gum at BIOFach, the world’s largest organic tradeshow. The consultant has to build a brand story and identity (i.e. name, logo, slogan, packaging, certifications, colors, etc.) and devise the right strategy to connect the producers to the best target market. The goal being to achieve margins large enough to improve producer living conditions and reinforce the long-term sustainability of the community.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Identify the practices of social marketing and social innovation within the principles of fair trade that empower producers
  • Analyze the situation of chicleros (chewing gum growers) in Mexico to provide a context for why being social and transparent is important to poverty alleviation and the brand’s value(s).
  • Enumerate the process of developing a green, social brand, with an emphasis on including multiple viewpoints (consumer preferences and producer needs).
  • Develop a go-to-market strategy that determines appropriate consumer segments (e.g., geographic and lifestyle), positioning, and brand story for a socially responsible, organic chewing gum brand.