|Boiling Point No. 19 - August 1989 (ITDG, 1989, 36 p.)|
Even the best and most useful products have to be brought to the attention of potential purchasers if their use is to become widespread. They have to know about them, to be convinced of their value and to know how to buy them. Good and appropriate publicity are essential for good marketing and good marketing is essential for stove dissemination. Many improved stoves have failed to take on or to spread outside a limited region because this has not been achieved.
This is perhaps not surprising as most stoves are designed and produced by engineers and technologists. Even if they appreciate the importance of good publicity they often do not have the special skills needed to plan and produce it and so prefer to leave it to someone else. In the 3rd world large scale publicity campaigns are usually conducted by governments or large multinationals such as Nestle's or Unilever who can afford to employ experts and have access to all the necessary technology and facilities.
Not so for the small NGOs; nor is it always available from the international Stove agencies such as ours. Ideas, techniques, skills,training and equipment are needed, combined with a good understanding of the likely reactions of the housewives or men who will buy the stoves.