Key to Buyers' Minds (Case Study)

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Key to Buyers' Minds

Consumer buying research has turned a new leaf in India. The era of demographics seems to be on the backbench. Now, Marketing Research people are less likely to first ask you about your age, income, and education etc. Instead, there is a distinct shift towards inquiries about attitudes, interests, lifestyles, and behaviour - in short towards a study of consumers' minds called psychographics.

Pathfinders, the marketing research wing of Lintas, occasionally came out with its highly respected "Study on Nation's Attitudes and Psychographics (P:SNAP). The first in this series was released in 1987 with an objective to develop a database of lifestyles and psychographics information on the modem Indian women. The second was in 1993, and the third in 1998. Pathfinders choose woman for the study because of the belief that more often than not, in urban areas, it is the woman who makes buying decision.

The Pathfinders' study involves interviewing over 10,000 women over the entire country and segmenting them in clusters according to their beliefs, attitudes, lifestyles, and lastly their demographics profile. The idea is to identify groups of consumers with similar lifestyles who are likely to behave towards products or services.

For advertisers and advertising agencies, this profile helps enormously. For example, an advertiser may want to give a westernised touch to a commercial. The profile of the target customer, as revealed by this study, tells the advertising people the perimeter within which she/he must stay, otherwise the ad may become an exaggerated version of westernised India.

For the purpose of this study, Pathfinders divided the Indian women in 8 distinct cluster of varying values and lifestyles. Figures from two studies are available publicly and are given below:

|Cluster |1987 (%) |1993 (%) | |Troubled homebody |15.9 |18.3 | |Tight-fisted traditionalist |14.8 |10.0 | |Contended conservative |7.0 |9.3 | |Archetypal provider |13.0 |8.8 | |Anxious rebel |14.1 |15.8 | |Contemporary housewife |19.2 |22.1 | |Gregarious hedonist |8.7 |6.6 | |Affluent sophisticate |7.3 |9.1 |

The studies seek to track the macro level changes and movements within these 8 clusters in a period of time.

We note from the table that in 1987, 8.7% of the women could be classified as "gregarious hedonist" - those who consider their own pleasure to be supreme in life. 'In 1993, this figure fell to 6.6%. The "troubled homebody" segment - those with large families and low-income, increased from 15.9% in 1987 to 18.3% in 1993.

Information, such as this, is obviously useful to assess the collective mood. That's why Pathfinders have an impressive list of clients fort heir P:SNAP, which includes Hindustan Lever, Cadbury, Johnson and Johnson, and Gillette.

SOME PSYCHOGRAPHICS PROFILES OF INDIAN WOMEN

Rama Devi, the Contended Conservative
The lady lives a 'good' life - she is a devoted wife, a dotting mother of two school-going sons, and a God fearing housewife. She has been living her...
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