Friday, January 3, 2014

Peek into a kid’s school bag

If a ladies hand bag is “Pandora’s Box” where she stashes all her secrets, then a child’s school bag is no less. The variety of items in a kid’s bag has increased manifold as they have become more brand conscious now. They know their brands and flaunt them too.

An interesting study was made by Market Pulse throwing light on the changes appeared in the school bag and what goes into it. After dividing the students into four groups according to their classes, Market Pulse surveyed a set of 120 school-going children in Delhi-NCR and quite literally took a peek into their bags. And this study reveals some quite interesting facts.

Writing Instruments

Usage of ball pens increased with age. 81% of senior school students had ball pens while 69% of middle school students had ball pens. Gel pens were most popular with middle school students; 78% had the same as opposed to 58% of the senior school students. Reynolds, Cello & Rotomac were the most liked brands in Ball & Gel pens. Roller/ Fluid ink pens were found only with middle & senior school students. 25% senior school students had them. Trimax by Reynolds & Uniball were the most popular ones. Only middle school students had fountain pens while 2% of the kids had mechanical pencils.

Scholastic Range (includes notebooks, geometry boxes, etc.)

Camlin and Classmate were the most popular geometry box brands. Usage of registers increases with age; hence, 94% of the senior school students had them while junior and middle school students largely had copies. On an average, middle and senior school students had 4-6 registers and  6-8 copies in their bags. Junior school students had 2 registers and  7-8 copies while playgroup children just had 2 copies. Local and regional brands were prominent in the notebooks category. Among organized players, Classmate, Schoolmate notebooks were found with students.

Art Stationery

Wax and Oil pastel crayons were prominently present in bags while plastic crayons were negligible except in the middle school. Popular crayon brands included Camlin, Colorama and Faber Castel. 44% middle school students had water colours – much higher incidence than among others. Paint brands included Camlin, Rangeela Tempara and Pidilite. A higher % of middle school students had colour pencils and sketch pens in their bags. Popular colour pencil brands were Camlin, Natraj and Faber Castel. Sketch Pen brands included Stic, Linc, Camlin, Faber Castel and Luxor

Office Stationery (includes Gluesticks, Markers, Highlighters)

Surprisingly, Market Pulse found that a lot of the students had products that are classified as ‘office stationery’ in their bags. 69% and  53% senior and middle school students respectively, carried glue-sticks. Fevistick and Kores were the common brands. 41% of the middle school students had permanent markers in their bags while a sizable number of them had highlighters in their bags too. Camlin, Luxor, Reynolds permanent markers were present while Faber Castel highlighters were being used. The other varieties of markers – White, Paint, CD-OHP, Chisel and Bold were present in small numbers too!

Other Products in the School Bags

Erasers, Rulers, Sharpeners, Tiffin box, water bottle, calculators etc. were found in the school bags. Calculators were present in 14% of the senior school students’ bag - that too in class 11th and 12th students. Erasers were present in most of the school bags. Natraj, Apsara and DOMS were the popular eraser brands. The middle & senior class students also had rulers. Additional things found in bags were mobile phones, house keys, combs, A4 sheets, adhesive tape and staplers.

Thus, Market Pulse happily concludes that with the growing awareness and brand consciousness among the consumers, opportunity is endless for the Stationery brands to cash on. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Mystery that Draws Reality

Mystery shopping is a tool used externally by market research companies, or internally by companies themselves to measure quality of service, or compliance with service guidelines or to gather specific information about products and services. [1

Market Pulse took this basic form of research a step further & created an online application. A unique Solution to address the challenges was implemented. This was shortlisted by MRSI as one of the Top 5 technology solutions for market research.

A leading paints company launched their programme in 2012 to enhance the effectiveness of their modern trade exclusive outlets. These stores were given a set of guidelines to adhere to. These guidelines related to aspects such as store tangibles as well as responsiveness and empathy of the store advisors.

Market Pulse was commissioned to conduct a mystery audit of these stores; this audit ascertained the level of adherence to performance standards of the stores. This is a pan India assignment which is conducted quarterly. The coverage was in more than 125 outlets in 72 cities.

Market Pulse split up the audit process into 2 phases – store audit of tangible parameters and a mystery audit of staff responsiveness & empathy. Different auditors are used for these two phases and the audit of tangibles was made into a surprise but announced audit. The methodology for the store audit of tangible aspects has been changed from a mere observation technique to visual capture of all tangible aspects with a digital camera. Approximately, 35 – 40 photographs are taken of different aspects ranging from hygiene and store arrangement to availability of retail merchandize. The audit team goes through a rigorous training workshop for digital capturing of store tangibles.

Market Pulse created an online application which showcases all the store ratings along with visual evidence of store tangibles on the firm’s portal. This can be accessed by anybody with a valid login ID from any location in India. The administration of the website rests with the research team of Market Pulse and the main user team of the client.

Visual dissemination of store performance in the mystery audit has helped increase usage of marketing research and its integration with a successful roll-out of an extensive marketing programme of the client. The client is delighted with the application and has shared it with their global office. The online application has helped popularize the programme throughout the Client organization.

This application is now being extended to another marketing programme that targets the general trade.

We at Market Pulse, constantly try to bring new ideas to the field of research.



Thursday, December 12, 2013

Offline Water Purifiers have redefined the Category

One of the key expectations of consumers is clean drinking water. Contaminated water cuts productivity of people across income segments. It even hurts millions of not so well-off consumers who earn daily wages. Every day lost due to illness results directly in wage loss.

Emergence of new trends and advent of new technology has resulted in remarkable changes in the domestic market for water purifiers. The recent report from Market Pulse, Opportunities in the Water Purifier Market in India, highlights another vibrant story, that of the offline storage water purifiers.

This research study has ascertained that of the 4.3 million water purifiers sold in 2012 at an estimated value of INR 18.64 billion, a staggering 71% were offline storage water purifiers accounting for INR 5.6 billion of sales.

These offline water purifiers have redefined the category over the last 5 years. “These inexpensive water purifiers, which are sold for as little as Rs. 1000, have expanded the market manifold by making the product affordable for bottom-of-the-pyramid households. The research suggests that more than 15% of the lower and lower middle income households in urban India now have an offline water purifier”, said Ejaz Hoda, CEO of Market Pulse.

Pureit water purifiers from Hindustan Unilever have led the explosive growth in the last 5 years. It is the market leader in the offline water purifier category and enjoys a 60% market share. TATA Chemicals’ Swach and Eureka Forbes are other significant brands in this market.

Only 8% of these offline water purifiers are sold through the modern retail chains. The balance is retailed through a network of almost 21,000 conventional stores. The market leader, Pureit, is available at almost 14000 outlets. A bulk of these retail stores belong to 4 sales channels – Consumer Electronic and White Goods Stores, Kitchen Utensil shops and Electrical & Small Appliance stores; these contribute equally to the total sales.

This category is likely to see increased competition in the near future. New entrants like Tupperware and Amway have also launched offline water purifiers to get a share of the pie. There are others like TTK Prestige, a kitchen appliance leader, contemplating an entry into this market.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Shopaholic’s Paradise: Festive Season

A warm festive season has given way to a chill in the air. The heat generated during the festivities that just ended, however, is going to keep the spirits of the marketers alive. The upcoming Christmas and New Year festivities will add fuel to this momentum.

During festivals, stores across the country prepare to welcome millions of shoppers with a wider variety of consumer offers. Every brand tries to get a piece of the pie by running the best offer possible. Reports suggest that companies increased their marketing and promotion budget this festive season as compared to the same period last year.

In this scenario, to assess the buying behavior of consumers, we at Market Pulse attempted to investigate the effectiveness of these consumer promotions. In order to find out if the consumers really grab the dangling carrot, Market Pulse conducted a set of in-depth interviews with a sample of home-makers in Delhi-NCR.

When Market Pulse conducted a survey on various respondents in Delhi- NCR, specifically on the appliances purchase behavior during the festive season, they found that consumers plan their appliance shopping around festive season. Consumers on the other hand postpone their purchases if not urgent, in order to take advantage of the discounts and offers run by the companies. Most of the survey respondents told us that they scan the newspapers for consumer offers during the festive season.

Another section of respondents said that consumer offers and combo deals during festive season motivate their buying behavior and swayed the purchase decisions. Garima from Delhi said, “In August, I saw an ad of a combo deal of Pigeon where I was getting an induction base pressure cooker and pan free with an induction cooker. I really liked the offer and bought it as I needed to buy an induction cooker.”

As preferred shopping destination, emerging malls/ hyper-markets play important role, respondents informed. Consumers have a perception that during festivals they get better options and deals in modern trade outlets. In these stores, the experience of shopping is also enhanced and much relaxed.

Respondents said that they replace their old appliances during the festive season. Exchange offers and discounts influenced brand selection.

But Market Pulse also said they observed that though the consumer offers play a big role in the decision making process, a few other significant points also impact their buying decisions.


Market Pulse report reveals that the brand decision in planned purchases during the festive season is influenced by consumer promotions such as discounts and cash back offers. Some consumer offers such as bundling of an induction cooker with non-stick cookware or an iron free with a water heater, even motivate the consumers to make unplanned purchase of appliances.

This surely gives food for thought for marketers for the next season.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Big Step Towards a Brighter Future!

By far the most energy efficient, the cleanest and most eco-friendly way of illumination is LED lighting. LED lights being digital in nature are also versatile and can be used in a variety of ways.

To track this new development in the lighting industry, Market Pulse decided to conduct an extensive survey across 12 cities covering more than 1100 respondents comprising end customers, interior designers & electrical contractors, developers and builders, municipal bodies, IREDA, ELCOMA, BEE & Ministry of Railways, retailers of LED lights; channel partners & distributors and national LED manufacturers. Data from the mpElectric Census covering 33,000 electrical outlets across 67 towns has also been analyzed too.

The benefits of LED lighting have brought cheer to lighting enthusiasts in this festive season. The market for LED lamps has already crossed Rs. 100 crores in 2012-2013 and is likely to grow to around Rs 350 cr in 2015-16 as per a new Report by Market Pulse.

Energy conservation is a must now as it becomes increasingly difficult for the energy infrastructure to keep pace with the growing economy. In this regard, LEDs could play a significant role by cutting energy consumption for lighting purposes in India. Realizing this, a number of initiatives have been launched by the Indian Government for increased adoption of LEDs like the Bachat Lamp Yojna, LED Village Campaign and promotion of LED usage in street lighting.

With Philips and Osram as the market leaders across LED lighting categories, brands such as Bajaj, Halonix, Havells and Wipro are also playing significant role in this domain.

The LED luminaries market is dominated by LED Down-lighters, followed by LED Panel Lights, Tube Lamps and LED Spotlights. LED Down-lighters are most popularly sold in the range of 3-6w while LED tube lights are predominantly sold in 10-15w.

Market Pulse report reveals that retail stores followed by the hospitality sector are the primary customer segments, accounting for more than 50% of the LED luminaries. CFLs are seeing maximum replacement by LEDs in hotels, restaurants, coffee shops and hospitals while traditional tube lights have the highest replacement in the retail sector. Till date, more than 30 municipal corporations have also initiated LED street lighting based projects across India.

Thus, the market has plenty of good reasons for being passionate about LED illumination.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

New Appliances Drive Healthy Cooking

One Leigh Hunt had very rightly said that the groundwork for all happiness is good health. With the rapidly growing inclination towards eating healthy and staying healthy today's consumers are seeking out healthy food options with greater urgency.

The gradual transition in eating habits and cooking styles of Indian consumers has its impact on the demand & usage of appliances. People look for kitchen appliances that can make cooking healthier and even more enjoyable. Eating at home is well known to have many positive effects -- social and emotional, as well as physical – as it makes them able to control everything that goes into their food preparation.

While witnessing this transition on eating habits and cooking styles, Market Pulse decided to probe its impact on the rising demand & usage of appliances in Indian scenario. After interviewing a set of nutritionists and consumers in Delhi-NCR on recent changes in their diets & cooking styles, we found that the adoption of healthier cooking approach like steaming, stir-frying, grilling etc are increasingly on demand. Appliances like grillers, non-stick cookware, toasters, steamers, microwave and juicers, blenders etc. have made dishing out tasteful & healthy meals easy. Working women, who remain constantly under time pressure, are also propelling this new trend of cooking as it makes cooking effortless and healthy.

Experts also suggest healthy methods like steaming, grilling, stir-frying, to cook as these help in making a balanced meal with less or no oil. With a lot of domestic appliances in the today’s market, people can easily make tasty and balanced diet.

A glimpse of one’s lifestyle is well depicted through their habit of food consumption. A Global burden of disease study conducted by the World Health Organization in 2010 showed that the life expectancy (LE) at birth of an average Indian male has gone up by 15 years between 1970 and 2010, while that of an Indian woman by 18 years. The improved eating habits and change in lifestyle were responsible for this increase in addition to better medical care.

So start a day where you have adequate nutrition in a smoothie or a shake, ready to eat meals from easy-to-use appliances. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Rise of High Priced Appliances - a new mark of luxury!!

New-age open kitchen is transcending many age-old boundaries – social and cultural. Today, it is merging seamlessly with people’s living spaces – and this has given rise to a new set of choices for home makers. The open kitchen and a slew of luxury appliances therein are the latest fashion statement of modern home owners.  

As the Indian luxury market is getting more refined, just owning a luxury apartment and car seems to be inadequate and it's getting reflected in the kitchen, which is fast-moving to the living room as a mark of luxury. Much like they would do with mobile phones, cars or a home, consumers are now buying premium home appliances to make a lifestyle and fashion statement.

The consumers buying habits are now shifting from functionality to aesthetics as they are now equally concerned with showing off their appliances in their open kitchens. Companies like Philips, Westinghouse, Panasonic, Kenwood and Morphy Richards understand this and are launching premium models with advanced features that appeal to customers at the top of the pyramid. The biggest consumers of these premium products are high net worth individuals as well as young upwardly mobile couples with high disposable incomes in tier 1&2 towns. These products are also an aspiration for the growing middle class population in smaller towns.


A price segment study of the Grinders category by Market Pulse shows that the contribution of the premium category is quiet significant as it contributes 10% in the Mixer grinders' sales and 14% in the Juicer mixer grinders' sales. 


The contribution of premium category even in the class 3-4 & 5-6 towns is approximately 15% &7% respectively.

Brands like Philips, Kenwood and Westing house market premium category induction cookers priced at Rs.3500+. 

By adding unique features to its products, premium appliance makers have cut out a niche demand segment and created a distinct visibility!