Thesis: Consumer behaviour and perceptions of the people of Kolkata towards popular bathing soaps


Personal care includes products as diverse as lip balm, cleansing pads, colognes, cotton swabs, cotton pads, deodorant, eye liner, facial tissue, hair clippers, lip gloss, lipstick, lotion, makeup, nail files, pomade, perfumes, razors, talcum powder, shaving cream, skin cream, toilet paper, and wet wipes. Personal Care Products has maintained a strong commitment to the worldwide growth of value and private label brands since 1983. Personal care products are these products which a consumer uses for his personal purpose. It includes different types of cosmetic and skin care products like talc, cold cream, fairness cream, toothpaste, toothbrush, perfume, deodorant, hair oil, shampoo, soap, and all type of baby care and beauty care products. These are the core FMCG products. Any person need for these products every day. Personal care products are a part of FMCG industry. Under health soap segment in existing situation, there are two prominent brands in Kolkata soap market which are Lifebuoy and Dettol. In the case of health soap Dettol has gain the maximum market share and then Lifebuoy. Again, under beauty soap segment Lux is the market leader in existing situation in the Kolkata soap market and then Dove etc. has come under consideration. Moreover, few years back HUL has launched bar soap under beauty soap segment which was Angelic beauty care soap but this idea was not worked out well. Moreover, at previous time a good number of studies had been undertaken by HUL to determine the consumers’ perception on LUX, DETTOL, DOVE AND LIFEBUOY brand, strength and weakness of the product of this brand, prevailing market opportunities and threats etc. AC-Nielsen also conducted a focus group discussion in this regard. Through the focus group discussion, consumers’ perceptions regarding the product of LUX, DETTOL, DOVE AND LIFEBUOY brand against other competitive brands and different strength, weakness, opportunities and threats in the existing market have also been found out. So, the company already found out the consumers perception of these brands. Now, through out this internship in-depth interview has been conducted on gaining the consumer insights for a new kind of soap which contains both antiseptic and beauty Monitoring the effectiveness of positive reciprocal effects on vertical brand extension of parent brands. In some words we can say that personal care products are the backbone of FMCG industry. As per the time passes away, the demand of personal care products are also increasing day per day and future of these products are also very bright and profitable. There was a time when consumers not spend too much amount on the personal care products. But in those days, they are not only eager for spending more money on the cosmetic products, but at the same time they are looking for a good and prestigious brand for the particular product. Modern media and advertisement plays an important role in the increasing of demand of personal care goods. People of metro cities are too much brand conscious but if we look at the people of semi urban and rural areas, they are also looking for a good brand for the particular product.International Lux, Dettol, Dove, Lifebuoy are the some of the front drive of advertisement in the way of the success of personal care products.The soap markets of Kolkata are developing rapidly now a day. In our country we can see the two different segment of soap in the market which are ‘Health soap’ and ‘Beauty soap’.
‘ Introduction to the concept of

‘ Consumer behavior:

Consumer Behaviour is the study of individuals, groups, or organizations and the processes they use to select, secure, and dispose of products, services, experiences, or ideas to satisfy needs and the impacts that these processes have on the consumer and society. It blends elements from psychology, sociology, social anthropology, marketing and economics. It attempts to understand the decision-making processes of buyers, both individually and in groups such as how emotions affect buying behaviour. It studies characteristics of individual consumers such as demographics and behavioural variables in an attempt to understand people’s wants. It also tries to assess influences on the consumer from groups such as family, friends, reference groups, and society in general.

Consumer behaviour is influenced by internal conditions such as demographics, psychographics (lifestyle), personality, motivation, knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and feelings. Psychological factors include an individuals motivation, perception, attitude and belief, while personal factors include income level, personality, age, occupation and lifestyle.

Customer behaviour study is based on consumer buying behaviour, with the customer playing the three distinct roles of user, payer and buyer. Research has shown that consumer behaviour is difficult to predict, even for experts in the field.Relationship marketingis an influential asset for customer behaviour analysis as it has a keen interest in the re-discovery of the true meaning of marketing through the re-affirmation of the importance of the customer or buyer. A greater importance is also placed on consumer retention, customer relationship management, personalisation, customisation and one-to-one marketing. Social functions can be categorized into social choice and welfare functions.
The term consumer behaviour is defined as the behaviour that consumer display in searching for purchasing using, evaluating and disposing of products and services that they expect will satisfy their needs.
Congruence between personality and the way a persuasive message is framed (i.e., aligning the message framing with the recipient’s personality profile) may play an important role in ensuring the success of that message. In a recent experiment, five advertisements (each designed to target one of the five major trait domains of human personality) were constructed for a single product. The results demonstrated that advertisements were evaluated more positively the more they cohered with participants’ dispositional motives.Tailoring persuasive messages to the personality traits of the targeted audience can be an effective way of enhancing the messages’ impact.
Behavior can also be affected by external influences, such as culture, sub-culture, locality, royalty, ethnicity, family, social class, past experience reference groups, lifestyle, market mix factors. For example: In India, most online consumers shop during their lunch hours, and when they are at work. This could be because of inadequate Internet Connectivity at homes

‘ Consumer perception
Consumer perception applies the concept of sensory perception to marketing and advertising. Just as sensory perception relates to how humans perceive and process sensory stimuli through their five senses, consumer perception pertains to how individuals form opinions about companies and the merchandise they offer through the purchases they make. Merchants apply consumer perception theory to determine how their customers perceive them. They also use consumer perception theory to develop marketing and advertising strategies intended to retain current customers — and attract new ones.
A marketing concept that encompasses a customer’s impression, awareness and/or consciousness about a company or its offerings. Customer perception is typically affected by advertising, reviews, public relations, social media, personal experiences and other channels.

Merchants aim to increase their sales by determining what drives their customers’ purchase decisions. Consumer perception theory attempts to explain consumer behavior by analyzing motivations for buying — or not buying — particular items. Three areas of consumer perception theory relate to consumer perception theory: self perception, price perception and perception of a benefit to quality of life.
Self perception theory attempts to explain how individuals develop an understanding of the motivations behind their own behavior. Self perception by customers relates to values and motivations that drive buying behavior — which is also an important aspect of consumer perception theory. For instance, a study by researchers at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst addressed how self perception shaped consumers’ buying behavior. The study considered the question of whether consumers believed their buying decisions had a real effect on issues such as environmental impact. The researchers concluded that consumers’ self perception was a driving factor in whether or not they placed a priority on socially conscious purchase and consumption practices. Consumers who viewed themselves as socially conscious tended to place more weight on issues such as environmental impact when making buying decisions than consumers who did not hold similar views of themselves.
While mass merchandisers such as Wal-Mart emphasize low prices as an inherent virtue, upscale merchants attempt to emphasize quality and value for money to appeal to potential customers. Researchers at the School of Business Administration at LaSalle University and LeBow College of Business at Drexel University considered several factors, including price perception — whether consumers believed they were being charged fair prices — in determining whether online shoppers would make repeat purchases through the same website. The researchers concluded that price perception strongly influenced whether customers were satisfied with their purchases and whether they would make future purchases. Two factors that shaped price perception were the perceived quality of the merchandise or service in question and price comparisons with merchants offering similar merchandise or services.
“It’s good, and it’s good for you.” Many consumers are familiar with this phrase frequently associated with food advertising. Researchers from Marquette University, Louisiana State University and the University of Arkansas surveyed customers to determine how nutrition claims associated with food affected their perception of that food’s nutritional value. The researchers found that consumers tend to reject general, unsupported claims of enhanced nutrition, especially concerning high nutritional value for foods that are traditionally viewed as unhealthy. The researchers also theorized that consumers would demonstrate a trend toward applying more scrutiny to nutrition claims and would demand more specific information about the foods they purchase.
‘ Brand loyalty
Brand loyalty occurs when a customer chooses to repeatedly purchase a product produced by the same company instead of a substitute product produced by a competitor. For example, some people will always buy Coke at the grocery store, while other people will always purchase Pepsi.
Brand loyalty is often based upon perception. A consumer will consistently purchase the same product because she perceives it as being the superior product among the choices available. You should note that brand loyalty usually relates to a product, not a company. For example, while you may be loyal to your Honda Accord, when it comes to motorcycles, you might believe that a Harley leaves a Honda motorcycle in the dust.
When consumers become committed to your brand and make repeat purchases over time. Brand loyalty is a result of consumer behavior and is affected by a person’s preferences. Loyal customers will consistently purchase products from their preferred brands, regardless of convenience or price. Companies will often use different marketing strategies to cultivate loyal customers, be it is through loyalty programs (i.e. rewards programs) or trials and incentives (ex. samples and free gifts).

It is the act of consumers consistently purchasing a product or patronizing a company. Companies typically build this loyalty through strong advertising and marketing campaigns that influence consumers as well as high-quality products or services. Marketing is necessary to entice consumers to purchase one company’s goods over competing goods. The importance of brand loyalty leads to increased market share, higher profits and better goodwill among consumers. Companies will often go through a series of activities that improve their loyalty among customers.
Market share represents the amount of a market’s total sales that one company earns when consumers make purchases. Brand loyalty allows a company to market and advertise its goods or services in the market. Companies are often unable to capture a significant portion of market share without informing consumers. Additionally, new companies might have no customers who are informed or loyal to the business and its products. Therefore, building loyalty by offering quality products or undercutting another company’s brand loyalty can improve market share.
Profit is the main reason why a company operates in a given business environment. A company makes profit by selling goods and/or services to consumers, with profits coming from either a high volume of sales or high profit margins. Brand loyalty allows a company to generate higher sales through word-of-mouth advertisement. Word-of-mouth advertising occurs when current customers have enough loyalty that they recommend a company’s products or services to other consumers. This allows the company to build a loyal consumer base through its current customers.
Goodwill is the positive relationship that a company has with its customers. Companies can establish goodwill by offering high-quality products at a fair price. Brand loyalty built through goodwill often means that a company is able to sell products to consumers regardless of price changes or alterations in the company’s operations. In some cases, however, changes that leave a negative outlook with consumers can decrease brand loyalty. To avoid a reduction in goodwill, companies must be sure to listen and react properly when consumers provide feedback.
Brand loyalty is often expensive for companies to achieve. Though it sounds simple enough, it is not always easy. Competitors that have a strong, loyal consumer base can make it difficult for a new company to enter a market. Other times, the necessary expenditures for advertising products might be prohibitive for some companies. Well-managed plans and operations can be more successful than blanketing an entire market with advertising.
Brand loyalty is important for several reasons. First, it reduces the cost of production because the sales volume is higher. Second, companies with brand-loyal customers don’t have to spend as much money on marketing the product, which will permit the company to either retain more earnings or to invest resources elsewhere. Third, companies may use premium pricing that will increase profit margins. Finally, loyal customers tend to recommend products that they like.
Businesses do have to exert significant effort to facilitate brand loyalty. You need to convince potential customers that your product has a significant advantage over other products to justify consistent purchases of your product. Businesses also will attempt to leverage brand loyalty developed for a product to other products offered by the company. The hope is to create brand loyalty for as many products as possible.
The extent of the faithfulness of consumers to a particular brand, expressed through their repeat purchases, irrespective of the marketing pressure generated by the competing brands.
How winning brands measure and track loyalty with surveys

Brand loyalty is just one part of your overall brand equity, which is the extent of your brand’s power as determined by consumers’ positive or negative knowledge, perceptions, and experiences with your brand.

When your customers have the opportunity and good reason to choose another brand and yet they continue to choose yours’that’s brand loyalty.
And although there are other factors that contribute to your brand equity, like brand awareness and brand attributes, brand loyalty is hugely important because it’s a measurement of how likely consumers are to continue to give you their business.
The best way to measure brand loyalty is through surveys. When you collect feedback from consumers in your target market (especially those who have purchased from your brand in the past), you can assess how good your brand is at inspiring loyalty’and retaining customers
Good measures of these aspects of your brand can help you identify areas of competition, evaluate the stickiness of established customer bases in different markets, and understand the strengths and weaknesses of specific product lines. Read on for sample brand loyalty survey questions and examples.
Or get started with the NPS and Brand Loyalty Survey Template ‘

Customer satisfaction
First, asking about overall customer satisfaction helps you understand how, in general, your products and services are meeting or (better yet) exceeding customer expectations.
You might ask questions like:
‘ How convenient is our company to use’? Compared to our competitors, is our product quality better, worse, or about the same’? How well do our customer service representatives answer your questions’? How likely are you to recommend us to others?
Loyalty builds when customers become committed to your brand and make repeat purchases over time. You want to understand what is inspiring that commitment on their part.
All brands must earn and retain the trust of their customers to ensure loyalty, but trust is especially important for brands that handle sensitive information, such as banks, online retailers, or healthcare providers.
If your brand handles sensitive information, assess the level of trust your customers feel for your brand. Ask questions like:
‘ Do you trust our brand’? How did we earn your trust’? How do we keep your trust?
Use responses to questions about trust to inform the products you offer’and target your brand messaging accordingly.
Brand esteem or goodwill is customers’ respect for and attraction to a particular brand. It’s not to be confused with brand awareness or familiarity, which is the level of recognition of a brand. While a brand might be well known (a good thing), it may not in fact be well regarded (not a good thing). Brand esteem is about the favorable sentiment toward a brand.
You can use a series of questions to distinguish brand awareness from brand esteem:
‘ Have you heard of our brand before? (familiarity)
‘ How well do you know our brand? (familiarity)
‘ How positively do you regard our brand? (esteem)
‘ Do you prefer our brand over our competitor? (esteem)
Perceived quality and value
A customer’s perceived quality of a brand is their opinion of a particular product’s, service’s or brand’s ability to fulfill his or her expectations:
‘ How reliable would you consider our brand’? How would you rate the quality of our product?
Closely related is perceived value, which is a consumer’s opinion of a product’s value to him or her specifically.
For example, a person might view Tesla Motors as a brand that produces innovative, attractive electric vehicles that amaze and delight and would rate perceived quality quite high. However, if that same person considers the price tag to be a bit too steep, the perceived value might be low for her or him specifically.
Here are some brand loyalty survey question examples that measure perceived value:
‘ How valuable is [brand or product] to you’? How likely would it be for you to switch brands if an alternative brand was sold in a more convenient location’? How likely would it be for you to switch brands if an alternative brand was cheaper?
Digging deeper: Which brand attributes positively impact brand loyalty?
Finding out how loyal customers feel toward your brand is important, but digging deeper for insights on what specifically contributes to that loyalty is important too. Read more about managing and strengthening your brand on our branding resource page, and access expert-certified branding survey templates.

Brand loyalty: It’s the biggest factor of your brand’s success. If you don’t have a loyal customer base that purchases from you time and time again, you have to compete with other brands on factors like price and convenience.
And when consumers choose your brand based on how accessible you are’or how low your price is’your brand has become a commodity. You’re faced with slashing prices and focusing on the next gimmick, plus you’re always at risk of losing customers to brands that can offer a better deal.
In order to avoid becoming a commodity, you need to build and nurture brand loyalty. And when you’re part of a marketing or brand team, it’s important to understand what inspires brand loyalty (or lack thereof) so you can make smarter decisions about your brand strategy.
Surveys can be a useful tool for assessing loyalty based on 5 key metrics: customer affinity, trust, esteem, reliability, and identification.

‘ Bases of consumer behavior

The study of consumers helps firms and organizations improve their marketing strategies by understanding issues such as how
‘ The psychology of how consumers think, feel, reason, and select between different alternatives (e.g., brands, products, and retailers);
‘ The psychology of how the consumer is influenced by his or her environment (e.g., culture, family, signs, media);
‘ The behavior of consumers while shopping or making other marketing decisions;
‘ Limitations in consumer knowledge or information processing abilities influence decisions and marketing outcome;
‘ How consumer motivation and decision strategies differ between products that differ in their level of importance or interest that they entail for the consumer; and
‘ How marketers can adapt and improve their marketing campaigns and marketing strategies to more effectively reach the consumer.
One “official” definition of consumer behavior is “The study of individuals, groups, or organizations and the processes they use to select, secure, use, and dispose of products, services, experiences, or ideas to satisfy needs and the impacts that these processes have on the consumer and society.” Although it is not necessary to memorize this definition, it brings up some useful points:
‘ Behavior occurs either for the individual, or in the context of a group (e.g., friends influence what kinds of clothes a person wears) or an organization (people on the job make decisions as to which products the firm should use).
‘ Consumer behavior involves the use and disposal of products as well as the study of how they are purchased. Product use is often of great interest to the marketer, because this may influence how a product is best positioned or how we can encourage increased consumption. Since many environmental problems result from product disposal (e.g., motor oil being sent into sewage systems to save the recycling fee, or garbage piling up at landfills) this is also an area of interest.
‘ Consumer behavior involves services and ideas as well as tangible products.
‘ The impact of consumer behavior on society is also of relevance. For example, aggressive marketing of high fat foods, or aggressive marketing of easy credit, may have serious repercussions for the national health and economy.
There are four main applications of consumer behavior:
‘ The most obvious is for marketing strategy’i.e., for making better marketing campaigns. For example, by understanding that consumers are more receptive to food advertising when they are hungry, we learn to schedule snack advertisements late in the afternoon. By understanding that new products are usually initially adopted by a few consumers and only spread later, and then only gradually, to the rest of the population, we learn that (1) companies that introduce new products must be well financed so that they can stay afloat until their products become a commercial success and (2) it is important to please initial customers, since they will in turn influence many subsequent customers’ brand choices.
‘ Social marketing involves getting ideas across to consumers rather than selling something. Marty Fishbein, a marketing professor, went on sabbatical to work for the Centers for Disease Control trying to reduce the incidence of transmission of diseases through illegal drug use. The best solution, obviously, would be if we could get illegal drug users to stop. This, however, was deemed to be infeasible. It was also determined that the practice of sharing needles was too ingrained in the drug culture to be stopped. As a result, using knowledge of consumer attitudes, Dr. Fishbein created a campaign that encouraged the cleaning of needles in bleach before sharing them, a goal that was believed to be more realistic.
‘ As a final benefit, studying consumer behavior should make us better consumers. Common sense suggests, for example, that if you buy a 64 liquid ounce bottle of laundry detergent, you should pay less per ounce than if you bought two 32 ounce bottles. In practice, however, you often pay a size premium by buying the larger quantity. In other words, in this case, knowing this fact will sensitize you to the need to check the unit cost labels to determine if you are really getting a bargain.
There are several units in the market that can be analyzed. Our main thrust in this course is the consumer. However, we will also need to analyze our own firm’s strengths and weaknesses and those of competing firms. Suppose, for example, that we make a product aimed at older consumers, a growing segment. A competing firm that targets babies, a shrinking market, is likely to consider repositioning toward our market. To assess a competing firm’s potential threat, we need to examine its assets (e.g., technology, patents, market knowledge, awareness of its brands) against pressures it faces from the market. Finally, we need to assess conditions (the marketing environment). For example, although we may have developed a product that offers great appeal for consumers, a recession may cut demand dramatically.

I. Cultural factors
Cultural factors are coming from the different components related to culture or cultural environment from which the consumer belongs.
Culture and societal environment:
Culture is crucial when it comes to understanding the needs and behaviors of an individual.
Throughout his existence, an individual will be influenced by his family, his friends, his cultural environment or society that will ‘teach’ him values, preferences as well as common behaviors to their own culture.
For a brand, it is important to understand and take into account the cultural factors inherent to each market or to each situation in order to adapt its product and its marketing strategy. As these will play a role in the perception, habits, behavior or expectations of consumers.
For example, in the West, it is common to invite colleagues or friends at home for a drink or dinner. In Japan, on the contrary, invite someone home does not usually fit into the local customs. It is preferable to do that this kind of outing with friends or colleagues in restaurant.
A significant specificity to take into account for the brands in markets such as savory snacking or sodas and alcoholic beverages. Usage and consumption moments are not the same in all regions of the world.
While if a Japanese offer you a gift, the courtesy is to offer him an equivalent gift in return.
McDonald’s is a brilliant example of adaptation to the specificities of each culture and each market. Well aware of the importance to have an offer with specific products to meet the needs and tastes of consumers from different cultures, the fast-food giant has for example: a McBaguette in France (with french baguette and Dijon mustard), a Chicken Maharaja Mac and a Masala Grill Chicken in India (with Indian spices) as well as a Mega Teriyaki Burger (with teriyaki sauce) or Gurakoro (with macaroni gratin and croquettes) in Japan.
While all the ingredients used by McDonald’s in arabic and muslim countries are certified halal. The fast food chain not offering, of course, any product with bacon or pork.
Sub-cultures :
A society is composed of several sub-cultures in which people can identify. Subcultures are groups of people who share the same values based on a common experience or a similar lifestyle in general.
Subcultures are the nationalities, religions, ethnic groups, age groups, gender of the individual, etc..
The subcultures are often considered by the brands for the segmentation of a market in order to adapt a product or a communication strategy to the values or the specific needs of this segment.
For example in recent years, the segment of ‘ethnic’ cosmetics has greatly expanded. These are products more suited to non-Caucasian populations and to types of skin pigmentation for african, arab or indian populations for example.
It’s a real brand positioning with a well-defined target in a sector that only offered makeup products to a caucasian target until now (with the exception of niche brands) and was then receiving critics from consumers of different origin.
Brands often communicate in different ways, sometimes even create specific products (sometimes without significant intrinsic difference) for the same type of product in order to specifically target an age group, a gender or a specific sub-culture.
Consumers are usually more receptive to products and marketing strategies that specifically target them.
Social classes:
Social classes are defined as groups more or less homogenous and ranked against each other according to a form of social hierarchy. Even if it’s very large groups, we usually find similar values, lifestyles, interests and behaviors in individuals belonging to the same social class.
We often assume three general categories among social classes : lower class, middle class and upper class.
People from different social classes tend to have different desires and consumption patterns. Disparities resulting from the difference in their purchasing power, but not only. According to some researchers, behavior and buying habits would also be a way of identification and belonging to its social class.
Beyond a common foundation to the whole population and taking into account that many counterexample naturally exist, they usually do not always buy the same products, do not choose the same kind of vacation, do not always watch the same TV shows, do not always read the same magazines, do not have the same hobbies and do not always go in the same types of retailers and stores.
For example, consumers from the middle class and upper class generally consume more balanced and healthy food products than those from the lower class.
They don’t go in the same stores either. If some retailers are, of course, patronized by everyone, some are more specifically targeted to upper classes such as The Fresh Market, Whole Foods Market, Barneys New York or Nordstrom. While others, such as discount supermarkets, attract more consumers from the lower class.
Some studies have also suggested that the social perception of a brand or a retailer is playing a role in the behavior and purchasing decisions of consumers.
In addition, the consumer buying behavior may also change according to social class. A consumer from the lower class will be more focused on price. While a shopper from the upper class will be more attracted to elements such as quality, innovation, features, or even the ‘social benefit’ that he can obtain from the product.
Cultural trends:
Cultural trends or ‘Bandwagon effect’ are defined as trends widely followed by people and which are amplified by their mere popularity and by conformity or compliance with social pressure. The more people follow a trend, the more others will want to follow it.
They affect behavior and shopping habits of consumers and may be related to the release of new products or become a source of innovation for brands.
By social pressure, desire to conformity or belonging to a group, desire to ‘follow fashion trends’ or simply due to the high visibility provided by media, consumers will be influenced, consciously or unconsciously, by these trends.
For example, Facebook has become a cultural trend. The social network has widely grew to the point of becoming a must have, especially among young people.
It is the same with the growth of the tablet market. Tablets such as iPad or Galaxy Tab have become a global cultural trend leading many consumers to buy one. Even if they had never specially felt the need before.
For a brand, create a new cultural trend from scratch is not easy. Apple did it with the tablets with its iPad. But this is an exception. However, brands must remain attentive to the new trends and ‘bandwagon effects’. Whether to accompany it (create a page on Facebook) or to take part in the newly created market (create its own tablet).
II. Social factors
Social factors are among the factors influencing consumer behavior significantly. They fall into three categories: reference groups, family and social roles and status.
Reference groups and membership groups :
The membership groups of an individual are social groups to which he belongs and which will influence him. The membership groups are usually related to its social origin, age, place of residence, work, hobbies, leisure, etc..
The influence level may vary depending on individuals and groups. But is generally observed common consumption trends among the members of a same group.
The understanding of the specific features (mindset, values, lifestyle, etc..) of each group allows brands to better target their advertising message.
More generally, reference groups are defined as those that provide to the individual some points of comparison more or less direct about his behavior, lifestyle, desires or consumer habits. They influence the image that the individual has of himself as well as his behavior. Whether it is a membership group or a non-membership group.
Because the individual can also be influenced by a group to which he doesn’t belong yet but wishes to be part of. This is called an aspirational group. This group will have a direct influence on the consumer who, wishing to belong to this group and look like its members, will try to buy the same products.
For example, even if he doesn’t need it yet, a surfing beginner may want to buy ‘advanced’ brands or products used by experienced surfers (aspirational group) in order to get closer to this group. While a teen may want the shoe model or smartphone used by the group of ‘popular guys’ from his high school (aspirational group) in order to be accepted by this group.
Some brands have understood this very well and communicate, implicitly or not, on the ‘social benefit’ provided by their products.
Within a reference group that influence the consumer buying behavior, several roles have been identified:
‘ The initiator: the person who suggests buying a product or service
‘ The influencer: the person whose point of view or advice will influence the buying decision. It may be a person outside the group (singer, athlete, actor, etc..) but on which group members rely on.
‘ The decision-maker: the person who will choose which product to buy. In general, it’s the consumer but in some cases it may be another person. For example, the ‘leader’ of a soccer supporters’ group (membership group) that will define, for the whole group, which supporter’s scarf buy and bear during the next game.
‘ The buyer: the person who will buy the product. Generally, this will be the final consumer.
Many brands look to target opinion leaders (initiator or influencer) to spread the use and purchase of their product in a social group. Either through an internal person of the group when it comes to a small social group. Or through a sponsorship or a partnership with a reference leader (celebrity, actor, musician, athlete, etc..) for larger groups.
The family is maybe the most influencing factor for an individual. It forms an environment of socialization in which an individual will evolve, shape his personality, acquire values. But also develop attitudes and opinions on various subjects such as politics, society, social relations or himself and his desires.
But also on his consumer habits, his perception of brands and the products he buys.
We all kept, for many of us and for some products and brands, the same buying habits and consumption patterns that the ones we had known in our family.
Perceptions and family habits generally have a strong influence on the consumer buying behavior. People will tend to keep the same as those acquired with their families.
For example, if you have never drunk Coke during your childhood and your parents have described it as a product ‘full of sugar and not good for health’. There is far less chance that you are going to buy it when you will grow up that someone who drinks Coke since childhood.
For brands ‘ especially for Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) or Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) ‘ successfully ‘integrate’ the family is both a real challenge and an opportunity to develop a strong consumer loyalty among all the family members.
That’s why it’s important for brands to be seen as a family brand in order to become a consumer habit for parents and children when they will become adults.
Social roles and status:
The position of an individual within his family, his work, his country club, his group of friends, etc.. ‘ All this can be defined in terms of role and social status.
A social role is a set of attitudes and activities that an individual is supposed to have and do according to his profession and his position at work, his position in the family, his gender, etc.. ‘ and expectations of the people around him.
Social status meanwhile reflects the rank and the importance of this role in society or in social groups. Some are more valued than others.
The social role and status profoundly influences the consumer behavior and his purchasing decisions. Especially for all the ‘visible’ products from other people.
For example, a consumer may buy a Ferrari or a Porsche for the quality of the car but also for the external signs of social success that this kind of cars represents. Moreover, it is likely that a CEO driving a small car like a Ford Fiesta or a Volkswagen Golf would be taken less seriously by its customers and business partners than if he is driving a german luxury car.
And this kind of behaviors and influences can be found at every level and for every role and social status.
Again, many brands have understood it by creating an image associated with their products reflecting an important social role or status.
III. Personal factors:
Decisions and buying behavior are obviously also influenced by the characteristics of each consumer.
Age and way of life:
A consumer does not buy the same products or services at 20 or 70 years. His lifestyle, values, environment, activities, hobbies and consumer habits evolve throughout his life.
For example, during his life, a consumer could change his diet from unhealthy products (fast food, ready meals, etc..) to a healthier diet, during mid-life with family before needing to follow a little later a low cholesterol diet to avoid health problems.
The factors influencing the buying decision process may also change. For example, the ‘social value’ of a brand generally play a more important role in the decision for a consumer at 25 than at 65 years.
The family life cycle of the individual will also have an influence on his values, lifestyles and buying behavior depending whether he’s single, in a relationship, in a relationship with kids, etc.. As well as the region of the country and the kind of city where he lives (large city, small town, countryside, etc..).
For a brand or a retailer, it may be interesting to identify, understand, measure and analyze what are the criteria and personal factors that influence the shopping behavior of their customers in order to adapt.
For example, it is more than possible that consumers living in New York do not have the same behavior and purchasing habits than the ones in Nebraska. For a retailer, have a deep understanding and adapt to these differences will be a real asset to increase sales.
Purchasing power and revenue:
The purchasing power of an individual will have, of course, a decisive influence on his behavior and purchasing decisions based on his income and his capital.
This obviously affects what he can afford, his perspective on money and the level of importance of price in his purchasing decisions. But it also plays a role in the kind of retailers where he goes or the kind of brands he buys.
As for social status, some consumers may also look for the ‘social value’ of products they buy in order to show ‘external indications’ of their incomes and their level of purchasing power..
The lifestyle of an individual includes all of its activities, interests, values and opinions.
The lifestyle of a consumer will influence on his behavior and purchasing decisions. For example, a consumer with a healthy and balanced lifestyle will prefer to eat organic products and go to specific grocery stores, will do some jogging regularly (and therefore will buy shoes, clothes and specific products), etc..
Personality and self-concept:
Personality is the set of traits and specific characteristics of each individual. It is the product of the interaction of psychological and physiological characteristics of the individual and results in constant behaviors.
It materializes into some traits such as confidence, sociability, autonomy, charisma, ambition, openness to others, shyness, curiosity, adaptability, etc..
While the self-concept is the image that the individual has ‘ or would like to have ‘ of him and he conveys to his entourage. These two concepts greatly influence the individual in his choices and his way of being in everyday life. And therefore also his shopping behavior and purchasing habits as consumer.
In order to attract more customers, many brands are trying to develop an image and a personality that conveys the traits and values – real or desired ‘ of consumers they are targeting.
For example, since its launch, Apple cultivates an image of innovation, creativity, boldness and singularity which is able to attract consumers who identify to these values and who feel valued ‘ in their self-concept ‘ by buying a product from Apple.
Because consumers do not just buy products based on their needs or for their intrinsic features but they are also looking for products that are consistent and reinforce the image they have of themselves or they would like to have.
The more a product or brand can convey a positive and favorable self-image to the consumer, the more it will be appreciated and regularly purchased.
IV. Psychological factors
Among the factors factors influencing consumer behavior, psychological factors can be divided into 4 categories: motivation, perception, learning as well as beliefs and attitudes.
Motivation is what will drive consumers to develop a purchasing behavior. It is the expression of a need is which became pressing enough to lead the consumer to want to satisfy it. It is usually working at a subconscious level and is often difficult to measure.
Motivation is directly related to the need and is expressed in the same type of classification as defined in the stages of the consumer buying decision process.
To increase sales and encourage consumers to purchase, brands should try to create, make conscious or reinforce a need in the consumer’s mind so that he develops a purchase motivation. He will be much more interested in considering and buy their products.
They must also, according to research, the type of product they sell and the consumers they target, pick out the motivation and the need to which their product respond in order to make them appear as the solution to the consumers’ need.
Perception is the process through which an individual selects, organizes and interprets the information he receives in order to do something that makes sense. The perception of a situation at a given time may decide if and how the person will act.
Depending to his experiences, beliefs and personal characteristics, an individual will have a different perception from another.
Each person faces every day tens of thousands of sensory stimuli (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory and gustatory). It would be impossible for the brain to process all consciously. That is why it focuses only on some of them.
The perception mechanism of an individual is organized around three processes:
‘ Selective Attention: The individual focuses only on a few details or stimulus to which he is subjected. The type of information or stimuli to which an individual is more sensitive depends on the person.
For brands and advertisers successfully capture and retain the attention of consumers is increasingly difficult. For example, many users no longer pay any attention, unconsciously, to banner ads on the Internet. This kind of process is called Banner Blindness.
The attention level also varies depending on the activity of the individual and the number of other stimuli in the environment. For example, an individual who is bored during a subway trip will be much more attentive to a new ad displayed in the tube. It is a new stimuli that breaks the trip routine for him.
Consumers will also be much more attentive to stimuli related to a need. For example, a consumer who wishes to buy a new car will pay more attention to car manufacturers’ ads. While neglecting those for computers.
Lastly, people are more likely to be attentive to stimuli that are new or out of the ordinary. For example, an innovative advertising or a marketing message (Unique Value Proposition) widely different from its competitors is more likely to be remembered by consumers.
‘ Selective Distortion: In many situations, two people are not going to interpret an information or a stimulus in the same way. Each individual will have a different perception based on his experience, state of mind, beliefs and attitudes. Selective distortion leads people to interpret situations in order to make them consistent with their beliefs and values.
For brands, it means that the message they communicate will never be perceived exactly in the same way by consumers. And that everyone may have a different perception of it. That’s why it’s important to regularly ask consumers in order to know their actual brand perception.
Selective distortion often benefits to strong and popular brands. Studies have shown that the perception and brand image plays a key role in the way consumers perceived and judged the product.
Several experiments have shown that even if we give them the same product, consumers find that the product is or tastes better when they’ve been told that it’s from a brand they like than when they’ve been told it’s a generic brand. While it is exactly the same product!
Similarly, consumers will tend to appreciate even less a product if it comes from a brand for which they have a negative perception.
‘ Selective Retention: People do not retain all the information and stimuli they have been exposed to. Selective retention means what the individual will store and retain from a given situation or a particular stimulus. As for selective distortion, individuals tend to memorize information that will fit with their existing beliefs and perceptions.
For example, consumers will remember especially the benefits of a brand or product they like and will ‘forget’ the drawbacks or competing products’ advantages.
Selective retention is also what explains why brands and advertisers use so much repetition in their advertising campaigns and why they are so broadcasted. So that the selective retention can help the brand to become a ‘top of mind’ brand in the consumer’s mind.
Learning is through action. When we act, we learn. It implies a change in the behavior resulting from the experience. The learning changes the behavior of an individual as he acquires information and experience.
For example, if you are sick after drinking milk, you had a negative experience, you associate the milk with this state of discomfort and you ‘learn’ that you should not drink milk. Therefore, you don’t buy milk anymore.
Rather, if you had a good experience with the product, you will have much more desire to buy it again next time.
The learning theories can be used in marketing by brands. As the theory of operant conditioning which states that you can build a good image and high demand for a product by associating it with a positive reinforcement (or rather a bad image with a negative reinforcement).
Beliefs and attitudes:
A belief is a conviction that an individual has on something. Through the experience he acquires, his learning and his external influences (family, friends, etc..), he will develop beliefs that will influence his buying behavior.
While an attitude can be defined as a feeling, an assessment of an object or idea and the predisposition to act in a certain way toward that object. Attitudes allow the individual to develop a coherent behavior against a class of similar objects or ideas.
Beliefs as well as attitudes are generally well-anchored in the individual’s mind and are difficult to change. For many people, their beliefs and attitudes are part of their personality and of who they are.
However, it is important to understand, identify and analyze the positive attitudes and beliefs but also the negative ones that consumers can have on a brand or product. To change the brand’s marketing message or adjust its positioning in order to get consumers to change their brand perception.
Many factors influencing consumer behavior
As we have just seen, many factors, specificities and characteristics influence the individual in what he is and the consumer in his decision making process, shopping habits, purchasing behavior, the brands he buys or the retailers he goes.
A purchase decision is the result of each and every one of these factors. An individual and a consumer is led by his culture, his subculture, his social class, his membership groups, his family, his personality, his psychological factors, etc.. And is influenced by cultural trends as well as his social and societal environment.
By identifying and understanding the factors that influence their customers, brands have the opportunity to develop a strategy, a marketing message (Unique Value Proposition) and advertising campaigns more efficient and more in line with the needs and ways of thinking of their target consumers. A real asset to better meet the needs of its customers and increase sales.
Consumer behavior refers to the selection, purchase and consumption of goods and services for the satisfaction of their wants. There are different processes involved in the consumer behavior. Initially the consumer tries to find what commodities he would like to consume, then he selects only those commodities that promise greater utility. After selecting the commodities, the consumer makes an estimate of the available money which he can spend. Lastly, the consumer analyzes the prevailing prices of commodities and takes the decision about the commodities he should consume. Meanwhile, there are various other factors influencing the purchases of consumer such as social, cultural, personal and psychological. The explanation of these factors is given below.
History of the soap industry
The soap industry in India is at the high growth rate and many new entrants are planning to launch their product in this category. The overall soap industry is worth at 60000 crores. Shine is a multinational company. It is a new entrant in the market and targets at unisex genders. I segmented Shine’s market according to geographical locations. It further differentiates these segments into Socio Economic Cluster (SEC) which takes into account the criteria of education and profession which ultimately measures the financial ability of consumers. The cluster is divided into five parts starting from A to E. Shine targets the urban and sub urban upper middle class and middle class segment of the population, who falls under A to C of SEC.
Tactical marketing tools, 4P’s, are extensively used by the company to market Shine. Though Shine is produced in India, Unilever India maintains the same standard all around the globe. The product is available in six different fragrances under three different sizes. Since the demand for beauty soap market is to a great extent oligopolistic, variations in price lead to price war which can eventually break down the company’s market share. Thus Unilever cannot provide a better price than its competitors. But the price is affordable by most of the people. Shine will outsource its distribution channel to third party distributors which allow them to distribute Shine in massive bulks amounting to around ten million pieces. It undertakes the largest promotional activities in the beauty soap industry.


During the British rule the Lever Brothers, England introduced modern soaps by importing and marketing
them in the country. The first company created was North West Soap Company, the soap manufacturing
plant in India situated in the city of Meerut, in the state of Uttar Pradesh. In 1897, they started marketing
cold process soaps. In 1918, Mr. Jamshedji Tata set up India’s first indigenous soap manufacturing unit
when he purchased the Coconut Oil Mills at Cochin Kerala. OK Mills crushed and marketed coconut
oil for cooking and manufactured crude cold process laundry soaps that were sold locally and It was
renamed The Tata Oil Mills Company and its first branded soaps appeared on the market in the early

Soap became a necessity for the moneyed class by around 1937. Today with increase in disposable incomes all around the world along with India, growth in rural demand is expected to increase because consumers are moving up towards premium products. However, in the recent past there has not been much change in the volume of premium soaps in proportion to economy soaps, this was due to the increase in prices which has led some consumers to look for cheaper substitutes. The major players in the market for the personal wash (Soap) market are HUL, Norma and P&G.
The toilet soaps market is estimated at 530,000 TPA including small imports where the Hindustan Lever is the market leader. The market has several, leading national and global brands and a large number of small brands. The popular brands include Lifebuoy, Lux, Cinthol, Liril, Rexona, and Nirma. Premium soaps are estimated to have a market volume of about 80,000 tonnes. This translates into a share of about 14 to 15%. However, by value it is as much as 30%.
Soaps are categorized into men’s soaps, ladies’ soaps and common soaps. There are few specialty soaps like the Glycerine soaps, sandal soaps, specially flavored soaps, medicated soaps and baby soaps. Specialty soaps are high valued which enjoy only a small share of the market in value terms. The market is growing at 7% a year. This means that the incremental demand generation is 5% over and above the population growth. With increasing awareness of hygienic standards, the market for the Soaps could grow at a rate higher than 8% annually. Interestingly, 60% of the market is now sourced from the rural sector. This means that the variance between the two segments is not very large. Since upper-end market focus is the urban areas, margins come from the urban sector.
Soap is a product for many people and the lathering up can be a treasured part of a morning or nightly routine. Whether it might be scented or unscented, in bars, gels, and liquids, soap is a part of our daily lives. In the United States, soap is a $1.390 million (US$) industry with over 50 mass market brands. But in Indian markets the sales potential for soap is only beginning to be realized. At the end of the year 2000, soap was a $1.032 million (US$) business in India.
India is a country with a population of 1,030 million people. With the household penetration of soaps is 98%. People belonging to different income levels use different brands, which fall under different segments, but all income levels use soaps, making it the second largest category in India. Rural consumers in India constitute 70% of the population. Rural demand is growing, with more and more soap brands being launched in the discount segment targeting the lower socio-economic strata of consumers. Soap manufacturers originally targeted their products to the lowest income strata in urban as well as rural areas, positioning their brands as a way to remove dirt and clean the body. For some brands, that positioning persists even today with a focus on removal of body odor and keeping the user healthy. However, soap positionings are moving towards skin care as a value-added benefit.
Soap is primarily targeted towards women, as they are the chief decision-makers in terms of soap purchase and for Medicated positionings like germ killing and anti-bacterial are marketed to families. About 75% of soap can be bought through the different types of outlets.This is the most common source for buying soap, which usually forms a part of the month’s grocery list. Pan-Beedi Shops: These are really small shops, almost like handcarts, and they are primarily set up to dispense cigarettes and chewing tobacco.
Total annual soap sales by companies marketing their brands at national or state levels is estimated at 14,000 tonnes of a total soap market considered to be about 126,000 tonnes.
Today in the Indian economy the popular segments are 4/5ths of the entire soaps market.
The penetration level of toilet soaps is 88.6%. Indian per capita consumption of soap is at 460
Gms per annum, while in Brazil it is at 1,100 grams per annum. In India, available stores of soaps
are five million retail stores, out of which, 3.75 million retail stores are in theareas. 70% of
India’s population resides in the rural areas and around 50% of the soaps are sold in the rural market

Indian Soap Industry includes about 700 companies with combined annual revenue of about $17 billion. Major companies in this industry include divisions of P&G, Unilever, and Dial. The Indian Soap Industry is highly concentrated with the top 50 companies holding almost 90% of the market. The market size of global soap and detergent market size was estimated to be around 31M tonne in 2004, which is estimated to grow to 33M tonne in the coming years. Toilet soaps account for more than 10% of the total market of soap and detergents. In Asia, the countries like China and India are showing rapid growth in the toilet soap section. Market share of body wash was estimated to be around 2% in 2004 and is showing signs of healthy growth in these markets. India’s soap market is Rs 41.75 billion.
Indian Soap Industry volume is Rs 4,800-crore. For the purpose of gaining a competitive edge, Indian companies are now relaunching their brands with value-additions to woo consumers across India. For instance, Hindustan UniLever Ltd (HUL) has recently launched a host of toilet soap brands which include Lifebuoy, Lux, Breeze and Liril-with value additions. Also is in the process of rolling out ‘Ayush’ ayurvedic soap. The aim is to meet the evolving needs of customers. Total Contribution to the economy / sales
In terms of market share for Indian Soap Industry the data indicates that HLL had a market share of 64 % in the soap market, followed by Nirma at 16.8 % and Godrej at 4.4%. Nirma’s market share was in the northern region was 21 %. The largest contributor to the toilet soaps market in Indian market is Hindustan Lever with the total contribution to the economy & enjoys almost a two-thirds share, with the second ranked Nirma Soaps placed at a distantly low share of 16.8%. Lux and Lifebuoy have held the sway of the market for almost fifty years.
In the Rs 4,800-crore Indian toilet soaps market, the lead players include:
‘ Godrej Consumer Products Ltd
‘ Colgate Palmolive Ltd and
‘ Wipro Consumer Care
‘ In Indian Soap Industry the entry of new players in the 6,500-crore toilet soaps industry is expected to bring about a new twist in the “Indian soap opera”.
‘ ITC Ltd has started investing in aggressive brand-building and product development projects to promote its brands, Fiama De Wills, Vivel and Superia.
‘ Godrej Consumer Products Ltd and Wipro Consumer Care Lighting are established players in the Industry which are beefing up their research projects and advertising plans to take on new rivals.
‘ With increasing competition, the Indian Soap Industry is expected to register a healthy growth this fisca. The sector registered a 15% value growth.
‘ GCPL is hiking its advertising budget by 20% to gain high visibility for its brands.
The price of the premium segment products is twice that of economy segment products. The economy and popular segments are 4/5ths of the entire soaps market. The penetration level of toilet soaps is 88.6%. However, the per capita consumption of soap in India is at 460 gms per annum, while in Brazil it is at 1,100 gms per annum.
In India, soaps are available in five million retail stores, out of which, 3.75 million retail stores are in the rural areas. Therefore, availability of these products is not an issue. 70% of India’s population resides in the rural With increase in disposable incomes, growth in rural demand is expected to increase because

consumers are moving up towards premium products. However, in the recent past there has not been much change in the volume of premium soaps in proportion to economy soaps, because increase in prices has led some consumers to look for cheaper substitutes
‘ Current market scenario:

Market structure details the value chain key players’ presence across products. Market practices include understanding the Opportunity in the Indian Soaps sets business, market trends and distribution practices.

The report also provides a snapshot of key competition, past market trends with forecast over the next 5 years, anticipated growth rates and the principal factors driving and impacting growth

Market data and analytics are derived from a combination of primary and secondary sources

The marketing scenario in India has undergone vast change since 1991 due to the economic reforms. Post-liberalization, competition intensified in every product line and market, which forced brands to redefine their norms of existence in all industries. In the FMCG industry, especially in toilet soap sector there has been severe competition among the MNCs, national and local players. The toilet soaps can be divided into four price segments: Premium, popular, economy and carbolic soaps. At the same time, penetration level of toilet soaps in urban areas is very high, but per capita consumption levels remain low. In this scenario, it is very important for marketers to know the consumer behavior with respect to toilet soaps, which will be very useful in adopting suitable strategies. This research paper attempts to analyze the brand loyalty, satisfaction, awareness, and switching behavior of consumers regarding soaps. It also examines the factors influencing brand choices.
Makers of soaps including Dove, Santoor and Dettol are aggressively offering promotions and discounts to boost volumes and shield their market share after a sharp decline in the cost of palm oil, a key raw material. In the March quarter, market leader Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) offered Rs.5 off on 75gm packs of its Dove and Pears soaps, a company spokesperson said in an email. Rival Godrej Consumer Products Ltd offered an 8% discount on its Godrej No.1 brand as well as additional discounts on bulk purchases, Religare Institutional Research said in a report. Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting Ltd, a unit of Wipro Ltd, offered freebies such as free Horlicks sachets with Santoor soaps, said Wipro Consumer senior vice-president Anil Chugh. Till July last year, rising palm oil prices forced soap makers to increase prices, which hurt demand. After palm oil prices started declining, soap makers slowly started offering promotions late last year and discounts have intensified this year. Palm oil prices have fallen by about 20% since July. ‘Most of our competitors are giving price discounts and increased volumes for the same price’this is a new phenomenon. We’ve also seen an increase in advertising spends in the market,’ Chugh said. Godrej Consumer declined to comment. Promotional activity has significantly increased in the soaps segment, Religare analysts said in the report. ‘This time, HUL has been proactive and is taking the lead (in giving promotions). I don’t think it will lead to a price war in the soap market,’ said Abneesh Roy of Edelweiss Securities. ‘It’s important to note that most of the activity has been around price promotions, rather than price cuts. Price promotions can be removed any time, while it’s very difficult to raise prices again.’ Analysts said that companies such as HUL, Godrej Consumer and Wipro Consumer would be big gainers from the current round of promotions. Over the past two years, such large companies gained market share from regional firms like Venus Soaps that were unable to keep prices low given the rising palm oil costs. In the December quarter, HUL’s Lux and Lifebuoy were India’s leading soaps with a market share of 14.4% each, while Santoor had 8.8% and Dettol 7.8%, according to Nielsen data. Dettol is owned by Reckitt Benckiser India. ‘The promotions will safeguard the gap between the unorganized players and organized players. Usually, when oil prices drop, the unorganized players start mushrooming again. This time the organized players have been relatively quick in responding,’ Wipro’s Chugh said. Industry executives, including Chugh, forecast that palm oil prices will stay near current levels for the next two quarters, which may prompt companies to continue offering promotions. ‘I think the promotions will continue for a quarter, maybe two. After that, it depends on the palm oil prices,’ Edelweiss’s Roy said. He said that the promotions may boost demand for soaps by 2-3 percentage points from the current low single-digit growth.
This report provides an insight into the Opportunity in the Indian Soaps Industry current scenario, structure and practices.

In depth market scenario includes;
‘ Current market size estimates, including domestic market, imports and exports
‘ Market Penetration Level – Overall, Rural, Urban
‘ Market size by product categories – Premium, Popular, Economy
‘ Market size by regions ‘ North, South, East, West
‘ Channel Wise Market – Direct vs. Channel
‘ Market size by players ‘ Top Companies

‘ Key drivers at present market:

In India, there is a complete range of soap making includes regional
companies, national and MNCs. Hindustan Unilever leads the companies which is
followed by Godrej consumer care, Procter & Gamble, Emami, Dabur and Calvin Care.

A broad list of these companies has been given below:-

‘ ITC.

‘ Data analysis:

There is a number of data analysis has been done on the basis of questionnaireand different basis. Theses basis of questionnaire has been made on differentpreference and buying habit of consumers. The data analysis is given as follows:-

Table 1: Areas interest the consumer most

Factors No. of consumers
Discount 65
Latest product 30
Product reviews 10
Beauty 20

Interpretation: – The above data shows the customer interest.52% of customer lookfor discount and 24% of consumers take interest towards the availability of latestproduct in the market and 16% are beauty conscious.
Factors No. of consumers
Internet 20
Sample 20
Newspaper 50
Seminers 5
Words of mouth 15

The above table shows the different sources from where consumers are able toknow about cosmetic products. 50% of the consumers are getting aware with theproducts from advertising in T.V or some other medium. 28% of the consumers areget aware about the product by their friends.23% of consumers are able to knowabout the products through some other sources like free sampling, mass media,brand promotion etc.

Factors No. of consumers
Product origin 15
Awards received 50
Laboratory recommendation 40
Editorial recommendation

Interpretation: – The above data shows that the 35% and 30% of consumers trust on brands on the basis of awards received by the brands & laboratory reports. Only 20% of
consumers want to know product origin.


Response No of consumers
Yes 100
No 25

The above table shows the brand consciousness of the common consumers. On thebasis of above table, at the present time there are 80% people of India are brandconscious 20% consumers who belongs to backward areas are not brand conscious


Factors No. of consumers
Brand name 70
Spokes person 5
Functions 40
Leaflets 10

Interpretation :
The above table shows that majority people differentiate products by brand name and then functions of the products.


Shopping places No. of consumers
Super market 50
Malls 30
Traditional shop 30
e- shopping 15

Interpretation :
The above data shows the different habits of consumers during they are on away to purchase the products. There was a time when consumers gone to only one ortwo stores available in an area. They purchase only those things which the retailer givesthem. At the time, the consumers have very limited choice due to unavailability of moreretail stores in an area. But now a day there is a bunch of availability of super markets,malls, and different ways to shopping. At the present time, 40% of people goes to asuper market, 24% goes to same old traditional stores, these persons are eitherfrom backward area or some semi urban areas. 24% peoples goes to malls.
Remaining 12% people deals with e- shopping.


Expenditure range No of consumer
0-500 20
500-1000 50
1000-1500 40
1500-2500 10
Above 2500 5

Interpretation : 40% people prefer the range between 500-1000, 32% people prefer the range between 1000-1500 and 20% between 0-500 and 8% between 1500-2500 and 4% above 2500 who belongs to rich classes.

Category No of consumers
National 100
International 25
The above data table shows the preference of consumers towards differentbrands of cosmetic products on the basis of country. 80% of consumers prefer thebrands of different national companies. The main reason is less price and relativelygood quality. 20% consumers prefer the brands international companies or importedproducts.

Factors No. of consumers
Brand name 60
Company 5
Packaging 20
Price 40
Interpretation :
The above table shows the different factors which effects the buying decisionof the consumers. At the present time more than 48 of consumers prefers thebrand name before purchasing of a cosmetic product. 32% of consumers prefers priceas a important factor in the purchasing of a cosmetic product. 16% preference goes tothe packaging and remaining 4% preference goes to reputation of companies.
The importance of the following criteria in choosing yourpersonal care products
[1-most imp; 5-least important]

Criteria points
Price 1
Packaging 4
Ingredients 2
Location of retail store 5
Promoters’ service 3
Function 2
‘ Findings

The findings are as follows:

‘ 16% prefer medicated or herbal soap
‘ 28% prefer branded product
‘ Basically people use soap for cleaning purpose and germs protection purpose
‘ Dettol is highly use product by the customer for germs and cleaning purpose
‘ Usability of Dove is more compared to other products
‘ Even though luxand other products are more popular still people prefer Dettol
‘ Company should increase availability of the product
‘ Dettol is more preferred as compared to price and availability

Now we can discuss like that, basically people are using soap
primarily for cleaning purpose then for germ protection and beauty care. That is why; under
by the loyal consumers of antiseptic soaps. Also, under beauty care soap Lux soaps has
visible command in the market and it is widely consumed by the loyal consumers of beauty
care soaps. Moreover, at the time of purchasing new soap most of the people initially look for
brand then antiseptic quality, beauty care quality and so on. So, it can be recommended like
that, brand is the most influential factors when new soaps are usually purchased and the
marketers have to create a clear and strong brand image on the consumers mind before
launching or promoting any product. Furthermore, in the case of physical attributes most of
the people given first priority for ingredients while using any soap. Then, it has been
prioritized as foaming, fragrance etc. Again, in the case of functional attributes most of the
people given first priority on cleaning capability while using any soap. Then, it has been
prioritized as moisturizing capability, antibacterial capability; beauty care capability etc. In
short, now it is visible that, while choosing any physical attributes of soap people are concern
for ingredients which is also reflecting when they choose functional attributes i.e. whether
the soap has antibacterial capability, moisturizing and beauty care capability. After that, we
can synchronize like that, there is a huge prospect of such a new kind of soap which
containing both antiseptic quality and beauty care quality because it will deliver two benefit
at one time. Not only the people are willing to buy that product but also they are willing to
buy it at higher price i.e. within the range of 25tk ‘ 30tk for 100 gm pack size soap.
However, as we have mentioned earlier that brand is the most influential factor while
purchasing any new soap, so that brand should be highly focused at the initial stage.
‘ Suggestions
At the end, there is a requirement for further survey in all over Kolkata and immense quantitative analysis before launching this new kind of Dettol, Dove, Lux, Lifebuoy bath soap.

1. Customer like best quality product on any price, so company should add latest technology to their products.
2. After sales services is the area where Indian and International Company can highly satisfy the existing customer, because they can make more customer through their word of mouth. So Indian and International Company should provide latest and reliable service to their customers.

3. Customer’s behavior always looks for some extra benefit with purchasing. They demand for affordable price for product and gifts with purchasing.

4. International Company should make strategy to cater every income group customers in city. Upper income group are affordable to purchase but lower income group is not. So International Company should make policies to send their product and every home.

5. The Indian company should give more emphasis on advertising to create market awareness and to make a brand image in the minds of investors.

6. Companies should do more publicity through road shows, newspaper and advertisement. As this will create awareness about he fund and schemes that are at present managed by the International Company.

7. They should keep a close eye on competitor strategy.

From this exploratory study we can recommended like that, within the conscious or
unconscious mind consumers are basically need two kind of soaps which are antiseptic soap for
the protection from germs and beauty care soap for beautification. So, the upcoming new kind of
bar soap which contains both antiseptic and beauty care quality will achieve terrific success in
the Kolkata soap market. Moreover, the company HUL will get a successful vertical brand
extension for their parent brand Dettol, Dove, Lux, Lifebuoy with the positive reciprocal effect. As we have mentioned earlier, positive reciprocal effect will eventually build the non-user become user of the parent brand Dettol, Dove, Lux, Lifebuoy. Also, it will increase the market share for Dettol, Dove, Lux, Lifebuoy brand. As from the interview we found that, brand is the most influential factors in new soap purchase decision so this will be an excellent opportunity for the company. Because Dettol, Dove, Lux, Lifebuoy brand is already very popular in front of the consumers and the only things the company have to do they have to focus more on product differentiation or product uniqueness. At the end, one more thing should be mentioned that, this is an exploratory study and it has only revealed the consumer insights for the upcoming new kind of soap. Though, the outcomes are positive according to the anticipation but it has been done mostly on qualitative manner.
‘ Conclusion

Kolkata has already developed a very good bar soap market. Under bar soaps prior HUL
has launched soap both for the health soap segment and beauty soap segment but they were
unable to gain most of the market share than other companies. This study will help us to know
the consumer preference of bar soap which will ultimately find out the acceptance to make the
Monitoring the effectiveness of positive reciprocal effects on vertical brand extension of parent brand DETTOL, DOVE, LUX, LIFEBUOY. New kind of soap which will contain both antiseptic quality and beauty care quality for the Kolkata soap market. Moreover, it will also help the company to generate profit with the increase of market share.
Now from the above discussions, we can derive the answers for the research questions which are
given in the following:

1. Generally, at bathing time consumers use soap regularly for the three major purposes which are cleaning, germ protection and beauty care. That is why; most of the people usually purchase either antiseptic soap or beauty care soap. Moreover, at the time of purchase new soap first and foremost people look for brand. If the soap is from well known brand then it is more preferable to buy. So, brand is the most influential factor in new soap purchase decision. Furthermore, when people using any soap under physical attributes they look for ingredients, fragrance, color etc. and under functional attributes they look for antiseptic quality, beauty care quality, moisturizing quality etc.
2. Consumers have given perceptible positive response for the upcoming new kind of soap which contains both antiseptic quality and beauty care quality. People believe this soap will encounter two needs at the same time. So, this will be a positive vertical brand extension of the parent brand ‘DETTOL, DOVE, LUX, LIFEBUOY’ for the company HUL Ltd.

3. As this will be a positive vertical brand extension so that the reciprocal effect will also be positive towards the parent brand DETTOL, DOVE, LUX, LIFEBUOY. That means, this new kind of Dettol, Dove, Lux, Lifebuoy bath soap will make the non-user become user for the parent brand DETTOL, DOVE, LUX, LIFEBUOY under bar soap division. In that way, it will be a successful extension which will also increase the market share for the parent brand DETTOL, DOVE, LUX, LIFEBUOY.

As the research has shown the comparison between customer buying behaviorregarding Indian and International product in recent time. Since the consumer buyingbehavior is the important factor to forecast the sales of any product in a particulararea. So company should keep close eye on the market situation. yet, customerwere price sensitive, but the changing market trend and customer view andpreference shown that customer are now quality sensitive .They want quality
product, good services, easy availability of product and better performance by theproduct.
These days no of customer buying from malls has been increased. Also thefrequency to visit the malls has been increased substantially. People are morebrands conscious and they are satisfied with the range of products available there.We can conclude from our study that still more inclination is towards indigenousproduct the preference ratio of indigenous to imported products is 7: 3This isbecause of the relatively higher price of imported product
1> News paper: – The Economic Times, Business Standard.
2> Journals: – Business World, Business Today.
3> Websites:
4> Books:
‘ Principle of Management—Kotler Philip,
‘ Research Methodology——Kothari C R


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