Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Way Singaporeans Live!!

In 1959 Singapore attained its full government and election was won by People Action Party whose leader Lee Kuan Yew who became the first Prime Minister of Singapore. Lee Kuan Yew was the world’s first country Marketing Director who built the “Singapore” as a brand. According to United Nations Human Development Index (UNHD) 2014, ranks Singapore as 9 out of 187 countries with feeling of belonging, vibrant culture, racial harmony, strong ethic and ethnic tolerance. Throughout the world it is famous as holiday, shopping, business and living destination. Due to its cosmopolitan culture it has evolved and grown like no other nation in the world. The majority of the population is dominated by Chinese following by Malays and Indians.

Singapore has seen change in the trends of consumers in last few years, it can be  due to various reasons, few of them can be named as influx of expatriates which creates competition for Singaporeans, increasing spent on tuition fees of children, and increase in e-shoppers aged 25-34 (72%), 15-24 (51%) , 36-49 (50%) as well as 50-59 (34%) with aged 60 and above contributing 23% which include clothes, airline and cinema tickets, books and gadgets, online grocery shopping (Euromonitor, 2014). Also Singaporeans love to travel, dine out, and donate in charities while enjoying weekends luxuriously.
Profiling of Singaporeans:

Infants and Kids:
Parents of these infants and kids are sending their children to enrichment centers from the early age as they believe to develop them emotionally and culturally it is very essential for them where they learn both English and Mandarin as language and they themselves attend parental programs and visit parental websites. Also they have this perception that better the enrichment centers better will be the school in which their child will start his/her education. The uniqueness for this segment doesn’t stop here even baby spa, gym, swimming, yoga, brain training in form of “Shichida” classes is very popular in Singapore.
For kids in the age group of 3-8 years tuition classes are another business which has seen growth. Not only these toys, DVD’s and books are the most selling products for this segment and Singapore Mummy Facebook Page is creating a lot of buzz for such products in the market.

Generation Z (8-19)
This segment of consumers is exposed to mobile phones and they make most use or misuse of it depends upon the marketer who wants to use this information. These teenagers top interest’s lies in music, computers and movies. As Singapore has high household broadband penetration they remain involved in messaging, video games all time. Facebook is most popular social media for this segment of users followed by Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest. But it is interesting to know that aged 17-19 join Linked in account for professional purpose. They also suffer from blood pressure and sugar problems, due to inactive participation in sports where companies can surely target and leverage by promoting healthier lifestyle as it can turn out to be a big gap in economic progress.

Generation Y (20-30)
For this segment it is interesting to know that males have to serve compulsory 2 year military service where female enter higher education or work. Another interesting trend which can be seen is according to Kelly Global Workforce Index younger Singaporeans were switching jobs to find positions that could give them personal growth (41%) and personal fulfilment (29%).
They generally spent on fashion, food and cuisines, entertainment. They prefer foreign brands for all these and specifically for clothes they prefer going to brick mortar store, try the outfit and order online. Skin care is another segment where Generation Y is most loyal in Singapore. They prefer organic and herbal cosmetics along with mass and premium range of products in the market. Society, recommendations from friends and families influences their buying dimensions to greater extent.

Generation X (31-45)
This generation is kind of sandwich generation who are between their parents and children taking care of both segments simultaneously. Though their interest lies in luxurious items, entertainment and better dine out areas. For them their career is also important thus they focus on improving interpersonal skills, technical knowledge as well as use social media widely. Employees are willing to spend money on all these developments and searching for better options to upgrade themselves.

Baby Boomers (46-64)
This segment in Singapore is called the happiest segment as they are happy with whatever they have achieved; happy with the family and the kind of life they live. Before making any purchase their normal trend is to seek recommendation from family and friends. Activities in which they like to involve themselves vary from cooking to shopping. They love reading, cycling, surfing net and travelling to various destinations of the world. This segment of consumers has urge to learn IT and cooking skills for news, interesting places, activities, shopping etc.

Apart from this, the prestigious Hawkers centers are somewhere loosing charm in Singapore due to hygiene factors. Raw food is slowly taking place of other fast food options along with Chinese tea which is claimed as coffee of Singapore.

Now it’s time for companies to utilize this opportunity and expand their horizon to the untouched segments of Singapore - trend is changing you just need to get most out of it!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

How Brands Create Lovers and Haters

Haters of particular brands have less chance of liking a mysterious item presented by a particular brand. On the other hand, lovers of a brand tend to like anything that comes across them. Some companies with lovers and haters we identified are- Starbucks, Louis Vuitton, and Apple, Walmart etc.
Starbucks – Lovers of Starbucks had the view that they not only loved instant coffee, they also loved the coffee beans. People enjoy having coffee at Starbucks over brainstorming sessions. Lovers of Starbucks also like to have Starbucks coffee aroma at their homes. Haters of Starbucks think Starbucks is not bought for its taste, and even some people perceive it as an indicator that they are rich or they perceive it as giving them an image of hipster.
Others don`t like the ambiance and think of people sitting at Starbucks as complicated and snobby intellectuals. Louis Vuitton- Lovers say they find it gorgeous and love the colors of LV products. Others say it helps them enhance their status symbol. Haters of LV don`t like the monogram, some find it too expensive and others find the designs for old and matured people.
Value of such consumers!
  • Concerned about the environment: More people are worried about the companies which are depleting the natural resources, like BP and Union Carbide, the company that killed many lives due to toxic gas emissions and also polluted the environment to huge extent. Whereas many people like certain brands for its interest towards public and environment, for example IKEA has a good reputation among the public for its CSR activities.
  • Innovation: Most competitive and innovative field is electronics industry. Many hate certain brands due to lack of innovation and poor features. Premium brands like apple and Samsung too have haters as apple haters believe that there is no innovation in apple mobiles after Steve’s exit and conversely people love Samsung and Sony for its cheap priced mobiles with greater features.
  • Individual’s Interest: Every individual is different from one another. As one person might like natural organic food other might tend to like fast foods or any flavored food. Due to these variations in every individual’s interest, there are a group of haters and lovers for a brand.
  • Relation with Employees:  People hate Walmart because it wasn’t paying enough to its employees and a lot of news was spread that Walmart was making its employees to work for longer time. People love companies like Verizon and Google since they treats their employees with all benefits and provide them proper work life balance.
  • Health Conscious:  People hate certain fast food chains for poor packaging and low quality foods.
  • Unethical practices: When KFC sold chickens affected by flu, this created a huge controversy in China and people started to pelt stones over KFC outlets. On the other
    side, people love KFC for its variety of chicken items.
Factors that makes one a hater
  • The most common reason for turning one into a hater is because bad customer experience in terms of product quality, service provided, product durability, post buying maintenance services etc.
  • Sometimes brand’s unethical practices, illegal ways in achieving targets, does not go down well with the end customer, and  they take it as their social responsibility to initiate a movement against the organizations/services by being a hater for that particular brand. For e.g.- PETA on KFC cruelty to chickens.
  • Advertisement – If the advertisement of a particular brand projects/or depicts something that becomes offensive to a group of people/religion or a country, that spreads negative sentiments among people, which drives them to become hater.
  • Greater expectation- customers over a period of time after using the brand, set high expectations and if a brand does not come up with new innovations, ideas or features, then the some customers shift away from brand and that eventually may turn them into haters.
Factors that brings lovers together
  • Brand image plays an important role in creating lovers for the brand, and is one of the primary drivers for lovers.
  • Lovers are created for a brand on the basis of consistent performance of that particular brand over the course of time that can be in terms of its customer satisfaction optimization, innovative features, quality, and value added in life through using it.
  • Trust, price, style, flexibility, safety, convenience, comfort, etc. are some of the drivers that distinguish between the customer and the lovers.
  • Relationship building is a parameter which organizations target to construct to increase their pool of brand lovers.
  • Striking the emotional chord among the customers through marketing and advertisement of a brand allows organizations to generate new brand lovers and convert the existing customers into loyal customers.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Product or Service?

Source: Spiresearch

Brand can command a higher price premium when it is sold as a service rather than merely as a Product.A service helps you to connect emotionally as you can see the reaction of your customers instantly rather then waiting for the product to reach them and then they provide feedback to you which in any case if bad then your long term relationship with customer gets affected.

In this case you think Brand should be sold as a service or a product. There are many industries which have set an example in front of us that how can you change the rules of game of service industry and rule the business. If you take an example of airline industry in that Virgin Airlines is the perfect example we can take. They have commanded price premium for their services offered like first music and video systems in the airline industry as compared to other airline services to make flying worth an experience as a stage where they have created an emotional connect in mind of consumers whereas other things which they used are basic products like aircraft engines and many others. Though this formula of them is copied now.

Even if you take an example of hotel industry hotels like Armani, Taj specially luxury hotels charge for the service they are providing rather than selling it as a product. Thus various brands want to get associated with them to promote themselves like daily use products and others, their own car services, and food etc.

Service adds value to their offerings to attain this position so that it creates perception in the mind of consumers or investors that your service offerings are more valuable than any other service in the market and thus giving you the way to command price premium in the market. For doing this brands needs to focus on wants of customers and make everything possible as an experience to live or feel or enjoy etc. in which customer feels delighted, connected or related and if they even try to move to some other service provider they don’t feel like switching and land back to your service only.

"I don't know what to Buy, where to buy, which to buy"

This analysis goes about that what all problems goes around in customer mind while making a purchase of a product which he/she had never done before and what all steps consumer takes to finally buy. I looked at the sports Skydiving and to go about which skydiving equipment gear to buy I had really no idea what to do. The first step was to start with the search for the range of equipment then narrowing down to various levels on the basis of below pyramid.

Moving from sites to sites and reading reviews to reviews it seems like everything was equally safe, some prices higher some lower, some providing Do’s and Don’ts for your first jump, size of canopies , good used gears. Also these sites talked about Mirages, Javelins and Vectors which are used in skydiving. The various sites which I reviewed were Parachute Shop, Para Gear, Extreme Sports, Jump Shop, Sky dive sf etc.

After knowing the list of equipment I would want to know that my list of equipment is comprehensive and exhaustive or not. For this I would contact with other flying schools or clubs and cross check my list. If any equipment is missing I would add it to my list and do some background research on utility of those.

After researching my confusion was that when you buy first skydiving gear it should be used or new. If it will be used equipment I will take more precautions in terms of checking its wear and tear but in case of brand new equipment I can be assured that there would be no wear and tear. Keeping in mind price and safety involved I would be inclined to buy second hand equipment which are not critical to my safety such as rescue parachute while on the other hand I will buy brand new equipment which are critical to my safety such as primary parachute. That’s where the search started that which companies sell the best used skydiving gears and I landed up a forum which displays sell of used gears called buy/sell skydiving gear.

In a typical skydiving gear you get a harness or container, reserve parachute, Automation Active Device and main parachute are there. On my research I found that Automation Active Device expires early so I made a decision to go about buying a new one. The reserve parachutes if old can be used just you have to make sure they are not torn or have holes but for main parachute try to buy a new one as this one will be your life savior and you cannot afford to buy this one with holes so better put your money into this. The harness should be the used one as I was new into this I have to make sure that there is a correct size for both canopies and for my body size as well.

The order in which a one should go for selection is selecting a reserved canopy first with correct size. After this I searched about the brands which sell harness based on the features like Para Gear, Sky dive wings etc. I used published volume carts to analyze and looked for soft or normal fit. But companies also offer tight fit which was confusing and created more problems for me. You can certainly know before buying that harness will fit you or not, for that I have to talk to the seller of rig and tell them the serial number of harness but problem was how to contact them. The options with main parachute are unlimited 7- cell, 9-cell, F111 etc. Companies like Sky lark, sky dive store so sell these. But the main problem with these again was which will be correct or fit.

Once I know which equipment’s fits my body I would be looking at brands with highest safety ratings which are approve by government and law which guides skydiving equipment gear. I will be inclined to buy those brands which provide me free trial so that I can have the touch and feel of equipment on my body and evaluate if I am comfortable wearing those or not.
The final step will be to look at the level of after sales service for my equipment’s. Safety being the first criteria for selection, price also plays a very important role. Since these equipment’s are costly hence I would like to be sure that I receive good after sales service.

Thus the difficulties that an average customer faces are listed below which a seller can pay attention to and create market for themselves
·         Knowing the comprehensive range of equipment
·         Selecting amongst range and variety of equipment
·         Getting feedback from current users
·         Knowing the range of safety parameters that an equipment needs to comply with
·         Finding stores to get the first-hand experience

Originally this article is published on