Lowe has begun its regional initiative 'Lowe FACES' by exploring the changing mind of the married, urban woman. The study 'Mrs Urban India' from Faces of Asia gives an insight into this segment. Lowe India's COO Pranesh Misra explains that the objective of this initiative is to better understand consumers across Asia.
Misra said, "The ultimate objective is to assist our clients develop fine-tuned strategies for their brands and the lifestyle segmentation and psychographics that help build a flesh and blood picture of the consumer."
Citing an example for the need of such a study, he says in SEC A itself, while one housewife buys Nirma, another buys Surf Excel as primary laundry product. This is a clear indication that economic strata would be inadequate to understand consumer behaviour. It would be easier to explain if agencies were able to measure psychographics of Surf Excel users and compare it with that of Nirma users. "This is where Lowe FACES can help," said Misra.
Sharing more on why the urban Indian housewife is the first segment undertaken, he observed, "The Urban Indian Housewife is a key decision maker for most FMCG brands and many consumer durables as well. The information would be of use to a vast majority of Lowe clients."
Going forward, the initiative will cover other segments like youth and men in urban India. He explained that, as it is difficult to apply the psychographics-profiling questionnaire on rural folk, the focus would be on urban consumer until Lowe finds a solution to this.
Lowe FACES is a coordinated effort between Lowe units in Asia Pacific covering key countries like China, Hong Kong, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam and India. In India, all Lintas India group companies like Lintas Media, IMAG have partnered in this venture. "In future, however, we are open to taking on Institutes of Management or Media Owners as partners to help replicate this study more frequently. I would love to hear from interested parties in this regard," expressed Misra.
Explaining more about the benefits that the study offers to advertiser, he said, "Advertisers would get the best out of this study when they interrogate the database in relation to their category, brand and competition. They can also use the database to identify target customers, to understand strengths and weaknesses of key competitors, to evolve brand positioning strategy and brand communication strategy. The best way they can benefit would be to appoint Lowe as its agency!"
The findings of 'Mrs Urban India' give five distinct segments of women -, 'Meri Awaaz Suno' Attention Seeker (31 per cent), 'Gharelu' Home Pride (18 per cent), 'Hasmukh' Popular (27 per cent), 'Hey Bhagwan' (12 per cent) Moaner and 'Pataka' Cool (12 per cent). The study explains more about the kinds of markets they come from, their lifestyles, preferences and the kinds of roles they play in the families and the kinds of brands they have a skew towards.
The study covers 36 towns and cities in the country, including Class I towns with population of 1 to 10 lakh, in addition to metros and mini metros. The methodology entailed quantitative questionnaires put to 10,300 housewives in these towns. Misra informed that each interview lasted 45 minutes to 75 minutes and the data collected covered demographics, psychographics, media consumption, category consumption and lifestyle behaviour variables. The study is based on P:SNAPs database built by Lowe's research agency, Pathfinders.
Lowe recently launched the Strategy Division consisting of eight senior strategists and 20 associates. One of these senior strategists (T. Krishna, Sr. VP-Strategy Planning) spearheaded Lowe FACES for India. Lowe FACES is in a book format and carries the highlights of a vast database. Lowe's regional website www.facesofasia.com gives topline findings of not only the Indian study but also that of other countries.