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A STUDY ON BRAND PREFERNCES & BUYING BEHAVIOR OF GEN X

Under Esteem Guidance


Asst. Prof. T.Suchitra Rani,
Siva Sivani Institute of Management

SUBMITTED BY:

M2 – 04, Ahmad Shakeeb


M2 - 14, G.S.Vijay Babu
M2 – 24, Manmath Sahu
M2 – 34, Nitesh Rao
M2 – 44. S. Fayeza
M2 – 54, Sidddhartha Roy Chaudhary

Siva Sivani Institute of Management,


Kompally, Secunderabad

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CONTENTS

Introduction 3

Objective of Study 3

Literature Review 4

Definition Of Gen X 6

Characteristics of GEN X 7

Research Methodology 11

Data Analysis 12

Findings 24

Marketing Implication Of Study 25

Limitations of Study 25

Reference 25

Questionnaire 26 - 27

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INTRODUCTION

Buying Behavior is the decision processes and acts of people involved in buying and
using products. This behavior is not same for all people. It differs according to different
attributes of people. If we see behavior of specially generations, according to their age,
we find a lot of difference between them because of the difference in the era, they had
different environment which changed their buying behavior.
GEN X consists of people who were born from 1965 to 1980. They were born in just
post- independence age, which made different attitude among themselves. So, as a
marketer there is a need to study is their any variations between buying behavior of Gen
X and the current generations. And what are the factors they prefer while making a
buying decision.
In this study an effort has been made to know the brand preferences and buying behavior
by taking two products, toothpaste and two – wheeler. Based on the findings, marketing
implications have been suggested.

Objective of Study

The objective of study conducted was as follows-


• To know the buying behavior of Gen X
• To know the brand preference of Gen X
• To know the involvement level of Gen X

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LITERATURE REVIEW

The term "Generation X" worked its way into popular vernacular after the release of
Douglas Coupland's 1991 novel, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, about
three twenty somethings who are underemployed, overeducated, and unpredictable. Other
nicknames have emerged, such as the more neutral "13ers" (which indicates the 13th
generation since the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock). However, most of the other
markers have negative overtones, such as "slackers," "latch-key generation," "MTV
generation," and "baby busters." Many members of this generation reject these labels for
they not only stigmatize and stereotype, but also reinforce the negative behavior they
describe.
In his research over brands over Gen X, ‘Has Gen X fallen through the cracks’ Vivian
Manning Schaffel mentions that, Generation X has always been problematic. Skeptical
and saddled with recessions, the members of this age group never really had a chance to
embrace shameless consumerism like Gen Y. The recession of the early 90s produced a
job market so dismal that college grads were forced to take menial jobs to support
themselves and pay back heavy student loan debt. Five years ago, it seemed that
Generation X (which we will define as born between 1965 and 1980) had finally caught a
break. The dot-com boon and thriving economy of the late 90s created a prosperous
climate, finally giving Gen X'ers a reason to feel that they might be able to achieve or
surpass the financial status of their parents.

Social ills like the rise in teen suicide, widespread homelessness, proliferating toxic
waste, violent crime, the AIDS epidemic, and a "down-sizing" workforce, coupled with
fundamental changes in social structures like the family, caused by rising divorce rates
and working parents, have been the realities of the world as Generation X has come of
age. Like younger generations, many Xers resent their parental generation—the baby
boomers—for leaving them to repair or endure a society on the brink of collapse.

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Considering the problems Xers face, it is perhaps no wonder that one of their favorite T-
shirt slogans is "NO FEAR," and it is also representative of the contradictions of their
culture that NO FEAR is the corporate brand name of a line of sports clothes.

Lack of fear, however, is not enough to manage America's social problems, and many
baby boomers voice concern that most members of Generation X evince distaste for
politics and public affairs. The trust of all Americans in their government has reached
increasingly low levels in the 1990s, as members of Generation X have come of age
politically.

Because they view politics as a hostile and corrupt environment, Xers have tended to be
disgusted by political machinations, and thus often disengaged. Political apathy among
young people is not a new phenomenon; personal challenges such as education, careers,
and relationships often consume their time and energy, leaving little left over for political
affairs. Furthermore, political scientists report that, historically, levels of public
participation increase with age. However, Xers have never experienced political
innocence and have lived within a negative climate of politics their entire lives. This
climate has caused many to turn their backs on political involvement, in turn causing a
potentially devastating problem in terms of Xers' future civic and political responsibility.

Branding and the Gen X Factor

Dr. Laura Portolese Dias has done a project over "Generational Buying Behaviors"
and she has tried to explore and justify the buying behavior of same generation people.
She has clearly stated that, ‘Why are people from the same generation so similar in their
shopping motivations and habits? Gen X'ers gifts will be more likely to come from a
discount store than an upscale retailer. On the other hand, the best age group to get a
present from this year is the Baby Boomer generation since, as Portolese Dias, a
Researcher says, "They have never been through hard times really and have always spent
their money freely."

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"Individuals don't always buy because something is a great product. When
purchasing clothes, for example, there was a huge difference between generations.
Generations X and Y were similar in their motivations for buying clothing --
entertainment value, excitement and because they could while Matures and Baby
Boomers found shopping for clothing tedious and boring. The latter two groups find that
clothing was not designed to fit their changing bodies, the styles were not conducive to
their lifestyles and a myriad of other issues that they believed that retailers today have
been overlooking."

There is a fine line separating too many brands from too few. If companies are lazy with
the brand shears they end up with the marketing confusion and poor economies of brand
exemplified by General Motors and its overgrown brand architecture. In contrast, if firms
are too conservative with brand creation and acquisition, they end up with the risk-averse
culture and limited market penetration illustrated by Kodak.

The secret is to be somewhere in the middle. The fewer the brands, the better, but you
have to make sure there are enough to target all the valuable segments in the market. So it
is always interesting when a savvy company such as Hyatt decides to create a new brand.
The hotel operator recently launched a hotel chain named Andaz. Personally, I would
have followed in GE Life's footsteps and named the brand 'Tonight'. Alas, this time the
Indians have triumphed: the name means 'personal style' in Hindustani.
As part of her research, Dr. Portolese Dias compared Matures ('50s Rock & Roll,
September 11th); Older Baby Boomers (hippie movement, '50s Rock & Roll); Younger
Baby Boomers (increase in divorce rates, both parents working); Generation X (Dot Com
Boom and Bust, parents, divorce); and, Generation Y (Dot Com Boom and Bust, parents,
divorce).

Smitha Sambrani in her article, “Cross Cultural Marketing Challenge”, published in


Indian Journal of Marketing, May, 2006, collected information how marketers are
influenced by cross cultures while making strategy for a particular product. She has taken

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some MNC’s operating in India and how they are positioning their brands in Indian
Market. Why some of them failed to perform?

GENERATION X DEFINITION:

Generation X can technically be defined as the generation followed by the Baby


Boomers. They are also called Baby Busters. Xers were born between 1965 and 1980,
1961 and 1981, 1964 and 1979, 1963 and 1979, 1965 and 1975 or since the mid-1960s,
depending on which source you use. For practical purposes we will say that Generation X
was born between 1965 and 1980, now ranging in age from 17-32 and usually judged by
characteristics assigned to them by the media.

Throughout the twentieth century, American historians and social commentators have
placed labels on various generations in an effort to capture their characteristic spirit.
Generation X—roughly defined as the more than 79 million people born between 1961
and 1981—has been characterized by the media as lazy, laconic, and unfocused, but in
the eyes of many, the pejorative label represents propaganda rather than reality. For those
outside this generation, the X stands for some unknown variable, implying young adults
searching aimlessly for an identity. Many members of Generation X think otherwise,

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however, and they fill in the blank with such descriptors as diverse, individualistic,
determined, independent, and ambitious.

CHARACTERISTICS OF GENERATION X

1. Importance of relationships
Perhaps it is due to their lives which are highly structured by technology
and the hectic lifestyle of their parents which reduce quality time with the
family. Thus they have to look elsewhere for meaningful, fulfilling
relationships.
2. Starved for love
Since they are constantly in contact with technological devices such as
computers and TV, they crave for human affection . The desire to be loved
adds to their longing to have a certain sense of identity amidst a radically
changing society.
3. Individualism
Even as early as the 1930s, "individualism" had become a popular phrase. A
sense of unique identity is extremely important to them and they strive to
be different in as many ways as possible.
4. Diverse
With their liberal attitudes and eagerness to be loved, racial differences
are of little importance to them. They are united despite coming from
backgrounds, by a common outlook towards life.
5. Self-sufficient
Due to competitiveness of this era, the youths ultimately realize the
significance of independence and rely less on others to survive. Lack of
trust could also be a factor here. After the entire working world is called a
'rat-race' today implying a selfish pursuit of material gains.

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6. Down with institutions
Since belonging to an institution means commitment to the institutions'
rules and regulations and thus serve as a threat to individualism which they
uphold. Weariness of institutions comes from belonging to too many
throughout their lives such as schools and the government.
7. Commitment-wary
In line with their skepticism of institutions, they are repelled by
commitments. Individualism and a fast-paced life hinders any form of
commitment as it would only mean an extension of their working/school life.
8. Work and social life
Their working life are their grounds for interaction and socializing. When
they return home therefore, human interaction is not necessary.
9. Angst
Society often views Gen Xers rather disapprovingly. They are often labeled
slackers and thus lead to the accumulation of pain inside.
10. Change is welcome
The rapidly changing technology has forced the Gen Xers to be more adaptive
to the many simultaneous changes around them.
11. Risk-takers
Since they view themselves as unique vibrant modern youths and take pride in
it, they are not afraid to embrace a challenge. Risks are also taken in
order to gain excitement to escape from the monotony of their busy lives.
12. Truth and reason-pragmatism rules?
The Gen X often rejects or resists traditional or conventional ideals of truth
and racism. Since they are in a financial-based society, they often rely on
pragmatism in order to overcome the risks.
13. Spiritual seekers
Ironically, even as they give little importance to truth and reason, they
are looking for a form of intern fulfillment! They do explore their inner
side where love is concerned.

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14. No boundaries
Their sense of liberalism together with their own brand of individualism
invoke in Gen X a form of iron determination. Their eagerness to take a
chance explains why they perceive the world as without boundaries,
preferring instead to have no limits as to what they can achieve.
15. Rules from the right authority
Living in a fast-paced society could easily result in a chaotic mindset.
Thus a certain form of order is needed. A suitable authority might be able
to guide their society.
16. They are stressed out and organized to death
They are often the victims of their own modern lifestyles. Competition
inevitably leads to stress.
17. Embrace technology
Technology is the window to the outside world, the borderless, racially
mixed world. Computers, television and hand phones are such technological
devices which have become part of the Gen X's lives.
18. Unique style of communicating and learning
Especially after the advent of the internet, high-tech communication seems
to be very much preferred. This is essential with the deluge of information
that is available to them.
19. Media savvy
The vast amount of informative literature that is available in this
borderless world automatically makes the Gen-Xers even wiser in assessing
information, not taking most things at face value.
20. The love stories
Indeed stories serve as a good form of escapism from their hectic lives. Not
interested in 'weighty' topics, the descriptive would naturally appeal to them.
21. Incredibly ambitious
They are rather idealized in thinking and since there are no boundaries
which can hinder their perspectives, they are ultimately ambitious.

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22. Part of a Global Youth Culture
This is in line with their liberal attitudes and racial diversity which
leads to the establishment of a Global Youth Culture that is very widespread
as trends travel from nation to nation in a borderless world.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

To study the buying behavior and brand preference of Gen X, two products have been
taken, one is toothpaste and another one is two – wheeler bike.
Sample – Sample Size have been taken 50. It was a Convenience Sampling. Sample has
been taken from Siva Siva Sivani Institute of Management, and the local market, Prajay
Apartments.
Method of Data Collection - Data was collected by primary method. Two different
Close Ended Questionnaire which consist of 8 questions each. After filling the
questionnaire response have been analyzed and interpreted on graphical representations.

Statistical Tools Used- To interpret the finings, Bar Graph, Pie- Chart have been used.

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DATA ANALYSIS

BUYING BEHAVIOR AND BRAND PREFERENCE

To study the buying behavior and brand preference of Gen X, we have taken two
products, one is Toothpaste and another one is Two- Wheeler.
So, Lets see first buying behavior while making a purchase decision making over
toothpaste.

Q.1 Which Brand you use personally at home?

Percentage of
Response No Of Respondents Respondents

Close - Up 15 30

Pepsodent 9 18

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Colgate 24 48

Any Other 2 4

class size

4%
30% Close - Up
Pepsodent
48% Colgate
18% Any Other

By this analysis we can see that the most preferred brand is Colgate, as 48% of people
use it personally and after it Close- up has highest share as 30%

Q.2 Which factor affects you for buying particular toothpaste?

22
Brand Loyalty 11
14
Advertisement 7
44
Quality 22
8
Price 4
12
Availability 6

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class size

12% Brand Loyalty


22%
8% Advertisement
Quality
14% Price
44% Availability

By analysis of this data we can see most of people (44%) are affected by Quality fact of
the toothpaste, and after it they consider loyalty as it is also a result of the quality and
price has very low percentage (8%), which shows that people don’t think much about
price while buying toothpaste.

Q.3 Can you switch to other brands if same quality and quantity available in low
price?

Percentage of
Response No Of Respondents Respondents

Yes 15 30

No 35 70

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class size

15, 30%
Yes
No
35, 70%

By interpretation of this data we can come to this conclusion, that people are not willing
to switch over other brands also (70%), as we have already seen the brand loyalty fact of
the generation, and very few people, 30% can consider for switching the brand if same is
available for low price.

Q.4. While buying a toothpaste, do you prefer particular brand of a company name
also or only by company name?

(a) I buy a particular brand name of a company, as Close- Up Calcium, Colgate salt.
(b) I just see the name of company as, Close- Up, Pepsodent.

Percentage of
Response No of Respondents Respondents

Brand Name 12 24

Company Name 38 76

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class size

24%
Brand Name
Company Name
76%

By interpreting the above data, we can see that 76% of people don’t see any particular
brand of a company, as just see the company name, as Close Up, Colgate, very few go on
variety, as Colgate Salt, or Close up Calcium.

Q.5 ‘Price is an important factor while buying toothpaste’.


(a) Strongly Agree
(b) Agree
(c) Moderate
(d) Disagree
(e) Strongly Disagree

Percentage of
Response No Of Respondent Respondents
0
Strongly Agree 0
22
Agree 11
24
Moderate 12
54
Disagree 27
0
Strongly Disagree 0

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class size

Strongly Agree
0% 22%
Agree
Moderate
54%
24% Disagree
Strongly Disagree

In this chart it is clearly depicted that a majority (54%) strongly disagree the price factor
while buying the toothpaste. A few (22%) only consider the price factor while buying.

Q.6. ‘I use particular toothpaste, because my family member use it’.


(a) Strongly Agree
(b) Agree
(c) Moderate
(d) Disagree
(e) Strongly Disagree

No Of Percentage of
Response Respondents Respondents

Strongly Agree 0 0

Agree 23 46

Moderate 7 14

Disagree 18 36

Strongly Disagree 2 4

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class size

4%0%
Strongly Agree
36% 46% Agree
Moderate
Disagree
Strongly Disagree
14%

By interpretation of this data, we can see that a majority (46%) is agreeing that they use
particular toothpaste because other family member uses it. Again (36%) disagree with the
statement that they use it because of other family member use it. So here we see mix
response over here. It can be concluded that in case of buying toothpaste, Gen X people
have their own choices.

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After toothpaste, let us see the buying behavior while purchasing a two- wheeler.

Q.1. Which brand you prefer while buying?


(a) Hero Honda
(b) Bajaj
(c) TVS
(d) Yamaha
(e) Any Other

Response
Percentage of Respondents
Brand No. of respondents
52%
Hero Honda 26
38%
Bajaj 19
4%
TVS 2
6%
Yamaha 3

%age.of respondents

4% 6%
hero honda 26
bajaj
52% tvs
38%
yamaha

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In this chart it is clearly shown that a majority 52% have interest in Hero Honda Bike, as
the second preferred choice is Bajaj. This two are most liked brands by the customers.

Q. 2. While purchasing a bike, do you see company name only, or you see the model
name also?
(a) I see only the Company name, as Hero Honda, Bajaj
(b) I see the model also, as Splendor, Discover.

Response No Of Respondents Percentage of Respondents

company name 31 62

model 19 38

38%
company name
model
62%

By this chart we can interpret that a majority (62%) of people don’t consider much on
model name they just believe in brand name while buying a bike.

Q. 3.Which factor you consider most while buying a bike?

1. Price
2. Brand name
3. Durability
4. Speed
5. Comfort

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Factors No. of respondents Percentage of Respondents
price 20 40
brand name 11 22
durability 7 14
mileage 5 10
speed 4 8
comfort 2 4
look 1 2

no. of respondents

price
8% 4% 2% brand name
10% 40% durability
mileage
14% speed
22% comfort
look

In this chart we can see that there is a mix up of response, as 40% people prefer price
factor, first then they look for brand name, (22%) and we can see that very les (2%) go
for look and speed (4%). And durability is also an important factor while making a
purchase decision.

Q.4. While making a purchase decision that does you refers while buying a bike?
(a) Friends
(b) Mechanic
(c) Family
(d) Sales person

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Percentage of Respondents
Response No of Respondents
44
Friends 22
34
Mechanic 17
14
Family 7
8
Sales person 4

8%
14% friends
44% mechanic
family

34% sales person

By analyzing this chart we can see that most of people (44%) refer friends while looking
for information and making a purchase decision and also some people (34%) refer
mechanic for making a purchase decision, and all others prefer family & sales person.

Q.5. While buying a bike, which source you look for information?
(a) Newspapers
(b) TV Ads.
(c) Auto Magazines
(d) Internet

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Percentage of Response
Response No of Response
42
Newspapers 21
38
TV Ads. 19
12
Auto Magazines 6
8
Internet 4

8% newspapers
12%
42%
tv ads.
auto magazines
38% internet

In this chart we see a majority of people (42%) look for newspapers for information over
a bike, as another (38%) consider TV Ads for information over bikes. If we look at the
Auto Magazines, we see a low response (12%). So, it can be interpreted that this X
Generation, don’t have much interest in bikes and all, therefore they don’t go for very
deep information, while buying.

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FINDINGS

• By analysis of this all data, we can see that Toothpaste is a low- involvement
brand for the generation X.
• A majority of people (44%) see quality aspect of toothpaste and 22% are brand
loyal which is also result of quality factor of toothpaste.
• Gen X is brand loyal for toothpaste, as 70% people are not ready to change the
brand if same quality and quantity is available in competitive price.
• People don’t see much the special brand name of toothpaste, only 24% people see
the brand name (Colgate Salt, Close Up Calcium) of any toothpaste, they just see
the name, as Close Up, Colgate and buy it.
• When asked about decision making, as do you use particular toothpaste, because
other family members use it, we get a mix answer. As 46% agree that yes they use
it because other family member use it and 36% say that no, they have own choice,
so we get a mix response, in conclusion we can say that they have freedom to
make their own choices.
• In Bike Section we can see that price (40%) a factor while buying a bike,
followed by Brand name (22%) and durability (14%) for buying a bike.
• While looking for the information, we can see that they newspaper then followed
by TV Ads
• Friends (44%) are good source for them to influence their buying decisions as
followed by Mechanic (34%).
• A majority (62%) don’t consider much on the model name (Splendor, Discover)
of bike, as only (38%) consider for model name. so we can depict that Gen X
believe in the name of Company name and they are loyal to the company.

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MARKETING IMPLICATION OF STUDY

By this study we can implicate the findings in following stages. As we saw that
toothpaste is a low- involvement product for Gen X, so to increase the sales,
companies should use these tools.
• Repeated Advertising
• Memorable brand name
• Point-of-purchase (POP) display in store
• Putting brand at end of shelf position in store

LIMITATIONS

Although all measures have been taken to keep the results authentic, but it has certain
limitations.
• This study is done on the basis of convenience sampling.
• This study is limited to quantitative data, as it close ended questions were only
asked, so much more factors could have influence on buying behavior

REFERENCES

• Generation buying behaviors, Dr. Laura Portolese Dias, Argosy University,


Seattle.
• Cross Cultural Marketing Challenge, Smitha Sambrani
• Has Gen X fallen through the cracks, Vivian Manning Schaffel

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Questionnaire on Brand Preference &buying behavior of Gen X toothpaste
Name –
Gender – Male / Female Occupation -

1. Which brand of tooth paste you use personally at home?


(a) Close – up (b) Pepsodent
(c)Colgate (d ) Any Other

2. Why do you buy particular toothpaste?


(a) Brand Loyalty (b) Advertisement
(c) Quality (d) Price
(e) Availability

3. Can you switch to other brands if same quality and quantity available in low price?
(a) Yes
(b) No

4. What do you prefer?


(a) Ordinary Paste (b) Gel
(c) Powder (d) Stripe

5. While buying toothpaste, do you prefer brand of a company name?


(a) I buy a particular brand of company, as Close up Calcium, Colgate Salt.
(b) I just see the name of company as, Close up, Pepsodent, etc

6. ‘Price is an important factor while purchasing toothpaste’.


(a) Strongly Agree (b) Agree
(c) Moderate (d) Disagree
(e) Strongly Disagree

7. Who purchases toothpaste at your home?


(a) Myself
(b) Wife
(c) Other family members
(d) Children

8. ‘I use particular toothpaste because other family members use it’.


(a) Strongly Agree (b) Agree
(c) Moderate (d) Disagree
(e) Strongly Disagree

‘Thank you very much for your valuable time’.

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Questionnaire on Brand Preference &buying behavior of Gen X on Two- Wheeler
Name Age

1. Which company bike you like most?


(a) Yamaha
(b) Hero Honda
(c) Bajaj
(d) TVS
(e) Others

2. While buying a bike do you prefer only company name or special model also?
(a) I buy a particular model, Splendor, Pulsar.
(b) I just see the company name, as Hero Honda, Bajaj

3. Rate the below factors (1 to 7) you consider while buying a bike.


(a) Price []
(b) Speed []
(c) Mileage []
(d) Durability []
(e) Look []
(f) Brand Name []
(g) Comfort []

4. While buying a bike whom to do you take advice (rate from 1 to 4)


(a) Friends []
(b) Family []
(c) Mechanic []
(d) Sales Person []

5. For getting information that do you prefer, (rate from 1 to 4)


(a) Auto Magazines []
(b) Newspaper []
(c) Internet []
(d) TV AD []

6. Are you fascinated by the celebrities coming in the bike ads?


(a) Yes
(b) No

7. How do you state a bike for you?


(a) Ease and comfort
(b) Necessity Product
(c) Status Symbol

8. ‘Planning in advance necessary for buying a bike’.


(a) Strongly Agree
(b) Agree
(c) Moderate
(d) Disagree

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(e) Strongly Disagree
Thank you very much for your valuable time.

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