Individual AssignmentIndividual Assignment

DECEMBER 10, 2013

Article Summary:The Article discusses about the greater role of children in the product buying decisions. It recognizes how in the urban India, new age parenting arising out of dual income families expect their children to manage parts of their day, which leads to an increased role of children in product buying decisions, especially in non-traditional product segment. To use this phenomenon to its advantage many companies in consumer space are eyeing to establish meaningful conversations with children, and establish an emotional connect with them. The companies do not only lie in traditionally children dominated segments, but also in newer areas like cars, financial products, home paints etc. Brands want to involve and engage the parent through the child in the hope that the messaging will strike a chord, and they expect to establish a longer relations through it. Edutainment is slowly becoming a primary method through which brands are eyeing to engage children and thereby parents.

Research Questions:The article already establishes that children are playing increased role in family purchase decisions. But based on the review of literature, it was found that the children's influence in family purchase decisions was found to be varying based on product- and other decision-related factors, as well as by parental, child and family characteristics (Review/summary of such research are attached in the appendix). Based on the above review, following factors were identified to be of utmost importance:1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Product Type Decision Stage:- Problem recognition, information search and final decision Sub decisions Parental Characteristics: - Including parental attitude, their work, societal influence etc. Child’s Age Family Characteristics: - Family Income, socio-economic status etc. Family Size

Some limitations of the research were also found:1. Most of the researches were done in late eighties and early nineties. 2. Recent researches have mostly been quantitative and focusing on a particular socioeconomic segment, even though previous research has identified that socio-economic segments have lesser impact on decision making. 3. None of the researches look at active engagement strategies employed by brands and its influence on child’s psychology and thereby on family purchase decision making. 4. Range of products over which influence were examined were limited.

5. Constructs used were poor, and construct validity was low. You cannot make such broad statements with substantial evidence. Children’s based studies in marketing are well advanced. You may make the statement with enough literature back-up. 6. Many observations did not have any theoretical explanations 7. “Influence” was poorly defined- Influence can be active or passive both, but no difference was made.

Keeping in view the limitations of the researches done earlier, there is a need of research that focuses on role of children in family decision making under the light of active engagement strategies and newer product ranges.

Research Questions:1. How active engagement strategies employed by brands, especially edutainment, are shifting/elevating role of children in the family purchase decisions? 2. What are the range of products which are influenced by these engagement strategies?

Hypothesis:1. Children have a say in various family purchase decision making. This you already know. 2. Changing demographic variable and lifestyle are leading to change in role of children in purchase decision making. How are you going to prove this? 3. Brand engagement activities have a positive impact on role of children in purchase decision making. 4. Influence of children are passive as well as active depending on product type.

Qualitative Techniques to be used:FGD and in-depth interviews were identified as the appropriate techniques for such a study. The rationale behind such a decision is that the research is more of an exploratory nature, hence other techniques like surveys may not provide very rich data source for further explorations. In the past, surveys have been conducted to find the influence of children on family purchase decisions, but the richness of data has been very poor and results identified were not very insightful. FGD is economical, fast and efficient method for obtaining data from multiple participants. It will provide a richer data to help identify the range of products that are being influenced by children’s views, with special focus on financial products like insurance. The focus should be to ensure a more meaningful discussion among respondents to identify for what newer products, children’s views are solicited.

In-depth interviews will help identify relative weightage of factors identified above, and other newer factors that may be having an impact on decision making, apart from demographics, family characteristics product type etc.

Respondents Profile:Since the research focuses on the dual income family groups living in urban area. The detailed respondent profile will consist of:1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Parents under the age group-25-40 Having children in the age group:- 4-14 Dual income families Urban Dwellers ( Tier1,2 and 3 cities only) Middle and higher middle income group (Income- 7-20 lakhs per annum)- Income may differ based on city type(tier1,2,3) since income and standards of living depends on the city type.

Number of respondents for FGD will range from 60-85(Number of FGD-10-12 with each FGD containing 6-8 participants. For in-depth interview, total respondents required will be 15-20 to have a meaningful source of data.

Sampling technique: - Convenience sampling can be used here, since the research is more qualitative and convenience sampling will also give a good representation of entire population. lutaion. You will get better inputs if you choose the respondents carefully by looking into their spending patterns for child related products.

FGD focus and In-depth Interview questionnaire:Focus of the FGD should be to find out the product range, wherein children are increasingly having their say, and how these product profiles are changing based on engagement activities by brands. The questions for FGD and in-depth interview should dwell around:- if you ask the same set of questions in both what would be the additional benefit. At least some distinction must be maintained for obtained diverse data on which to act.

1. Do you think role of children in purchase decision making are changing in the changing lifestyle conditions (Dual income family, faster life, more exposure to television etc.)

2. Do you think children nowadays are capable of managing part of their life own their own? 3. Do you see children playing more important roles in purchase decision making compared to the time when you were kids? 4. What product profiles are apt to take into account decision of children? 5. What are the attributes of the products for which you think it is important to take into account children’s views? 6. Why sometimes decisions are left to children when buying a product (e.g. is it because products are related to children, or because it is too technical and you do not understand it properly?) 7. Various companies especially in the financial sectors are targeting children and launching schemes that not only educate children but educate them about such issues as savings, traffic controls etc. Do you think it means children will have greater role in decision making? 8. Do you believe such initiatives are in the right directions? What additions do you wish to see in such initiatives? 9. What additional initiatives may appeal to you as parents?

Data Analysis:In general Data Analysis step in case of qualitative research include:1. Compiling:- This step include:a. Prepare a glossary of terms based on the qualitative research b. Grouping of Data:- It can be done:i. Source wise ii. Chronology of event based iii. Interaction based c. Read and Review:- To remember and note down certain important points that researcher may have missed out during FGD or interview. 2. Disassembling:- Disassembling step includes:a. Memoing: - Under this step, researcher records reflective notes, to ensure he hasn’t missed out on any important observation. It is also important because initial notes may not provide enough clues or insights b. Decide to code/not to code: - Coding is important when data is rich, and large. If decision is to code, the steps to follow are:i. words are to be broken down into small manageable units ii. Labels are assigned to these units- It helps give meaning to the words or units, and also helps generate patterns out of a large volume of data.

3. Reassemble:- In this step, researcher has to look for patterns and answer the following questions:a. Do patterns make any sense b. Do they relate to theory or hypothesis c. Do they contribute to any new theory, or reaffirm existing theory Matrix is used to reassemble data as arrays. In case of matrix row normally shows chronology and columns shows individual traits or other characteristics identified during study. In Matrix study, points to be noted:1. 2. 3. 4. Use coding If coding cannot be used, use abbreviations Do not use it for communication with reader Do not put your own opinions in the matrix

Procedure to follow during re-assembling:1. Constant comparison 2. Similarities and dissimilarities to be checked 3. Negative instances must be recorded-Contradicting data points 4. Rival thinking:- Look for competing explanations 4. Interpretation:- Interpretation can be of the following type:a. Description (Descriptive study):- taken up when subject hasn’t been studied previously or not studied in detail. It should be intensive and revealing. It should study the phenomena in detail b. Description + Call for action:- Apart from description part, there is also a strong call for action in this case. Such studies are open for scrutiny, and hence special care should be taken while suggesting any actions. c. Explanation: - In this case, phenomena is known, but explanation is not available, hence it is studied in detail to provide some explanation. 5. Conclusion:- Ways to conclude:a. Call for newer research b. Challenge conventional wisdom c. Give new concepts, theories etc. d. Give substantive propositions e. Generalization to a broader set of situations In terms of FGD and in-depth interview, some specific steps for data analysis are mentioned below

FGD:For FGD Data analysis techniques used will be:-

1. Constant Comparison- Constant comparison comprises of three steps:a. Open Coding- Data is chunked into small units. Each unit is assigned a descriptor and a code. b. Axial Coding: - The codes are grouped into categories. c. Selective coding: - Researcher will develop one or more theme that expresses the content 2. Keywords in context: - Apart from constant comparison, keywords in context method will give a greater understanding of the words used, with reference to the culture of the respondents, since the word use may depend on the cultural context, and meanings may differ. 3. Conversation analysis:- It includes:a. Adjacency pair analysis: - It looks at social relativity of data. b. Data representativeness. c. Data retrievability d. Data conformability

Expectations from the study:The expectation from the study is to find out:1. Impact assessment of brand engagement exercise on increase in sales and change in role of children in purchase decision making. 2. Impact of dual income family on role of children in purchase decision making 3. Attributes of the products where parents feel comfortable taking help of children to purchase decision making.

Appendix:1. http://www.acrwebsite.org/volumes/v17/17814t01.gif( Picture too large, hence could not put in the document) 2. http://www.acrwebsite.org/volumes/v17/17819t02.gif( Picture too large, hence could not put in the document) 3. http://www.acrwebsite.org/volumes/v17/17821t03.gif

References:1. Children influence on parents buying decisions in Delhi (India), Akhter Ali, D.K Batra 2. The role of children in family decision making, A Theoretical Review*, Sri Rejeki Ekasasi


Bahar Isin, Sanem Alkibay, "Influence of children on purchasing decisions of well-to-do families", Emerald 12, (2011) 4. Children's Influence in Purchase Decisions: a Review and Critique, Tamara F. Mangleburg, Virginia Tech 5.

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