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An individual who buys products or services for personal use and not for manufacture or
resale. A consumer is someone who can make the decision whether or not to purchase an item at
the store, and someone who can be influenced by marketing and advertisements. Any time
someone goes to a store and purchases a toy, shirt, beverage, or anything else, they are making
that decision as a consume
A person, company, or other entity which buys goods and services produced by another
person, company, or other entity.A customer (also known as a client, buyer, or purchaser) is
the recipient of a good, service, product, or idea, obtained from a seller, vendor, or supplier for a
monetary or other valuable consideration. Customers are generally categorized into two types:

An intermediate customer or trade customer (more informally: "the trade") who is a

dealer that purchases goods for re-sale.

An ultimate customer who does not in turn re-sell the things bought but either passes
them to the consumer or actually is the consumer.
A customer may or may not also be a consumer, but the two notions are distinct, even

though the terms are commonly confused.. A customer purchases goods; a consumer uses them.
An ultimate customer may be a consumer as well, but just as equally may have purchased items
for someone else to consume. An intermediate customer is not a consumer at all. The situation is
somewhat complicated in that ultimate customers of so-called industrial goods and services (who
are entities such as government bodies, manufacturers, and educational and medical institutions)
either themselves use up the goods and services that they buy, or incorporate them into other
finished products, and so are technically consumers, too. However, they are rarely called that, but
are rather called industrial customers or business-to-business customers.

Similarly, customers who buy services rather than goods are rarely called consumers.One
who regularly or repeatedly makes purchases of a trader; a purchaser; a buyer is called customer.

Customer Perception
A motivated person is ready to act. It is influenced by his or her perception of the
situation. Perception is an important factor of human behavior. It is the process whereby people
select, organize and interpret sensory stimulation into meaningful information about work
Understanding various aspects of perception helps to understand human behavior; many
times what he perceives may be different from what is a fact. Perception depends not only on
physical stimuli but also on the stimulus relation to the surrounding field and on conditions with
in the individuals.
An individuals perception is influenced by his or her psychological condition. Needs and
motives of an individual play a vital role in perceptual process. Perception of an individual
changes with a group pressure and perception of an individual is influenced by a number of
factors. Perception refers to the manner in which a person experiences the world.
Perception is the process of selecting, organizing, and interpreting or attaching meaning
to events happening in environment.
The above definition brings the following features of perception:
I.Perception is the intellectual process through which a person selects the data from the
environment, organizes it, and obtains meaning from it. The physical process of obtaining data
from environment, known as sensation, is distinct from it.

II.Perception is the basic cognitive or psychological process. The manner in which a person
perceives the environment affects his behavior. Thus, peoples actions, emotions, thoughts, or
feelings are triggered by the perception of their surroundings.








subjective process and different people may perceive the same environmental event



based on what particular aspects of the situation they choose to absorb , how they organize this
information , and the manner in which they interpret it to obtain the grasp of the situation.

Customer preference
Consumer preference for a product can make or break a company. If consumers
generally like a product, it can stay around for years and sell millions of copies. However, if
consumers do not like the product, it could disappear very quickly if the company cannot figure
out how to fix the problem.
Customers are informed and remaindered about the products and are requested and
persuaded to purchase their products. Such communication may be made their along the product
or well in advance of the introduction of product into the market. Such communication becomes
necessary when a new product or service is introduced in the market or an old product is
improved or it is simply to increase the sales of the products.
Customer perception
The only goose that lays golden eggs every day forever is your customer.It was
John Wanamaker, owner of a Philadelphia department store in 1860s, Coined the phrase, The
customer is always right later, through years the value of customer is always right later through
years the value of customer has also reached its pinnacle. In 1990s the consumer was considered
as king or queen, and total Customer is the boss. As competition has increased, so the needs of
the customer, so the needs of the customer are becoming paramount.

From the words of Maresh Gayal, chairman of jet airways in India, Any Airline may
get your from place to place, but what happens between take off and landing is what makes the
difference. Today every marketing organization is well aware of the fact the A satisfied
customer is the best advertisement for year business.
The first step in establishing a customer satisfaction program is having a well
constructed definition for Customer Satisfaction and Customer Loyalty. A suggested definition of
Customer Satisfaction and Customer Loyalty are presented below:
Customer perception is the result of a process.
Customer perception is a measurement or indicator of the degree to which customers or users
of an organizations products or services are pleased with those products or services.
Customer Perception is a comparison of expectations versus perception of experience.
Customer Loyalty relates to a relationship between a company and a customer.
Customer Loyalty includes behaviors (a.k.a. Customer Retention) where customers make repeat
purchases of their current brand, rather than choosing a competitor brand instead.
Customer Loyalty includes attitudes where a customers judgments and feelings about a
product, service, relationship, brand, or company are associated with repeat purchases.
It is important to note that Customer Satisfaction and Customer Loyalty are related but one does
not always drive the other. For example a Customer may not be satisfied, but is loyal. These
customers are called Captives". It is also possible for a customer to be extremely satisfied, but
not loyal. This situation occurs in highly commoditized markets where there is little to no
product differentiation.

A consumer can be defined as a person or an organization who uses or drives benefit
form a product or service of a company. Each consumer is unique and their uniqueness is
reflected in the consumption, behavior pattern and purchase.

Consumer behavior can be

defined as those acts of individuals (consumers) directory involved in obtaining, using and
disposing of economic goods and services including the decision processes. Then precede and
determine these acts. All consumers can be classified into 2 types, personal and organizational.
When the consumer boys for his own use he is called as a personal consumer.


business firms, government agencies, non-business organizations such as hospitals, temples, and
trusts are called organizational consumers.


A number of factor influences the buyer behavior. The important one among them are:
1. Information from variety of sources
2. Socio-cultural environment of the buyer group influence.
3. Religion and language.
4. Concern about status.
1. Information from variety of sources:
The buyer today is exposed to a variable flood of information. This is of information unleashed.
2. Socio-cultural environment of the buyer group influence:
He is living in a society, influenced by it and in turn influencing its course of development.
3. Religion and language:
Every culture and patterns of social conduct with in each religion. There may be several sects
and sub sects. There may be orthodox groups and cosmopolitan groups.

4. Concern about status:

Now a days people are very much concerned about their image and status in the society. It is a
direct out come of their material prosperity. Status is announced through various. Symbols like
dress, ornaments, possessions and several life styles.


At present in this competitive business world the match box industry has more than 1000 brands
in the battle field facing stiff completion in every segments targeted. Even Ruby match box is
also facing stiff competition even its above 40 years of heritage.
In this juncture it has to identify its competitors in this market by bringing brand awareness in
the minds of consumers also it has to cope up with consumer behavior and customer perception.
Competition through this study the main problem that is studies during the project work is to
findout the customer perception towards Ruby match boxes.


Primary objectives

To know the customer perception towards Ruby Matchbox with special

reference to Namakkal.

Secondary objectives
To analyses the factors influences the customers to buy the product
To identify the perception towards suitable advertisement media
To find out the level of satisfaction towards Ruby match boxes.


The research study entitled A study on customer perception towards Ruby Matchbox
with special reference to Namakkal

will help to understand the expectation of the

consumer in a meaningful way.

It also helps to understand the sales patterns of the product and to know the factors
influencing the sales.
The research findings of this study will help the Ruby matchbox industries to frame
certain strategies to improve the sales and the company image
The research finding will also help in the proper implementation and formulation of
marketing strategies.
It will help the company to increase the promotional strategies in future.


The study conducted for the products of Ruby matchbox only.

Being it is time constraint the sample size is restricted to 300.
Due to non-cooperation of some respondent, the accuracy of the study may be affected.
The study is restricted to surroundings of Erode only.


A Matchbox can be found in pretty much every home. Matches have been in existence since
1827 and the matchbox, as it is known today, came in to existance in 1840s. The first matches
to be produced and commercialised relied on friction between the match head and a rough
surface to achieve ignition. In 1845, the industrys single most significant technical development
took place, with the introduction of the safety match. Just after the beginning of the match
industry, matches have been a necessity of modern life. There is virtually no human society,
irrespective of their degree of civilisation, that does not use matches the product is one of the
most ubiquitous commodities ever produced. While the concept and chemistry of the match have
remained largely unchanged over time, The origin of the safety match industry in India goes
back to the beginning of this century, around 1910 from Calcutta, then by the time and reason,
shifted to southern region of India. The match industry as a whole directly employs an estimated
250,000 people, with only 6,000 of these in the mechanized sector. The cottage sector, which
involves totally manual operations and produces less than 75 million match sticks per year and is
often household-based, accounts for about 50,000 workers. Thus, small-scale, factory-based
match production units employ by far the largest number of people (195,000 workers) involved
in the match sector.
The Tamil Nadu matchbox industry, which accounts for 85 per cent of the Rs 2,000 crore Indian
matchbox industry, has decided to take a leaf out of the notebook of FMCG players. Forced with
rising input prices, FMCG players have chosen to reduce pack sizes rather than raise prices.
Similarly, representatives of the matchbox industry, comprising thousands of small units, said
instead of increasing matchbox prices, they have decided to reduce the number of match sticks in
each box as well as focus on export markets.
Sriram Ashokan, president of the Matchbox Manufacturers Association in Sivakasi, said, It is
not viable to stay in the industry. People have started moving to textile and paper industries.
This was, according to him, due to a reduction in the demand for matchboxes, increase in raw
material prices and competition from multinationals.

The industry in Tamil Nadu employs over 250,000 people across Sivakasi, Kovilpatti,
Kazhugumalai, Ettaiahpuram, Sankarankoil, Sattur, Ezhayirampannai and other towns of
Virdunagar district. The labour-intensive handmade and semi-mechanised match industry is
largely a cottage industry. A cross-section of industry representatives told Business Standard that
consumption of matchboxes has come down by 15-20 per cent in these towns, mainly due to
introduction of gas; electric, induction and other stoves; lighters and solar energy.
Another factor was the entry of multinationals, who offer 600 boxes for Rs 120, compared to Rs
250 charged by units at Sivakasi, said Ashokan, managing director of the Arasan Group.
An office-bearer of the National Small Match Manufactures Association added that after the oil
price hike, the price of wax (a petroleum product) has increased to Rs 53 a kg from Rs 49 a kg.
Similarly, the price of cardboard, used to make matchboxes, has increased by 18 per cent to Rs
32,000 per tonne from Rs 27,000. The prices of other major raw materials, including sulphur and
chlorate, have almost doubled in the past six months.
While on the one hand the cost of raw materials is going up, on the other hand, manufacturers
said they were are not able to increase the retail prices of matchboxes, due to competition. A
matchbox currently sells for around a rupee in the domestic market. Ashokan said the industry
had decided to bring down the number of sticks packed inside a matchbox to 50 from 70, since
customers are not willing to pay the additional cost. To address the issue, the units have
approached the Union government, seeking tax benefits and a relief package. We want the
government to supply raw materials at concessional rates through SIDCO and need an incentive
of a minimum of 10 paise a matchbox from the government, which gives similar incentives to
the tea industry, he said.
We have made representations to Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on several
occasions but so far the industry has yet to get a reply, said Ashokan. The association has also
sought the state governments support for softwood plantations, in the districts of Dindigal and
Dharmapuri. Currently the industry is sourcing softwood from Kerala. Commenting on the
international market, an exporter from Sivakasi said the price in the international market has

come down to around $5.5-6 from $9 for 100 boxes. He added, But we are not able to meet the
Chinese price, which is about $4-4.5.
Ashokan noted that Sivakasi town alone used to export 10-20 containers every month until five
years ago, and this has now increased to 200. The demand is mainly from countries of southern
and western Africa. To cut freight and other logistics costs, some units like Pioneer Industries,
which owns the Asia Match brand have set up units in African countries. Others have started
exporting matchboxes.
The only industry that has withstood the pressure of inflation, raw material price increases, wage
hikes, and all other cost factors in the country for more than a decade is the humble matchbox,
selling even now at 50 paise. The entry of the multi-billion crore ITC Ltd into contract
manufacturing and branded marketing of matches, along with the traditional Wimco, has not
changed the situation. Industry sources said the next possible stage of price increase is Re 1.
They fear this wouldnt be tenable due to price undercutting.
In the market price of Rs 300 for a bundle of 600 boxes each, Rs 20-22 is tax. Evading this
amount in a loss-making industry will have a tremendous impact in the retail market. This
anomaly is destroying the industry, according to Sriram Ashok, director of Sundravel Match
Industries, Sivakasi, and president of the All India Chamber of Match Industries.
The inflow of matches from Pakistan is another threat the industry will have to face very soon.
The only answer to save the labour-intensive essential industry is a total tax waiver or a very low
level of duty without exemption, S Ashok, vice-president of the Chamber and director of Asia
Match Co Pvt Ltd, Sivakasi, told FE. The highly fragmented Rs 2700-crore match industry in the
country now falls into three categories of tax exempted, tax paying, and tax evading groups.
Evasion is worth over Rs 120 crore and the government is turning a blind eye on it, allowing a
slow death of genuine tax paying companies, Ashok said.


Ruby Match box industries Ltd., is a well-established manufacturer of Safety Matches in
South India since 1962. It has been growing steadily and occupying a remarkable position
in the domestic and overseas markets all because of our reliable quality to our valuable
buyers at affordable prices. Ruby

Match box industries Ltd.,

offer superior quality

cardboard matchboxes, that have carbonized splints and manufactured from high grade raw
materials. Its range of matches are available in different sizes and are packed perfectly to avoid
moisture. These Cardboard matches are highly safe and catch fire in just one spark. Provided at
competitive prices, these are widely used for household as well as industrial purposes.
Since its inception, the group has been committed to its aim of manufacturing high quality
matches and offering them at competitive price, ensuring value for money. The foundation stone
of our company was laid by Mr. R.Shanmugakani, an enterprising gentleman, in 1962, and the
company has never looked back since then.
An advanced infrastructural framework is one of its greatest assets. It helps in facilitating the
manufacturing process smoothly. The industry is mainly depended on labor work as it involves
lot of hand work along with application of tools and machinery. Ruby Match box industries
manufacturing unit is equipped with a wide range of advanced hi-tech machineries.
Its Team
It has received firm positioning in the market with regard to its sincere teamwork that is
diligently engaged in delivering the wide range of product line. Since the industry basically
involves both manual and machine, so it has an experienced work force comprising of skilled
and semi skilled labors for both . It ensures that the machinery is operated by technicians and
experts that are competent to deliver maximum quality output.
It offers superior quality cardboard matchboxes, that have carbonized splints and manufactured
from high grade raw materials. Its range of matches are available in different sizes and are
packed perfectly to avoid moisture. These Cardboard matches are highly safe and catch fire in

just one spark. Provided at competitive prices, these are widely used for household as well as
industrial purposes.
Quality Assurance
It traditionally offers quality products. All the units of operation are directed towards offering the
good quality products to the consumers. It adheres stringent quality control measures so that each
matchstick satisfies the consumers. Its matchstick is damp proof and is suitable to all weather. It
uses fine quality wax and paper for the stick that gives strength, brightness and finishing. Its
striking surface is good from first to last strike.
As the Vision of the company is qualitative rather quantities, to support this vision
acomprehensive Research and Analysis wing, of experienced team members, is formed in
groups headquarter at Rampur; this team is responsible for all quality control
measures, blending and its uniformity (separate professional team of connoisseurs and testers is
appointed to keep control on the quality of blending). This translated company into a diverse
range of quality bidi brands, each brand very selective and by adopting the latest technology and
blending tuned itself to the evolving requirements of users as per their smoking taste. Quality
control vision helped company to retain its premier position as India's most reputed bidi

Client Satisfaction
Over the years It has loyal clientele from international markets. Good quality and cost
competitiveness have given itself a good grounding in the domestic as well as global market.
Its Significance

Leading quality wax matches manufacturer in Tamilnadu

At par to Bureau Of Indian Standards Specifications

Having good infrastructure to meet buyers interest & needs

Minimum order 20FCL

Suitable to all weather conditions

Timely delivery schedule

It offers in the following specifications:
Size of the Boxes :





47 MM

40 MM

16 MM

47 MM

35 MM

13 MM

47 MM

40 MM

15 MM

47 MM

35 MM

12 MM

47 MM

40 MM

14 MM

40 MM * 2 MM * 2 MM
46 MM * 2 MM * 2 MM

No of Sticks:

40 / 60 / 70 / 75 sticks

Colour of Head :

Brown / Black / Green / Red

Brand :

Hockey ,Sunwheel, Hiran, 287


10s Packing : White printed wrapper, Yellow Printed wrapper,

PVC packing.
60s/ 100s Packing: Transparent poly bag, Printed poly bag,
Printed paper.

Carton Packing :

Single Printed Brown, Single printed white, Multi color printed

white carton with 3 and 5 ply options.


Overall customer satisfaction is generally considered to be a multi-attribute model

(Woodruff, Cadotte and Jenkins,1983). Components of overall perception (SAT_OVERALL)
that have been examined include product perception (e.g., Oliver 1993; Homburg and Rudolph
2001), interpersonal perception (e.g., Lele and Sheth 1988; Manning and Reece 2001),
perception with the price of the offering(e.g., Anderson 1996),and perception with vendor
performance (e.g., Sheth 1073)
Researchers have sought greater understanding of the overall perception construct in
industrial markets by examining the phenomenon in different situation. In a study of consumer
can be simultaneously satisfied with one or more components of perception related to a specific
offering while being dissatisfied with other components of perception for that same offering.
Thus, while experiencing relatively high overall perception, a customer might be extremely
dissatisfied with one or more aspects of that offering.
Extensive research into the factors influencing customer perception has been conducted
in consumer markets (e.g., Spreng et al.1996: Swan and Oliver 1991; Oliver swan 1989;
Churchil and Surprenant 1982), but relatively little such research has been conducted in
industrial markets. In spite of this dearth of research, Patterson, Johnson, and Spreng (1997) find
that industrial buyers, like consumers, consider multiple attributes when evaluating overall
While industrial buyers weight their judgments differently than consumers, the
disconfirmation paradigm is applicable in B2B markets (Patterson, Johnson and Spreng, 1997).
In the expectancy- disconfirmation model of customer perception, the most widely accepted and
studied model (Patterson, Johnson and Spreng, 1997), customers compare their perceptions of
performance (not objective actual performance) with their pre-purchase expectations to form
judgments about the experience (Olshavsky and Spreng, 1989).
When expectations are met, i.e., when perceived performance is lose to expectations,
little conscious thought is given to the process. However, when perceived performance is higher
(lower) than the expected level of performance, expectations are said to be disconfirmed. When

expectations are lower (higher) than perceived performance, perception (disperception) is

According to Keiningham, Munn, and Evans (2003, p. 37), both practitioners and
academics have accepted the premise that customer perception results in customer behavior
patterns that positively affect business results. While it is highly argued that retaining current
customers is easier than attracting new ones, as it would normally cost 20 times more to attract
new customers rather than keeping existing ones per Carson Research Consulting, Inc. report.
Continuous customer perception from the offered product will lead to an easy purchase decision
every time the need for these products and services arises. Thus, customers tend to become loyal
to these providers, where their perception helps to increase customer loyalty, reducing the need
to allocate marketing budget to acquire new customers, where their word-of-mouth will also
bring potential customers, increasing revenue and profit.
According to Kano Model Theory of customer perception. Basically Kano saw three
types of customer perception: required (basic quality also threshold requirements), more is better
(performance quality) and delighter (excitement quality). Customers expectations change over
time. Often what was once enough to delight a customer (remote control for a TV) becomes
expected. Once a feature is expected the organization gets no credit for providing it they only
risk a negative reaction if they fail to provide it.


To fulfill any task, it is necessary to follow a systematic method. Research methodology is the
main aspect of research studies. The methodology follow by research is detailed here.

The research was of descriptive design; aim to procure a clear, complete and accurate description
of the situation.
Data was taken mostly through primary data. However company and product profiles were
referred too. A structured UN-disguised interview schedule was designed to collect the data
source. The schedule method was opted since the method would help to concise amount of
A good care was taken by the researcher to design the schedule. All the objectives were taken
into consideration while designing the handout. More of the closed and few ended questions
were asked for the survey.
The questions constitute of closed ended and open ended once. Open ended questions were
asked to get the ideas and suggestions from the respondents. Moreover other than those
mentioned in the questionnaire were asked to be specified. Closed ended questions included
dichotomous, multiple choice and ranking question. Rating scale was also included.
The survey was conducted in Namakkal.
The study was held during the period of one month.
The sampling techniques was used for the survey was convenience sampling.

The sample size of customers was 50.
Data in the study are of two types:

Primary data

Secondary data

Primary data is original and collected by the researcher freshly. In this study primary data was
collected through questionnaire. A questionnaire is a popular means of collecting primary data. A
questionnaire is a list of question for the own.

Secondary data is the data, which is already available. It can be obtained through company
records, internet and some data collected from the observation method by the researcher.


Simple percentage method


Percentage refers to a special kind of ratio making comparison between two or more data
to describe relationship between the data. Percentage can also be used to compare the relative
terms, the distribution of two or more series of data.
No. of respondents
Simple percentage = X 100
Total no. of respondents