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CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION
Customer
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.

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

brings an intellectual and psychological process. it could disappear very quickly if the company cannot figure out how to fix the problem. subjective process and different people may perceive the same environmental event becomes a differently based on what particular aspects of the situation they choose to absorb .Perception is the basic cognitive or psychological process. However. and total “Customer is the boss”. The manner in which a person perceives the environment affects his behavior.II. Customer perception “The only goose that lays golden eggs every day… forever… is your customer”. Customers are informed and remaindered about the products and are requested and persuaded to purchase their products. If consumers generally like a product.It was John Wanamaker. Customer preference Consumer preference for a product can make or break a company. thoughts. III. people’s actions. Coined the phrase. In 1990’s the consumer was considered as king or queen. Thus. so the needs of the customer are becoming paramount. . it can stay around for years and sell millions of copies. Such communication may be made their along the product or well in advance of the introduction of product into the market. As competition has increased. and the manner in which they interpret it to obtain the grasp of the situation. owner of a Philadelphia department store in 1860’s. through years the value of customer is always right” later through years the value of customer has also reached its pinnacle. “The customer is always right” later.Perception . if consumers do not like the product. or feelings are triggered by the perception of their surroundings. 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. how they organize this information . so the needs of the customer. emotions.

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

3. 3. The important one among them are: 1. Socio-cultural environment of the buyer group influence: He is living in a society. and trusts are called organizational consumers. non-business organizations such as hospitals. Consumer behavior can be defined as those acts of individuals (consumers) directory involved in obtaining. There may be orthodox groups and cosmopolitan groups. There may be several sects and sub sects. Socio-cultural environment of the buyer group influence. Information from variety of sources: The buyer today is exposed to a variable flood of information. FACTORS INFLUENCING BUYER’S BEHAVIOUR A number of factor influences the buyer behavior. Each consumer is unique and their uniqueness is reflected in the consumption. Then precede and determine these acts. using and disposing of economic goods and services including the decision processes. 4. When the consumer boys for his own use he is called as a personal consumer. behavior pattern and purchase. influenced by it and in turn influencing its course of development. Religion and language: Every culture and patterns of social conduct with in each religion. 2. This is of information unleashed. personal and organizational. 1.CONSUMER BEHAVIOR A consumer can be defined as a person or an organization who uses or drives benefit form a product or service of a company. . The business firms. All consumers can be classified into 2 types. Concern about status. government agencies. Religion and language. Information from variety of sources 2. temples.

1. Competition through this study the main problem that is studies during the project work is to findout the customer perception towards Ruby match boxes. 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. Concern about status: Now a day’s people are very much concerned about their image and status in the society. .2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM 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 segment’s targeted. 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. Even Ruby match box is also facing stiff competition even its above 40 years of heritage. Status is announced through various. possessions and several life styles. 1.4. Symbols like dress. It is a direct out come of their material prosperity.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY Primary objectives  To know the customer perception towards Ruby Matchbox with special reference to Namakkal. ornaments.

1.  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.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY:  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.  It will help the company to increase the promotional strategies in future.

. The study is restricted to surroundings of Erode only.5 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY:     The study conducted for the products of Ruby matchbox only. Being it is time constraint the sample size is restricted to 300. the accuracy of the study may be affected.1. Due to non-cooperation of some respondent.

1 INDUSTRY PROFILE A Matchbox can be found in pretty much every home. . has decided to take a leaf out of the notebook of FMCG players. comprising thousands of small units. said. said instead of increasing matchbox prices. Sriram Ashokan. Matches have been in existence since 1827 and the matchbox. The Tamil Nadu matchbox industry. accounts for about 50.000 of these in the mechanized sector.000 people. The cottage sector. There is virtually no human society. due to a reduction in the demand for matchboxes. then by the time and reason. which accounts for 85 per cent of the Rs 2. Just after the beginning of the match industry. matches have been a necessity of modern life. While the concept and chemistry of the match have remained largely unchanged over time. with the introduction of the ‘safety match’. representatives of the matchbox industry. factory-based match production units employ by far the largest number of people (195. FMCG players have chosen to reduce pack sizes rather than raise prices. around 1910 from Calcutta. Forced with rising input prices. according to him.2. “It is not viable to stay in the industry. shifted to southern region of India. Similarly. irrespective of their degree of civilisation. which involves totally manual operations and produces less than 75 million match sticks per year and is often household-based. The first matches to be produced and commercialised relied on friction between the match head and a rough surface to achieve ignition. The match industry as a whole directly employs an estimated 250. People have started moving to textile and paper industries. came in to existance in 1840’s. increase in raw material prices and competition from multinationals.000 crore Indian matchbox industry. as it is known today. Thus. In 1845.000 workers.000 workers) involved in the match sector. they have decided to reduce the number of match sticks in each box as well as focus on export markets. The origin of the safety match industry in India goes back to the beginning of this century. small-scale. the industry’s single most significant technical development took place. with only 6. president of the Matchbox Manufacturers Association in Sivakasi. that does not use matches – the product is one of the most ubiquitous commodities ever produced.” This was.

A cross-section of industry representatives told Business Standard that consumption of matchboxes has come down by 15-20 per cent in these towns. A matchbox currently sells for around a rupee in the domestic market. due to competition. Similarly. induction and other stoves. mainly due to introduction of gas. an exporter from Sivakasi said the price in the international market has . since customers are not willing to pay the additional cost. the price of wax (a petroleum product) has increased to Rs 53 a kg from Rs 49 a kg. in the districts of Dindigal and Dharmapuri. Ettaiahpuram. has increased by 18 per cent to Rs 32. Kazhugumalai.” said Ashokan. on the other hand. managing director of the Arasan Group. Sankarankoil. Sattur.000 people across Sivakasi. the price of cardboard. manufacturers said they were are not able to increase the retail prices of matchboxes. “We have made representations to Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on several occasions but so far the industry has yet to get a reply. Ezhayirampannai and other towns of Virdunagar district. electric. said Ashokan. lighters and solar energy. seeking tax benefits and a relief package. compared to Rs 250 charged by units at Sivakasi. used to make matchboxes. Currently the industry is sourcing softwood from Kerala. including sulphur and chlorate. The association has also sought the state government’s support for softwood plantations. who offer 600 boxes for Rs 120. The labour-intensive handmade and semi-mechanised match industry is largely a cottage industry. Commenting on the international market. “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. The prices of other major raw materials. While on the one hand the cost of raw materials is going up. have almost doubled in the past six months. To address the issue.The industry in Tamil Nadu employs over 250. An office-bearer of the National Small Match Manufactures Association added that after the oil price hike. the units have approached the Union government. which gives similar incentives to the tea industry.000.000 per tonne from Rs 27. Ashokan said the industry had decided to bring down the number of sticks packed inside a matchbox to 50 from 70. Another factor was the entry of multinationals. Kovilpatti.” he said.

some units — like Pioneer Industries. Sivakasi.5-6 from $9 for 100 boxes. “But we are not able to meet the Chinese price. Industry sources said the next possible stage of price increase is Re 1. which is about $4-4. The highly fragmented Rs 2700-crore match industry in the country now falls into three categories of tax exempted. He added. S Ashok. The only industry that has withstood the pressure of inflation. . which owns the Asia Match brand — have set up units in African countries. The demand is mainly from countries of southern and western Africa. told FE. Rs 20-22 is tax. Others have started exporting matchboxes. In the market price of Rs 300 for a bundle of 600 boxes each. The only answer to save the labour-intensive essential industry is a total tax waiver or a very low level of duty without exemption. vice-president of the Chamber and director of Asia Match Co Pvt Ltd. “Evasion is worth over Rs 120 crore and the government is turning a blind eye on it. and this has now increased to 200.5. director of Sundravel Match Industries.” Ashokan noted that Sivakasi town alone used to export 10-20 containers every month until five years ago. The inflow of matches from Pakistan is another threat the industry will have to face very soon. along with the traditional Wimco. wage hikes. and tax evading groups. according to Sriram Ashok. and all other cost factors in the country for more than a decade is the humble matchbox. selling even now at 50 paise. raw material price increases. The entry of the multi-billion crore ITC Ltd into contract manufacturing and branded marketing of matches.come down to around $5. allowing a slow death of genuine tax paying companies. To cut freight and other logistics costs. tax paying. They fear this wouldn’t be tenable due to price undercutting.” Ashok said. has not changed the situation. and president of the All India Chamber of Match Industries. This anomaly is destroying the industry. Evading this amount in a loss-making industry will have a tremendous impact in the retail market. Sivakasi.

that have carbonized splints and manufactured from high grade raw materials. and the company has never looked back since then. Its range of matches are available in different sizes and are packed perfectly to avoid moisture. R. It helps in facilitating the manufacturing process smoothly. Its range of matches are available in different sizes and are packed perfectly to avoid moisture. Since the industry basically involves both manual and machine. ensuring value for money. The industry is mainly depended on labor work as it involves lot of hand work along with application of tools and machinery.. 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.2. It offers superior quality cardboard matchboxes.2 COMPANY PROFILE Ruby Match box industries Ltd. 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. so it has an experienced work force comprising of skilled and semi skilled labors for both . These Cardboard matches are highly safe and catch fire in . Infrastructure An advanced infrastructural framework is one of its greatest assets. It ensures that the machinery is operated by technicians and experts that are competent to deliver maximum quality output. The foundation stone of our company was laid by Mr. These Cardboard matches are highly safe and catch fire in just one spark. Since its inception. the group has been committed to its aim of manufacturing high quality matches and offering them at competitive price. offer superior quality cardboard matchboxes. Provided at competitive prices..Shanmugakani. these are widely used for household as well as industrial purposes. that have carbonized splints and manufactured from high grade raw materials. an enterprising gentleman. Ruby Match box industries manufacturing unit is equipped with a wide range of advanced hi-tech machineries. is a well-established manufacturer of Safety Matches in South India since 1962. in 1962.

of experienced team members.just one spark. Its striking surface is good from first to last strike. these are widely used for household as well as industrial purposes. Quality Assurance It traditionally offers quality products. 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 20’FCL  Suitable to all weather conditions . Good quality and cost competitiveness have given itself a good grounding in the domestic as well as global market. blending and its uniformity (separate professional team of connoisseurs and testers is appointed to keep control on the quality of blending). It adheres stringent quality control measures so that each matchstick satisfies the consumers. to support this vision acomprehensive Research and Analysis wing. this team is responsible for all quality control measures. Quality control vision helped company to retain its premier position as India's most reputed bidi manufacturer. Provided at competitive prices. As the Vision of the company is qualitative rather quantities. This translated company into a diverse range of quality bidi brands. brightness and finishing. Client Satisfaction Over the years It has loyal clientele from international markets. Its matchstick is damp proof and is suitable to all weather. is formed in group’s headquarter at Rampur. 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. It uses fine quality wax and paper for the stick that gives strength. All the units of operation are directed towards offering the good quality products to the consumers.

60’s/ 100’s Packing: Transparent poly bag. Single printed white. Yellow Printed wrapper. Hiran. 287 Packing: 10s Packing : White printed wrapper. CHAPTER III 3.1 REVIEW OF LITERATURE .Sunwheel. Carton Packing : Single Printed Brown. Timely delivery schedule It offers in the following specifications: Specifications: Size of the Boxes : Splints: Length Width Height 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 . Multi color printed white carton with 3 and 5 ply options. Printed poly bag. PVC packing. Printed paper.

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

Research methodology is the main aspect of research studies. customers tend to become loyal to these providers. more is better (performance quality) and delighter (excitement quality). where their perception helps to increase customer loyalty.expectations are lower (higher) than perceived performance. According to Kano Model Theory of customer perception. increasing revenue and profit. Continuous customer perception from the offered product will lead to an easy purchase decision every time the need for these products and services arises. where their word-of-mouth will also bring potential customers. reducing the need to allocate marketing budget to acquire new customers. perception (disperception) is experienced. . The methodology follow by research is detailed here.2 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY To fulfill any task. 37). Basically Kano saw three types of customer perception: required (basic quality also threshold requirements). and Evans (2003. 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. Thus. “both practitioners and academics have accepted the premise that customer perception results in customer behavior patterns that positively affect business results. Inc. report. According to Keiningham. as it would normally cost 20 times more to attract new customers rather than keeping existing ones per Carson Research Consulting. Customers expectations change over time. 3. p. it is necessary to follow a systematic method. Often what was once enough to delight a customer (remote control for a TV) becomes expected.” While it is highly argued that retaining current customers is easier than attracting new ones. Munn.

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

A questionnaire is a list of question for the own. SECONDARY DATA Secondary data is the data. In this study primary data was collected through questionnaire. internet and some data collected from the observation method by the researcher. METHODS OF DATA COLLECTION: DATA SOURCES: Data in the study are of two types:  Primary data  Secondary data PRIMARY DATA Primary data is original and collected by the researcher freshly. It can be obtained through company records. TOOLS USED FOR RESEARCH:  Simple percentage method SIMPLE PERCENTAGE METHOD: .SAMPLING SIZE: The sample size of customers was 50. which is already available. A questionnaire is a popular means of collecting primary data.

the distribution of two or more series of data. of respondents . FORMULA No.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. of respondents Simple percentage = …………………………… X 100 Total no.