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Report on Feminine Car (business research methods)


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The concept of a FEMININE car; Market research project.

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Report on Feminine Car (business research methods)

  1. 1. Feminine Car: A concept study BUSINESS RESEARCH METHODS RESEARCH METHODOLOGY REPORT ON THE CONCEPT OF A FEMININE CAR BY Mr. Abhik Tushar Das (Roll No: 20104001) Mr. Ajay Cecil (Roll No: 20104002) Mr. Anil Kumar Sahu (Roll No: 20104004) UNDER THE MENTORSHIP OF DR. SUBRAT SAHU 15-Month Executive MBA (Jan. 2011- Mar. 2012) SCHOOL OF PETROLEUM MANAGEMENT (SPM) 1Comments:   
  2. 2. Feminine Car: A concept studyTABLE OF CONTENTS1. Background2. Problem Definition a. Statement of objective b. Hypothesis3. Research design a. Secondary Data  Internet  Literature b. Design of collection method  Questionnaire Design  Survey  Scaling Techniques c. Sampling Process  Target population  Sample Size  Sampling technique d. Sample gathering4. Data processing and analysis a. Data analysis  Assimilation using Pivot table  Pie charts5. Conclusion a. Summary b. Recommendation b. Limitations c. Appendix d. References 2Comments:   
  3. 3. Feminine Car: A concept study1. Background The car industry in particular has always been a male domain with manufacturers focused on the masculine aspect and building vehicles which appeal to men. Today’s cars designs are the expression of the thoughts of an industry dominated by men. The early 1990s, it was quite a discovery to see women drive a car in India. It was completely a male domain and women mostly used public transport or were led by chauffeur - driven cars. One of the limiting factors was the kind of cars that were available in the Indian market at that time; cars were often bulky and difficult to drive. Today, the Indian woman has moved beyond her traditional roles. The transition from a humble homemaker to a tech savvy, independent, decision maker has happened and women in India today occupy important places in the society. Maruti brought in the small car that was easy to drive in the Indian sub-continent. Today the latest technology adaptations like power steering make driving very easy and enjoyable. However till date no car manufacturer has toyed with the concept of a female-centric car, a concept having a niche market in India where the share of women drivers have gone up with the rise in income, education level and aspirations. Indian women have become an economic powerhouse. They are career focused and ambitious with high spending power and therefore need more choices to satisfy their personal requirements. Women are key decision makers in 74% of decisions taken in a household. According to recent surveys, women directly make or influence two- thirds of car purchases. Apart from the cars that women purchase for their personal use, women also have a major influence in purchases made by men and are primarily involved in the decision making while 3Comments:   
  4. 4. Feminine Car: A concept study purchasing cars for the family. These days it’s normal to find more than one car in an upper middle class household where husband and spouse are both working. In car design, women may attribute different values to factors such as car comfort, safety, convenience, exterior looks. Women may place more value on safety, cozy interiors and increased storage for their handbags. They may view a car as an extension of their lifestyle which perhaps exemplifies their style quotient. Women may view cars as cute and fun to drive, small cars with sporty looks could be more preferred in comparison to heavy cars. Depending on the personality type, women who like to work and party hard may feel the need to have space for storing their party wear. In metropolitan cities, this could be a big boon, as this translates into lesser time commuting between work and home. Car manufacturers could stand to gain by identifying with the needs of women and the current car design would evolve to include those particular needs. In general, the car design need not be completely gender biased, by taking the middle path or by shifting more towards the feminine side would ensure that the car is appealing to women and also of interest to a certain percentage of men’s population. The car market’s demographic segmentation by gender cannot be ignored entirely while the markets mature and women become key drivers of car sales. 4Comments:   
  5. 5. Feminine Car: A concept study2. Problem Definition a. Statement of objective To understand women’s needs in terms of car design that fulfils the specific requirements of women as drivers.  Gauge the perception of women in terms of what they desire in a car  Gauge the attitude of women and how they relate with cars  Gauge the preferences of women in the car selection process A survey is required for identifying these needs. A bit of imagination is required in the survey process as women have not been exposed to the concept of feminine cars, identifying the model currently available in the market which suits the imagination of women would give a bigger picture of how things would pan out. Perception Women Preferences Attitude 5Comments:   
  6. 6. Feminine Car: A concept study b. Hypothesis A hypothesis is a hypothetical statement regarding the relation between two or more variables. They must be statements of the relationship between variables and they must carry clear implications for testing the stated relations. A broad hypothesis is given below from which more focused hypothesis may be derived “Car manufacturers have ignored the preferences of women in car design”. By reducing the problem to a hypothetical statement, the problem has become more focused and the hypothesis can be tested through research methods.3. Research design The proposed research is of type Exploratory. The exploratory study is required as the concept for a feminine car is the new development of a product for a specific market segment. Very little information being available on this topic, an understanding is to be developed in the need for designing a female-centric car. The exploratory study will form the basis for more in-depth studies to be conducted in future leading to clearer objectives. Based on this exploratory study it is possible to go for more detailed survey after having judged the response of the respondents to the pilot survey. The purpose of the exploratory research is to have a better understanding of this problem. The exploratory study will involve a questionnaire of 15 questions where responses will be judged on their preferences in selecting a car, how they perceive the functionality of a car and what they actually desire in a car, in comparison to what options are already available in 6Comments:   
  7. 7. Feminine Car: A concept study the car market. From this we have identified the variables which should be included in our study. On the basis of the hypothesis the preferences of women have not been considered while designing a car. Exploratory research will attempt to define the problem in a manner that research can be further conducted in a detailed and comprehensive manner. Below are the phases in the research process: Secondary Data Internet Literature Collection Method Questionnaire design Survey Sampling Process Sample size Sampling technique Sample gathering Working women Students Process and Analyse data Using pivot table Conclusion Recommendation Summary 7Comments:   
  8. 8. Feminine Car: A concept study a. Secondary Data  Internet: Data from previous projects was gathered from the internet such as car surveys from auto magazines. The data may not be directly relevant to the topic under study but was of immense value for planning out the study. Some of the data available may be outdated but can be useful for forming the basis of our study.  Literature: Collect literature and reviews to get a general overview of the car market in India. Study the existing reports undertaken for assessing the traits of car buyers, referred to auto car magazines to get an idea of the various car models on offer and also read articles on gender biased marketing.Design of Collection method  Questionnaire design: This involved the design of the questionnaire on the basis of the potential attributes identified as part of the car selection process, preferences of women in the various aspects of car design such as engine type, color etc. Research problems were listed and then the information needed was identified. The questions were then prepared in order to fulfill the information requirements as identified earlier. The questions were designed with language which was easy to understand to the respondents. The questions could be clubbed together after identifying related variables. The questions were also designed keeping in mind that use of statistical tools such as Factor Analysis should be possible to give meaningful results and also for data reduction. Below we have shown how the information was extracted in 8Comments:   
  9. 9. Feminine Car: A concept study terms of our three key research elements. Questions are given in appendix.Q1. Car manufacturers have ignored the likes & dislikes of women in car designUsing LIKERT scale, the general satisfaction of women in terms of existing car modelsand design is gauged here.Q2. Q3 Q5 Q6 and Q12Gauges the preferences of women at different stages in the car selection processamongst other factors.Q8 Q10 Q13 and Q15Gauge the attitude of women and how they relate with the elements of car designQ4 Q7 Q9 Q11 and Q14Gauge the perception of women in terms of what they desire in a car  Survey: Survey method used was mainly by Personal Interviewing of the respondents. Interview was conducted in campus and we also did intercept at popular places like Info city (info-tech parks).  Scaling Techniques: Consideration should be given to the below points before attempting to formulate a scaling technique. There is no point in collecting data which cannot be analyzed subsequently. Also of concern is the cost and limited time available for collecting and analyzing data. 1) Type of information required. 2) Time and cost constraints. 3) Literary level of target respondents (for easy communication) 9Comments:   
  10. 10. Feminine Car: A concept study 4) What type of Statistical tools should be used? 5) How each question will be analysed? 6) Expected and desired response Types of scaling used in our questionnaire design: Nominal scale This is a very simple scale. It consists of assignment of choices to various alternative categories which are usually exhaustive as well mutually exclusive. These scales are just numerical and are the least restrictive of all the scales. It is simple and widely used when relationship between two variables is to be studied. In a Nominal Scale numbers are no more than labels and are used specifically to identify different categories of responses. This questionnaire comprised mainly nominal type as they were simple to distinguish relationship between more than one variable. Ordinal scale Ordinal scales are the simplest attitude measuring scale used in Marketing Research. It is more powerful than a nominal scale in that the numbers possess the property of rank order. The ranking of certain product attributes or benefits as deemed important by the respondents is obtained through the scale. LIKERT scale A part of ordinal scale developed by Rensis Likert. Here the respondents are asked to indicate a degree of agreement and disagreement with each of a series of statement. Each scale item has 5 response categories ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Each degree of agreement is given a numerical score and the 10Comments:   
  11. 11. Feminine Car: A concept study respondents total score is computed by summing these scores. This total score of respondent reveals the particular opinion of a person. Semantic Differential Scale A type of attitude scales with bipolar adjectives at the far end of the scale. By measuring the score we can know the personality type of the respondent. b. Sampling Process  Target Population: The target population is the collection of elements or objects that process the information sought by the researcher and about which inferences are to be made. Our target population involves women who are potential or existing buyers of cars, women who are existing users of cars or above 18yrs which is the legally permissible limit for drivers in India.Essentially, our target population is young women comprising both workingwomen and the student population.  Sample Size: It denotes the number of elements to be included in the study. Due to time constraints the sample size chosen is 72. Sample size should be in the range of hundreds for a meaningful analysis, larger the sample size more relevant will be its inference. For the purpose of our study we have limited the sample size to 72.  Sampling Technique: Convenience sampling was mostly done in our study as the respondents chosen were closest and depending on their availability. It is a type of non-probability sampling which involves the sample being drawn from that part of the population which is close to hand. The researcher cannot generalize the 11Comments:   
  12. 12. Feminine Car: A concept study results from this type of sampling as the samples are confined to a specific location and not representative of the general population. Stratified sampling was also used in our study to obtain homogeneous sub groups from the population. We have divided the respondents into female student and working women population. When populations vary, it is advantageous to sample each subpopulation independently. Stratification is the process of dividing members of the population into homogeneous subgroups before sampling. A stratified survey could thus claim to be more representative of the population than a survey of simple random sampling or systematic sampling. We also used snowball sampling where existing subjects would guide us to new respondents based on their recommendation. c. Sample gathering A total of 72 respondents were interviewed personally and they were asked to fill out the questionnaire. Out of the 72 respondents the ratio of working women to female students was 1:3.4. Data Processing and Analysis a. Data analysis  Assimilate using pivot table The data gathered from the respondents were input into MS excel. The data was brought together and prepared for statistical analysis. Using pivot table function the basic data was analyzed the results were represented in pie charts as shown below.  Pie charts 12Comments:   
  13. 13. Feminine Car: A concept studyQ1. Below chart shows that 36% of respondents believe that car manufacturers have notconsidered the needs of women in the elements of car design. While only 12%respondents are satisfied with the existing car models in terms of design. A sizeableportion of respondents 21% were undecided. 3% 0 12% Strongly agree Agree Undecided 21% 36% Disagree Strongly disagreeQ2. Below chart shows that majority women 24% associate the image of a car withfamily. A sizeable 21% associate the car with functionality and view it as a mode oftransport. 6% Mode of transport 21% 24% Status symbol 6% Speed machine 15% Family vehicle Style quotient 13Comments:   
  14. 14. Feminine Car: A concept studyQ3. Below chart shows that majority women 30% go for exterior looks followed bymileage 24% Exterior looks 12% 30% Engine power 24% Mileage 6% Cabin space OthersQ4. Safety features and Portable wardrobe are the two most desirable features that canbe made available in the future car models seat height boot opener accessories Gear change easy comfort/safety automatic mirror portable wardrobe 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 14Comments:   
  15. 15. Feminine Car: A concept studyQ5. The chart below shows that 39% of female respondents prefer to drive a sedan 6% 15% 12% Hatchback Sedan 39% SUV CompactQ6. The budget for majority of respondents 33% was in the range of 4-6 lacs less than INR 4.0 Lacs 15% INR 4-6 Lacs 33% INR 6-8 Lacs 24% INR 8-10 Lacs 15Comments:   
  16. 16. Feminine Car: A concept studyQ7. The consideration for car safety features amongst the respondents was highest andof utmost importance 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Utmost Essential Accessory Not important requiredQ8. Cabin height was deemed to be highly underutilized by the respondents 80 60 40 rank 4 20 rank 3 0 rank 2 Front Back Boot Cabin rank 1 legroom legroom space height 16Comments:   
  17. 17. Feminine Car: A concept studyQ9. Silver and Black were the chosen colors as per the majority of respondents 12% 9% 3% 12% 18% 18% Red Pink Blue Silver Black WhiteQ10. Majority of the respondents ranked “voice activated audio, video & GPS navigationsystem” as the highest priority followed by “refrigerated compartment for holding cans” Refrigerator Portable wardrobe rank1 rank2 Vanity kit rank3 rank4 GPS/ Voice command 0% 20%40%60%80%100% 17Comments:   
  18. 18. Feminine Car: A concept studyQ11. Amongst the various models given by respondents, Maruti Swift was most popularfollowed by Volkswagon Beetel and Honda city 25 Swift Beetel Beat 20 Innova Polo Wagonr 15 Jazz Audi NA CRV Xylo Honda City 10 Santro i10 Civiv 5 Corolla Cruz Vento 0 Etios Spark Alto 1 Punto JettaQ12. Majority of the respondents 33% are in favor of CNG powered vehicles 6% 18% Petrol Diesel 33% 15% CNG Electric 18Comments:   
  19. 19. Feminine Car: A concept studyQ13. Majority of the respondents ranked “electronic fault indicators” as their priority 80 70 60 50 Parking space 40 Open bonnet 30 Crank the car Manual door opening 20 10 0 rank1 rank2 rank3 rank4Q14. “soft fabric with cushion effect” was top on the list of upholstery by the respondents Lavish Leather Soft fabric Others 19Comments:   
  20. 20. Feminine Car: A concept studyQ15. Female respondents were most apprehensive about meeting with accidents ascompared to car breakdown and other factors 100% 90% 80% 70% Breakdown 60% Coordination 50% Accidents 40% 30% Change flat tyres 20% 10% 0% rank1 rank2 rank3 rank4Summary: 1. A car as a family vehicle: Women respondents from our survey view cars as family vehicles, rather than an extension of their individual lifestyle. As a family vehicle, women expect that the vehicle should have seating capacity of 4-5 passengers. Women are conscious of the family setup and 20Comments:   
  21. 21. Feminine Car: A concept study are committed to the family. Most probably they perceive cars as an extension of the family environment with whom they are attached rather than their individual self. 2. Attractive looks: A lot of emphasis was put on attractive looks by the respondents. Also from our survey it was determined that Swift and Beetle are amongst most popular designs by the respondents. Beetle is a retro styled car from Volkswagon’s stable and most popular amongst women worldwide due to its cute and bug like appearance. Similarly any car targeted at women should have a cuteness quotient. 3. Sedan: Most respondents have chosen sedans over small cars and SUVs. Sedans are predominantly 4 door cars with separate trunk for luggage at the rear. In the Indian car market, sedans are associated with an upmarket image and most corporate vehicles happen to be sedans. 4. Budget: Most of the respondents prefer to spend in the range of 4 – 6 lacs. Cars in this price will fall in the premium segment such as Hyundai’s i20 and Polo for example or an entry level sedan. 5. Safety features: Safety was of utmost importance for women respondents, women give highest importance to car safety features in the car selection process. Cars targeted at women should offer safety as a standard offering rather than optional package. This finding is synonymous with the response of women worldwide by online surveys. 6. Car roof height: Respondents feel that car roof is highly underutilized in a car especially true for cars having tall boy design. Low car roofs are also associated with sleek designs as seen in sports models. Moreover the average height of women in India is less than 5ft5”. 7. Colour: Black and silver are the most popular colours amongst the female respondents. 21Comments:   
  22. 22. Feminine Car: A concept study 8. CNG: CNG is the fuel of choice by most respondents. This means our respondents are both price conscious and favour environment sustainability 9. Electronic Fault Indicators: women respondents are not comfortable opening heavy bonnets and analyzing complicated engine mechanisms to find out breakdowns/ failures. Hence a need for electronic fault finders which would summarize the performance of engine and associated machinery in the car to provide a real time data on the dash board. 10. Upholstery: Women respondents have rated soft fabric with cushion like comfort in their rating for upholstery. The upholstery should be as comfortable as in one’s own bedroom. 11. Roadside assistance: Women respondents were most apprehensive about meeting with accidents while driving. This concern can be alleviated by offering roadside assistance as a standard. Roadside assistance will also comprise changing flat tyres and cover other breakdowns.Findings (derived from the survey): Aspects of Car design 1 Seating space 4-5 to accommodate a family 2 Looks Attractive looks 3 Car type Sedan 4 Budget INR 4-6 lacs 5 Features Safety features as standard package 6 Car height Low height (no tall-boy designs) 7 Colour Black/ silver 8 Fuel CNG 9 Gadgets Provide electronic fault indicators10 Upholstery Provide soft fabrics with cushion effect11 Miscellaneous Roadside assistance cover for accidents 22Comments:   
  23. 23. Feminine Car: A concept studyLimitationsSince this Project was intended to elucidate the techniques of Business ResearchMethods The scope of the project was limited to learning the concept ofResearch design.There have been a number of limitations because of which the survey may not betruly representative as mentioned below.  The Sample size used for the research was small.  The Sample consisted of primarily students.  The area was limited to College campus and the shopping places  The responses obtained might be inaccurate or biased  The sample of the respondents chosen for the study might not be representative  Analysis of the data might differ depending on the statistical tools and techniques usedb) Recommendations:a) The concept of a woman only car (feminine car) is nascent in India. Although the feminine 2-wheeler market has evolved with male scooters and bikes to women centric vehicles popularly known as SCOOTY. The bike promotions are based on masculine needs of speed and machismo; the women advertisements focus on easy maneuverability with a sense of liberation from the household (4-walled barrier) that feminine society was restricted to in our social structure.b) Although the study findings draws our attention towards the specific attributes desired by woman in a car, a subsequent detailed study about the market demand for a concept of Feminine car is desirable. The aspect of market 23Comments:   
  24. 24. Feminine Car: A concept study demand was not covered within the scope of the survey due to time constraints and low sample size.c) The study is perception based among young women students (18-25year age) and working women (within 30years of age). A much wider sample size especially for the age bracket of 30-45year old is desirable as that sample would be more mature and informed in terms of practicality of buying a car rather than our sample who would be potential car owners in the near future (after 5-10years).d) The growing financial independence and stability of women in India will impact on the decision making ability for women in terms of car purchase. A unique woman centric product would do wonders in tapping the unfulfilled needs of women. Any organization would want to leverage the concept in taking the first mover advantage in this market. This study although suggesting the perception should be augmented with a need based study to complete the market research objectives. 24Comments:   
  25. 25. Feminine Car: A concept studyAppendix: Questionnaire 1. Car manufacturers have ignored the likes & dislikes of women in car design (a) Strongly agree (b) Agree (c) Undecided (d) Disagree (e) Strongly disagree 2. Which of the below best matches your perception of a car? (choose any one) (a) A mode of transport (b) A status symbol (c) A speed machine (d) A family vehicle (e) A style quotient 3. What is the most appealing aspect to you in car design? (choose any one) (a) Exterior Looks (b) Engine power (c) Mileage (d) Cabin space (e) Other (please specify) _______________________ 4. Which feminine feature according to you is missing in the cars available in the Indian market? (a) ________________________ (b) ________________________ (c) ________________________ 5. Which type of car would you consider buying (choose any one) (a) Hatchback (b) Sedan (c) SUV (d) Compact (2 door) 6. The budget perceived for your car would be in the range 25Comments:   
  26. 26. Feminine Car: A concept study (a) <4.0 lacs (b) 4.0 - 6.0 lacs (c) 6.0 – 8.0 lacs (d) 8.0 - 10.0 lacs 7. Safety features in your car is of; (a) Utmost importance (b) Essential (c) An accessory (d) Not required 8. Which space in your car do you think is highly underutilized? (rank 1 to 4, 1 has highest rank) (a) Legroom in the front row seats as you/ driver is not very tall__ (b) Legroom in the back row seats as your family doesn’t have a Michael Jordan__ (c) Boot-space as you generally do not carry luggage__ (d) Cabin-height (headroom) because tall boy concepts look ugly__ 9. What would be the favourite colour for your car? (choose any one) (a) Red (b) Pink (c) Blue (d) Silver (e) Other (please specify) _________ 10. What are the most important accessories you would like in your car? (rank 1 to 4, 1 has highest rank) (a) A built in voice activated audio, video and GPS navigation system__ (b) A pull out vanity kit with lipstick, nail polish holders (instead of glove-box)__ (c) A portable wardrobe case for your party clothes __ (d) A refrigerated compartment for holding bottles __ 11. According to you, presently which car model best serves all your needs to the extent possible? 26Comments:   
  27. 27. Feminine Car: A concept study (a) _________________________ (b) _________________________ (c) _________________________ (d) No one suits my taste 12. Specify your preference in car engine type (choose any one) (a) Petrol (low noise and maintenance) (b) Diesel (cheaper fuel) (c) CNG (cheap & environment friendly) (d) Electric (cheap and convenient) 13. The most dull thing to do in car driving (rank 1 to 4, 1 has highest rank) (a) Open the car doors manually (wish you had automatic doors)__ (b) Crank the car (wish you had push start button)__ (c) Open the bonnet to check the level oil, coolant and battery (wish you had electronic fault indicators)__ (d) Crammed parking space (wish you had parking sensors)__ 14. What kind of upholstery would you prefer inside your car? (choose any one) (a) Plush like your drawing room (b) Leather finished (c) Soft fabric with cushions (d) Other (please specify) ___________ 15. Your biggest fear in car driving would be (rank 1 to 4, 1 has highest rank) (a) Having to change flat tyres __ (b) Worried about having an accident__ (c) Coordinate between steering, gears, clutch, brake and accelerator__ (d) Car breakdown in the middle of nowhere__ 27Comments:   
  28. 28. Feminine Car: A concept studyReferencesMoss, G.M (2008), Gender Design and Marketing, how gender drives ourperception of design and marketing, Aldershot, England: Ashgate publications, p22-40Bell, J.B.(2003) Concept Car Design: Driving the Dream (Interior and IndustrialDesign), Rotovision publications, pg 130-163James Veal, A.J.V (2005) Business research methods: a managerial approach,Longman publications, pg 45-78Women design concept car for Volvo( female designer’s perspective ( By Sandrine LebasWomen and Cars: How Women Influence Car Design and Buying Power( Sheryll Alexander, AOL Autos 28Comments:   