High growth in Indian newspaper industry due to opportunities not only inthe territories of the players, but also in those of the competitors.Thousands of crores were spent by players to invade each other’s territories,making understanding reader preference as the only way to survive. People correspond to their beliefs to which they identify themselves, whilelooking for a newspaper. Defining reader profile helps in designing better marketing strategies, hence astudy of VALUE AND LIFESTLYES (VALS) is essential.
VALS views people on the basis of their attitudes, needs, wants, beliefs and demographics. This program was created by SRI International in 1978. VALS uses psychology for customer segmentation which has led to a creation of link between personality traits and purchase behaviour of consumers. It helps distinguish differences in motivation and also captures the psychological and material constraints on consumer behaviour. Individuals may have common characteristics such a age, sex, geographic location, etc. but their psychographic structure varies, hence psychographic segmentation comes into play. Psychographic segmentation helps in pin pointing the most receptive audiences for the company’s messages.
Brand loyalty is another important aspect. Customers don’t change brands for extra benefits or attributes of the competitors. Brand loyalists are less price sensitive and this is reflected in the brand equity. Players must make good use of customer lifetime value because all the difference is made by the consumers perception. Brand loyalty is the result of positive attitudes and perceived values. For example; a Harley Davidson rider bearing a Harley tattoo on his arm. Consumers tend to link emotions and values in consumption experiences. Values are one of the most powerful explanations of influences on Consumer Behaviour. VALS helps in understanding reasons behind consumer choice and the motivations that stimulate Consumer Behaviour.
Newspapers shape the nation and it holds true for India as well. Even before India got independence, newspapers played a major role in spreading the issue of independence. Today, India has over 300 big newspapers, besides hundreds of medium and small-sized ones. And the number is increasing almost everyday as existing newspapers bring out new editions apart from new players joining the bandwagon. There was a time when select group of newspapers were ruling a particular region and they all were self-contained and did not wish to foray into other regions. For example, Hindustan Times was confined to Delhi region, The Hindu in Chennai region, while Anandabazar Patrika was confined in West Bengal and Bhaskar in Gujarat and so on.
But lately, the scenario has completely changed; for example, the Times of India added a number of new editions . The Indian Express group launched its Marathi daily ‘Loksatta’ in Bangalore and Hyderabad. Regional newspapers like Dainik Jagran , Dainik Bhaskar , Rajasthan Patrika, Amar Ujala, etc have also started spreading their hold over B class cities. Business newspapers have also branched into new editions in newer territories. The Times Group has launched a Gujarati language edition of The Economic Times. Another popular way seen to enter into other territories quickly has been by acquisitions, like Times of India group acquired Bangalore-based publishing house, Vijayanand Printers to tap the southern market. Top newspapers in India are now opting for high-speed web presses like that of Goss, MAN Roland, Mitsubishi and mailroom systems from Ferag and Muller Martini.
THE HINDUThe Hindu started in 1878 as a weekly and became a daily in 1989. According to the Indian Readership Survey in 2011, it is the third mostwidely read English newspaper in India with a readership of 2.0 million people. It is printed in twelve centers namely Chennai , Coimbatore , Bangalore ,New Delhi , Hyderabad ,etc…The Hindu also publishes Business Line, Front Line and Sport Star .It had also published many books like The Survey of IndianIndustry 2012 , Sachin-Tribute To A Legend etc.
The Times Of IndiaThe Times of India was launched in Bombay in 1838.It is owned by Benett,Coleman & Co. Ltd.It is the largest newspaper in the country with a strong national presence.It is India’s most widely circulated English daily and the group’s mega-brand.The Times of India is rated amongst the world’s six best newspapers and has adaily circulation level of more than a million copy.It is published from Mumbai,Delhi,Bangalore,Ahmedabad,Lucknow andPatna.The group also publishes Economic Times,Femina,NavbharatTimes,Filmfare,Sandhya Times,andTimes FM.
THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESSThe New Indian Express is an Indian English language braodsheet dailynewspaper published by the Express publications and based in Chennai.It is printed in fourteen centers.It has a major presence in the four southern states of TamilNadu,Karnataka,Andhra Pradesh,Kerala and also Orissa.The group also publishes newspaper Dinamani in Tamil and KannadaPrabha in Kannada, and also magazines ,Cinema Express in Tamil,Malayalam Vaarika in Malayalam and Tamil Express in Tamil.At present it’s the only national daily which publishes news of far-flungAndaman and Nicobar Islands on an everyday basis.
VALS is a marketing and consulting tool that helps businesses worldwidedevelop and execute more effective strategies.The system identifies current and future opportunities by segmenting theconsumer marketplace on the basis of the personality traits that drive consumerbehaviour.VALS uses psychology to segment people according to their distinctpersonality traits.
VALS segments VALS™ places consumers into one of eight segments based on their responses to the VALS questionnaire. The main dimensions of the segmentation framework are primary motivation (the horizontal dimension) and resources (the vertical dimension).
VALS segments VALS types description Innovators (formerly Actualizers) Innovators are successful, sophisticated, take- charge people with high self-esteem. Because they have such abundant resources, they exhibit all three primary motivations in varying degrees. They are change leaders and are the most receptive to new ideas and technologies. Innovators are very active consumers, and their purchases reflect cultivated tastes for upscale, niche products and services. Image is important to Innovators, not as evidence of status or power but as an expression of their taste, independence, and personality. Innovators are among the established and emerging leaders in business and government, yet they continue to seek challenges. Their lives are characterized by variety. Their possessions and recreation reflect a cultivated taste for the finer things in life.
VALS segments VALS types description Thinkers (formerly Fulfilleds) Thinkers are motivated by ideals. They are mature, satisfied, comfortable , and reflective people who value order, knowledge, and responsibility. They tend to be well educated and actively seek out information in the decision-making process. They are well- informed about world and national events and are alert to opportunities to broaden their knowledge. Thinkers have a moderate respect for the status quo institutions of authority and social decorum, but are open to consider new ideas. Although their incomes allow them many choices, Thinkers are conservative, practical consumers; they look for durability, functionality, and value in the products they buy.
VALS segments VALS types description Believers Like Thinkers, Believers are motivated by ideals. They are conservative, conventional people with concrete beliefs based on traditional, established codes: family, religion, community, and the nation. Many Believers express moral codes that are deeply rooted and literally interpreted. They follow established routines, organized in large part around home, family, community, and social or religious organizations to which they belong. As consumers, Believers are predictable; they choose familiar products and established brands. They favor American products and are generally loyal customers.
VALS segments VALS types description Achievers Motivated by the desire for achievement, Achievers have goal-oriented lifestyles and a deep commitment to career and family. Their social lives reflect this focus and are structured around family, their place of worship, and work. Achievers live conventional lives, are politically conservative, and respect authority and the status quo. They value consensus, predictability, and stability over risk, intimacy, and self-discovery. With many wants and needs, Achievers are active in the consumer marketplace. Image is important to Achievers; they favor established, prestige products and services that demonstrate success to their peers. Because of their busy lives, they are often interested in a variety of time-saving devices.
VALS segments VALS types description Strivers Strivers are trendy and fun loving. Because they are motivated by achievement, Strivers are concerned about the opinions and approval of others. Money defines success for Strivers, who dont have enough of it to meet their desires. They favor stylish products that emulate the purchases of people with greater material wealth. Many see themselves as having a job rather than a career, and a lack of skills and focus often prevents them from moving ahead. Strivers are active consumers because shopping is both a social activity and an opportunity to demonstrate to peers their ability to buy. As consumers, they are as impulsive as their financial circumstance will allow.
VALS segments VALS types description Experiencers Experiencers are motivated by self-expression. As young, enthusiastic, and impulsive consumers, Experiencers quickly become enthusiastic about new possibilities but are equally quick to cool. They seek variety and excitement, savoring the new, the offbeat, and the risky. Their energy finds an outlet in exercise, sports, outdoor recreation, and social activities. Experiencers are avid consumers and spend a comparatively high proportion of their income on fashion, entertainment, and socializing. Their purchases reflect the emphasis they place on looking good and having "cool" stuff.
VALS segments VALS types description Makers Like Experiencers, Makers are motivated by self-expression. They express themselves and experience the world by working on it- building a house, raising children, fixing a car, or canning vegetables-and have enough skill and energy to carry out their projects successfully. Makers are practical people who have constructive skills and value self- sufficiency. They live within a traditional context of family, practical work, and physical recreation and have little interest in what lies outside that context. Makers are suspicious of new ideas and large institutions such as big business. They are respectful of government authority and organized labor, but resentful of government intrusion on individual rights. They are unimpressed by material possessions other than those with a practical or functional purpose. Because they prefer value to luxury, they buy basic products.
VALS segments VALS types description Survivors (formerly Strugglers) Survivors live narrowly focused lives. With few resources with which to cope, they often believe that the world is changing too quickly. They are comfortable with the familiar and are primarily concerned with safety and security. Because they must focus on meeting needs rather than fulfilling desires, Survivors do not show a strong primary motivation. Survivors are cautious consumers. They represent a very modest market for most products and services. They are loyal to favorite brands, especially if they can purchase them at a discount.
Highly reliable and credible source. Unbiased news presentation. Enhancing their language fluency. Wide coverage of news. More entertaining and lots of pictures. High print quality. Recommend to their friends.
Psychographic profile of customers. Building brand Image. Characteristics of VALS segments. Believers are strong loyal customers.
StrategiesThe following framework suggests four types of marketdominance strategies :Market LeaderMarket ChallengerMarket FollowerMarket Nicher
The market leader is dominant in its industry. They should defend their market share by retaining their existing customers. Market Leader should have strong customer base of Thinkers and Believers. The Times of India is the world’s largest selling newspaper according to The Audit Bureau of Circulations. They have a very strong base of Strivers(45%). They have to target Believers and Thinkers to increase their loyalty base.
A market challenger is a firm in a strong , but not dominant position . It typically targets the industry leader. The Hindu is the 3rd largest selling English daily. Innovators are the strongest base of The Hindu(40%). Strivers are the most vulnerable segment to be targeted by The Hindu. Strivers are impulsive, easily bored and are fashion victim. The Hindu may come out with supplements with entertainment,colorful pictures and stories about the latest trends in fashions along with retaining the strong base of Innovators.
A Market follower is a firm in a strong , but not dominant position . They can follow 2 options: To strengthen the loyalty of existing customer base by delivering the core benefits to their segment. Expanding their customer base by targeting Brand Switchers. The New Indian Express have strong loyalty base of Believers(35%). They can tap the potentials among the Strivers and Strugglers.
In this strategy the firm concentrates on a select few target markets. It is also called a Focus Strategy. The niche should be large enough to be profitable, but small enough to be ignored by the major industry players. Makers and Achievers are the segment to be tapped. Newspapers with political alignment may target the Achievers.
The strategy followed by Times of India in Chennai to capture the market is unique. This study is examining various VALS segments and their impact on brand loyalty particularly in the context of major English newspapers. Further they can possibly include extension to different Brands and Regions according to geo-demographic factors . Similarly, the relationship between lifestyles and preference for Regional Vs English Newspaper can also be focused on.