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By T.Thiruppathi

Objectives of the study

To study the consumer preferences towards Hero Honda Bikes.

To identify the consumer satisfaction level and expectation in regards with Hero Honda Bikes. To identify the factors lead to consumer awareness and preferences towards Hero Honda Bikes.

To know the consumer Perception about features and low maintenance cost of Hero Honda bikes.

2.2. COMPANY PROFILE 2.2.1 Hero Honda

Hero Honda is the only player, which had carved a niche for motorcycles. Its market was small and limited while scooters ruled the roost but today, it is one of the biggest success stories. Its established presence in the motorcycle segment had stood it in good stead in this phase of boom in motorcycle sales. The fact that no other player commanded the brand name which Hero Honda enjoyed in motorcycle segment also added up to its success. In addition most other players such as Bajaj, TVS, LML etc., took time to assimilate the change in customer preferences and come up with models to buck the trend. Meanwhile Hero-Honda's designs were ready on the platter. Its R&D had been able to come up with models such as CBZ, Passion etc., in the premium segment to capture the hot demand. Riding high on the expectations of consumers, Hero Honda has successfully crossed over the one million units mark in motorcycle sales. Its popular model Splendor is the largest selling motorcycle in the world. To give a boost to its youthful image the company has chosen Sourav Ganguly and Hrithik Roshan as brand ambassadors.

2.2.2 History of Company

Type: Public company Founded: January 19, 1984 Head quarters: Haryana, Indian Key People: Brijmohan lall munjal (Chairman and managing Director) Industry: Automotive produce Motorcycle, scooters Hero Honda Motorcycle limited is an Indian manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters. Hero Honda is a joint venture that began in 1984 between the Hero Group of India and Honda From Japan. It has been the worlds biggest manufacturer of two- wheeler motorized vehicles since 2001. When it produced 1.3 million motorbikes in a single year. Hero Hondas splendor is the largest selling motorcycle its two plants are in Dharuhera and Gurgoan, both in Haryana India. It specializes in dual use motorcycles that are low powered but very fuel efficient.

India has the largest number of two wheelers in the world with 41.6 million vehicles. India has a mix of 30 percent automobiles and 70 percent two wheeler in the country. India was the second largest tow wheeler manufacturer in the world starting in the 1950s with the birth of Automobile products of India (API) that manufactured scooters. API manufactured the lambrettas but, another company, Baja Auto Ltd. Surpassed API and remained through the turn of the century from its association with piaggio of Italy (manufactured of vespa) the license raj that existed between the 1940s and 1980s in India. Did not allow foreign companies to enter the market and imports were tightly controlled. Customers in India were forced to wait 12 years to buy a scooter from Bajaj. The CEO of Bajaj commented that he did not need a marketing department, only a dispatch department. By the year 1990, Bajaj had a waiting list that was twenty-six times its annual output for scooters. In the mid-1980s, the Indian government regulation changed and permitted foreign companies to enter the Indian market through minority joint ventures. The two wheeler market changed with four indo-Japanese joint ventures: Hero Honda, TVS Suzuki, Bajaj Kawasaki and Kinetic Honda. The entry of these foreign companies changed the Indian market dynamics from the supply demand side. With a larger selection of two-wheelers on the Indian market, consumer started to gain influence over the products they bought and raised higher customer expectation. The industry produced more models, styling options, price, and different fuel efficiencies. The foreign companies new technologies helped make the products more reliable and with better quality. Indian companies had to change to keep u- with their global.

During the 1980s, Hero Honda became the first company in India to prove that it was possible to drive a vehicle without polluting the roads. The company introduced new generation motorcycles that set industry benchmarks for fuel thrift and low emission. A legendary Fill it Shut it Forget it campaign captured the imagination of commuters across India, and Hero Honda sold millions of bikes purely on the commitment of increased mileage. Hero Honda has consistently grown at double digits since inception: and today, every second motorcycle sold in the country is a Hero Honda. Every 30 seconds, someone in India buys Hero Hondas top selling motorcycle splendor. This festive season, the company sold half a million two wheelers in a single month a feat unparalleled in global automotive history. Hero Honda values its relationship with customers. Its unique CRM initiative Hero Honda Passport Program. One of the largest programs of this kind in the world has over 3 million members on its roster. The program has not only helped Hero Honda understand its customers and deliver value at different price points, built has also created a loyal community of brand ambassadors.

1.4. Review of literature 1) Dr. N. Chandrasekaran Consumer Behavior and Brand Preference towards Onida Television- An Empirical Study with Reference To Karur, Tamil Nadu. Indian Journal of Marketing. July 2009. Page No (58) Abstract: The wants of the customer are carefully studied by conducting surveys on consumer behavior. The study also helps to know various marketing variables such as price and product features. This study will help gain knowledge about the various marketing variables such as price and product features. This study will help gain knowledge about the influence of consumer to prefer a particular brand and the problems faced by them using such brands. 2) Dr. N. Yesodha Devi & Dr. V.S. Kanchana A study on consumer preference and satisfaction towards restaurants in Coimbatore city. Indian journal of marketing. October, 2009. Page No (56) Abstract: India is in the midst of a restaurant revolution. Ten years ago, people would calculate how much it costs make a chicken dish at home (rather than eating out at a restaurant), and on realizing how much cheaper it would prepare it at home. These days, will-heeled Indians are much more likely to go out. India represents tremendous long-term growth opportunity for Restaurants with a population of nearly 1.1 billion people a strong national infrastructure and a growing middle class. The post 1990 period saw many international food-chains entering the country as it developed into a potential market for restaurant industry. Given Indias status as the planets largest democracy, a middle class the size of the entire U.S. population, and worlds second-fastest growing economy behind Chinas, restaurant operators say that the country offers growth opportunities as potential rewarding as those they have pursued in China since the mid-1980s. Indias middle class, which is growth rapidly in both size and income, is seeking ways to enjoy the results of their hard work.

The eating habits of the people are changing. In a family, if both the husband and wife are earning, buy the time they return from work, the wife is too exhausted to prepare meals for the family and this makes them to go out to eating. This ultimately results in the growth and development of restaurants or hotels. Indian taste buds are demanding more and restaurant industry-one of the most people intensive industry is gearing up to cater to the rising expectations of food lovers. Eating out has become more of a convenience rather than a fashion and now a days, it has become a routine the weekends. So the study. Customer preference and satisfaction towards restaurants in Coimbatore city was conducted to identify the customer perception, taste, factors considered in selection restaurant, variety of foods preferred and the restaurants preferred while dining out. 3) G.V. Venela, A study on two-wheelers in the Indian rural market, Indian journal of marketing. November, 2009. Page No (39) Abstract: India is a vast country with a burgeoning population that is more than 1 billion and is next only to China. Around 72% of the Indian population is living in rural areas and forms around 12.2% of the world population, an indication that about 120 million households live in rural India out of which most of them are dependent on agriculture and agri-related activities fop their livelihood and many of them are illiterate and people below poverty line (BPL). Through the lifestyles of the rural masses have undergone a sea change with the increased infrastructural facilities, application of modern techniques in cultivation, and better access to urban areas, the situation in India is still not rosy. However, of late, the situation has changed drastically with even Multi National Companies (MNCs) competing keenly for a share in the rural markets. This is welcome news for the rural consumer who has been ignored by the corporate world from time immemorial. Rural Marketing can be defined as the activities taking place in rural markets to influence the rural consumers to buy specific products or services for satisfying their needs and wants by conveying message through print, electronic and mass media.

A key element in marketing strategy is brand name. it is extremely difficult to establish a successful brand name, but once a brand name is established, it is an invaluable asset. Marketing activities exert an enormous impact on individuals. Consumer behavior is relevant to our understanding of both public policy issues and the dynamics of popular culture. A sound understanding of consumer behavior is essential in the long run success of any marketing program. Marketers try to satisfy consumer needs, but the reason why any product is purchased can vary widely. The identification of consumer needs and expectations is an important step towards ensuring that the appropriate needs will be met by a product. 4) Dr. S.K. Sinha & Ajay Wagh, Analyzing growth of cellular telecom sector and understanding consumers preferences and choices on the use of cell phone. Indian journal of marketing. September, 2008. Page Nos (27, 29) Abstract: India is one of the fastest growing telecommunication markets of the twenty first century. The common man, artisans, agricultural labors, vendors and workers from every walk of life are comfortably using the services provided by telecom industries. The potential of capturing market segment will surely depend upon understanding dynamics of customers psyche demography. According to Lewis & Boom (1983) service quality is considered as a measure of how well the service delivered matches customers expectations on providing a better service than the customer expect organizational brand promotional strategies should be based on developing innovative offers & products, developing cost friendly value driven packages and tariffs, offering quality services after sales services & ability to make calls without getting cut off & also to provide cheaper cost of calls to other networks. A study conducted in the year 2001 focused on six attributes namely; connection fee, access cost, mobile to mobile phone rates, free calls, call rates & telephone features were the respondent had to rate importance of attributes.

5) Rachel Dardis, Horacio Soberon-Ferrer, consumer preference for Japanese auto mobiles. Journal of consumer affairs, summer, 1994. Abstract: Consumer decision making is multidimensional, that is, consumer choices are not base on a single product attribute, instead consumers view products as bundles of attributes, where each attribute carries a specific weight in fulfilling a consumers needs and wants. Thus, inquires that focus on the marginal effect of a product attribute on its desirability to consumers must hold ceteris paribus conditions along two different vectors, a vector of product attributes and a vector of consumer characteristics. Depreciation rate and miles per litter are examples of product attributes of automobiles, while age and sex are examples of consumer characteristics. Product attributes (auto mobile attributes) as well as household characteristics. In both instances, the higher the value of the cost index or the Trouble Index, the more unsatisfactory the car is relative to other cars. Thus, a negative coefficient for these variables in a multivariate analysis indicates that households that want cars with lower repair costs or lower frequency of repair are more likely to buy Japanese cars. Quality factors, price of the product and value reliability, three categories were used for education-not a high school graduate, high school graduate, and education beyond-high school. A better educated household might be more informed about the performance properties of Japanese cars and attracted by the higher value reliability of these cars.

6) Dr.C.Annandan & M. Prasanna Mohan Raj & Mr. S. Madhu, A study on Brand preferences of washing soaps in rural areas. Indian journal of marketing. March 2007.Page No. (30) Abstract: Indias rural markets have seen a lot of activity in the salt few years. Since penetration levels are pretty high in most categories, future growth can come only from deeper rural penetration. Rural marketing has become the latest marketing mantra of most FMCG majors. The new mantra of all FMCG giants is To get rich, sell to the rural. So they have started marketing programs to explore the untapped segment of rural markets. As far as FMCG is concerned, the market penetration and consumption in rural areas is low so there is an opportunity for marketers to utilize the market effectively. Another key positive aspect is the current governments focus on rural India. Understanding the rural customers. Inadequate data on rural markets. Reaching of products or services to 6.4 lakh villages. Poor infrastructure of rural market.

7) Ali Kara, Consumer Preferences of store brands: role of prior experiences and value consciousness journal of Targeting, Measurement and Analysis for Marketing (2009)17, 127-137. Abstract: Store brands play an important role in retail strategy and understanding store brand purchase behavior is a behavior is a critical issue for marketers and researchers alike. This paper contributes to the body of knowledge in this area by examining different factors affecting consumers purchase behavior of store brand. In this process, we investigate the decision to purchase a store brand using a conceptual model, which incorporates a number of variables hypothesized to influence store brand purchase decisions. Using a sample of 799 shoppers, we have analyzed the relationships assumed in the conceptual model. Results confirm the hypothesized relationships between store brand purchase and value implications of the study are discussed. Key words: Store brands, consumer purchase decisions, structural equation modeling.