Sunday, October 17, 2004

Its a mad mad world...

What am I doing in office on a Sunday? Holy Christ.. Have I run out of ideas to entertain myself ? India ain't doing too well at Chennai and Dad insists on watching every ball of it and delighting in the fact that "his" Aussies are doing well.. Sometimes I wonder if he has some roots Down Under...He even watches Australia play hockey and rugby :-) Since I wasn't getting anywhere near the remote the whole day and my lappie was down (yet again) and I cudn't watch a movie, I've had no choice but to come all the way to EC just to close a few pending official matters, and of course, surf and blog....So till the next shuttle to MG at half past 5, I guess I will type in some crap...

For starters, just saw this post on Megs blog that talks briefly about why people blog. While mentioning different kinds of bloggers, she carefully distinguishes between "pointless rambling about random things" and "randomly ramble about pointless things" and remarks on the vanity and self-indulgence of the former kind. Megs, u might have as well said Jupiee, stop crapping ;-) Neway I kinda get your point but the more I think of it, the more I enjoy being so..Come, sue me :-p

Okie, since I have clarified my stance on the above issue, lemme go ahead and prove that I haven't changed for worse. (or for better depending on whos reading this) Since the last week had been very rough at work, I had not planned much for the weekend just preferring to chill out and relax. Maybe the absence of phone calls the whole morning or something to that tune gave my mom a clue but I found myself persuaded to accompany her to Big Bazaar yesterday evening on one of her rare shopping sprees. As a rule I hate crowded malls (unless I am with one myself) so forced my mom to leave at 2 pm so that we could return back before the weekend crowd filtered in. Surprise of all surprises, when we reached BB there were already hundreds of people doing their shopping. My mom was there to pick up some "simple cotton sarees" (BB and clothes? Why won't she listen to me??) so knowing it would be fruitless to tag along with her, I wandered off on yet another of my missions to understand consumer behavior. I've tried below to sum up an hour of very interesting observations profiling the kinda people who visit Big Bazaar. See if you can identify with any of these crowds....

1. The middle aged house-wives (age: 40-55): These are the people who are BB's bread and butter. They want to pay the least money and expect the world's best goods for that price. You can find most of them at the kitchen goods section on the ground floor, the bedroom stuff section in Level 1 and the women’s clothes section in Level 3. There was one lady who asked 5 total strangers around her for their opinion before deciding NOT to buy a cotton sari priced at Rs 199 because it might not last more than 2 years of washing despite looking great. I definitely mean no insult here but they are living proof of the value-for-money Indian consumer.


2. DINK couples (age: 26-32): These are people who are too busy to shop for different things at different places. They come here just because they can get everything under one roof and do not stand and compare products. They just pick up whatever fancies them without bothering to check the prices (Maybe since they are aware that BB itself means cheap). Strangely enough I found both the man and the woman making their own purchasing decisions. There was one couple where each of them went their way with their trolleys and finally ended up buying a Samsung refrigerator, bottles of Pepsi and Kissan Squash, greeting cards, a formal shoe pair for Rs 199 (oh yaaaa) and AXE deos. These are high net-value customers with huge purchasing power capacity. No wonder they were accosted by these ICICI credit card guys once in 10 minutes so much so that the guy gave them a verbal lashing :-)

3. Married with children but still young couples(age: 30-36): These are the ones that are most easily identifiable. The husband takes care of the kids - he is either carrying them or pushing them along in a pram. The wife seems to be calling all the shots in making the purchasing decision, turning to the husband only when it comes down to swiping the credit card. There was one particular couple with a very cute kid (I found the kid so adorable and was following them around so much that towards the end the guy suspected I was a stalker or a child-snatcher) where the guy wasn't even allowed to choose what kinda kerchiefs he wanted. Talk about women's empowerment :-)

4. The big nucleus family: This is one crowd that all the others in the mall should look out for. They are usually 15-25 in number - around 4-6 eager beaver women, their 4-6 tired husbands and their 6-15 children who are plain pests. They move around in groups, talking loudly and generally crowding everyone else. The more the heads that go into a decision the less likely that you are likely to come to a conclusion. For them, coming to BB is like a picnic. They are out to have a nice time and buying "might" happen if they happen to find something that wins the approval of all the women...Which hasn't happened since God-knows-when... Generally it would be wiser if BB allotted lesser of its salespeople to service these 'special' customers.

5. The lovey-dovey couple: These are the worst of all kinds of shoppers. For one, they stick very close to each other and are often seen whispering sweet nothings. No issues whatsoever but when you are doing that in the middle of an aisle while a hassled husband is trying to wheel his pram following his credit card, then you are a pain-you-know-where. Quite often these kinda people end up buying nothing. The usual routine is like this: The guy takes her to the clothes section where she tries out a million outfits before calling them all "cheap". Then she wants to show him she cares and takes him to the gifting section where again she buys nothing bemoaning the lack of choices. Finally they end up checking out the luggage and electronics shop planning for the day when they will settle together (as if they plan to.. who are they kidding) One particular couple really got to my nerves yesterday. I was checking out some coffee mugs when they came over and started getting in my way. And then the gal asks this sales guy " If I drop this porcelain mug, will it break?" At that moment if it weren't illegal to kill, I wud have happily broken his skull.. Yes.. His skull.. What did he see in such a dumb gal ? :-))) Btw, this couple actually bought something.. A few soft toys for his car... Yeeeesh...

6. The Vela crowd: These are the people who have either accompanied someone else who wanted to buy or come in just to while away a few hours of boredom. Some of them retain their clarity of purpose till the end and manage to leave just the way they came in without troubling the rest of the crowd too much. Some others conduct crazy experiments like observing people and finally end up buying loads and loads of stuff which they will neither use nor have a clue as to what to do. Usually I am the latter kinds but yesterday though the NY cap looked just right for Di, those new shades seemed the perfect gift for Raj, those bookmarks seemed like they were made for Bhai and Goks, the nice blue suit would have suited Pri to a T and that Ganesh Idol would have been an apt choice for Pranav's wedding gift, I did not buy a thing. Why ? No idea.. Just wasn't in the mood. Wonder how BB should tackle this category ;-)

Neway its 4:40 now and I have typed in too long a post whilst listening to songs..havta leave nahin tho bus nikal jaayega.. or is it jaayegi...Someone pls teach me a logical way of differentiating objects as masculine or feminine.. Been having this problem since 1993...Thomas, are you listening ?

3 comments:

Ekta said...

Well well..u do look bored Jupe and completely jobless to study abt this!
interesting blog thou must say!
So which category do u fall into??;-)

Ram said...

hmm, these marketers and their segmentation studies. you forgot an important category of junta who is just there for aunty spotting and bird watching...

Megha said...

Nahiiiiin Jupe! I was saying that blogging period is all about vanity and self-indulgence, regardless of whether it is RRAPT or PRART. And my blog is right at the top of that pile!

Having said that, I do make a distinction between RRAPT and PRART, and would like to believe that I only the do the former and none of the latter. Am allowed my delusions much like everyone else, aren't I? ;)