Dec 4, 2007

6 What "desi" bikers Want (& Need)

Do you know what Indian bikers Want..?? Do the managers of our bike makers know it as well..??

One of the many definitions of "Marketing" that I had to learn during my MBA:

Marketing is the process of identifying the consumers' Wants and Needs and making the product to satisfy these.

Sounds really simple doesn't it..?? Now read the definition again, slowly, word by word. You will realize that there are two words "Wants" & "Needs" in the definition.

So is there a difference between What Customers "Need" and what they "Want"?

Let's take an example:

You "need" to have coffee with your girl friend and spend some quality time together. But You "want" to have coffee with your girl friend in a cool, trendy, hip and happening place.

So where do you go..?? Here are two choices for you..

  • Uduppi restaurant (located in the busy market, Rs. 5 per cup of coffee)

  • Café Coffee Day or Barista (located in a trendy and up market locality, Rs. 50 per cup of coffee)

You know that all you "Need" is a cup of coffee, but how and where you "Want" to have it is a different ballgame all together. I can safely predict that you will opt for the Café Coffee Day or Barista over the Uduppi restaurant (unless of course you really cannot afford it or your relationship is over 10 years old).

Now let's revisit the definition of Marketing once again:

"Marketing is the process of identifying the consumers' Wants and Needs and making the product to satisfy these."

Café Coffee Day or Barista which have been successful to identify this "Want" definitely will make handsome dividends.

Now, what do know what you "Need"/"Want" as a biker..??

Identifying the "Wants" of our "desi" isn't easy because most of them don't know what they "Want"..

With the 100 cc econo"misers" making up the largest segment of two wheelers sold in India, it might be simple to say that Indian bikers "Need" a reliable and fuel efficient motorcycle which shouldn't cost the sky. However there are also a few performance hungry bikers who always whine about the "Need" for more powerful bikes in India.

So a "desi" Tom-Dick-Harry who is out to buy a motorcycle knows that he "Needs" a fuel efficient and reliable motorcycle or perhaps one with decent power. However, he will ultimately buy the one he "Wants"..!!

Let me explain further..

Needs are totally rational while Wants are purely emotional. Needs are based on fact while Wants are on perception. The emotion behind buying a motorcycle is what the biker wants. Identifying the "Wants" of our "desi" isn't easy because most of them don't know what they "Want".

Did you ever realize that you "Wanted" a 150 cc bike that made you feel "Definitely Male"..??

Did you ever realize that you wanted Fat Rear Tyres..?? "Plastic tank extensions" on the tank..?? Or those Alloy wheels, the engine and alloys painted in Black, Digital speedometers, LED Tail Lights, Split Seats, Split rear grab rails, clip on handlebars, back-lit switches, self cancelling turn indicators..?? And did you ever realize that you "Wanted" a 150 cc bike that made you feel "Definitely Male"..??

I don't think that our bikers "Need" any of the ones stated above, but the recent trend has proved that bikers (depending on the segment) surely "Want" at least some of them on their bikes.

Now let's revisit the definition of Marketing once again:

Marketing is the process of identifying the consumers' Wants and Needs and making the product to satisfy these."

But before our bike makers can start catering to our "Needs", there is one more important concept called "Consumer Demand".

Consumer Demand: Making the balancing act

Consumer demand is a "Want" for a specific product supported by an "ability and willingness to pay for it".

Whether the managers of our bike makers really know the "Needs" & "Wants" of our "desi" bikers is a matter for debate..

For example, many of us would "Want" to own a Yamaha R1. But only a few are able afford and willing to buy one.

Bike manufacturers therefore not only have to make products that our "desi" bikers "want", but they also have to make them affordable to a sufficient number of people to create demand which would be profitable for them to operate.

Bike manufacturers which best understands the "Wants":

Of late it has almost become fashionable for bike enthusiasts to despise the management of our Bike Manufacturers. My take is that most of the managers in the top management of our bike manufacturers might be armed with their MBA degrees and years of experience, but whether they really know the "Needs" & "Wants" of our "desi" bikers, is another matter for debate.

Any comments on which bike manufacturer best understands the "Wants" of Indian bikers and also makes them affordable enough for us..?? Now, now.. please do not label me as another Bajaj fan..!!

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This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.


Sajal Chakraborty said...

I don't think it's a sin to be a Bajaj fan. But anyways you are right when you say it's really very hard for us to make a judjment as to what we want and what we need.

--But I really to want a Fuel refill indicator on my Pulsar which would tell me exactly how much fuel the guy at the gas station filled in :-D

Your thought are very true dude!!!!

Payeng said...

Make that a "Need" Sajal..

Pulsar Owners Need an accurate Fuel Guage..

By the way, I have found the solution to that erratic fuel guage.. I just fill up my tank and ride peacefully for the next
400-500 Kms..

The erratic Low Fuel light doesn't come till there is at least 5 litres or more petrol in the tank..

After that just again go for a tank full.. :-)

Johnny Gaddar said...

50 RS coffee for girlfriend? I'd pass.

I dont think any there's a single company that understands a consumer needs. Its generally the one best outta other. My personal take is Hero Honda has always tried to push its technology on consumers and managed to convice and win over consumers. Bajaj I think tends to follow HH on its commercial success and replicating it. But I dont it pushes itself in bikes compared to HH. Rest are drifter companies they try to follow but dont try push themselves more.

At the end it depends on what consumers want, that something even greatest MBA want to be able to tell. Even with linear regression.

sandeepbagchi said...

Nice Topic.

Let me introduce u to another breed of guys.
girl + coffee + long ride.

now there are many highway side dhaba that makes the date more romantic plus gives more options too.

These people are the new breed of biker in India not totally into performance bikes.
not into Fuel efficiency bike either
But a bike that can cruise over highway for hours.
Yeah! this breed is tourers.
those who dont like the conventional tourers and cruiser.
These guys demand sports tourer.
But gradually want to upgrade to power too.

Payeng said...

Excellent inputs there Sandeep..

Goes to show how much more our managers need to keep in touch with the ever changing "wants" our our bikers..

sandeepbagchi said...

We have been trying to figure out what Indian Bikers wants
by plotting a time line

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