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The case is about a new product that BPL has launched in the market. The product is a
one of its kinds refrigerator, built using the state of the art technology. The product with its host
of technologically upgraded features like
use of insulation material, integrated polyurethane,
ozone generator deodorizing system and
a super efficient tropicalized compressor
seems to be a leap ahead of its competitors. While the marketers are busy segmenting the market,
BPL has gone ahead and segmented the product itself by temperature zones. The frost free four
door refrigerator has separate compartments for foods that need different temperature and
humidity levels.
1. The independent chiller,
2. freezer,
3. vegetable compartment
4. and general compartment

Now that the product is in the market, the company is concerned about 2 things:
1. How it should be positioned? And the voices seem to support its positioning as the world
class refrigerator.
2. What should it be called? Whether a refrigerator or a refrigerating system.


The product has been priced quite high as compared to the others available in the
industry. It is priced at one lac twenty thousand and the company is aiming to capture the
replacement market. Now the question arises: How can it capture the market with such high
With double income families a reality and lack of time in the new lifestyle, there seems to
be changes happening in the youth strata with a possible change happening towards
packed food.
There has been a shift in favor of big infrequent shopping which demand adequate
storage space.
At the same time the refrigerated spaced is required to store frozen food and the cooking
time is getting shorter.
Moreover, the product is one of its kind and really effective. But this didnt rest the confusion.
There seems to be other similar effective products, and in such a case questions like:
How can we get the customer to buy our brand?
What specifics our strategy must attend to?
How customers actually buy a product like this one?
What is consumer reality regarding the product like the one we have?
Do customers differ in their reality? Arose.


1. Good products find their own market.
2. Consumers can always be lured into buying by selling efforts, discounts, and wide
But with all these theories in place one needs to deploy policies in a strategic manner and there
must be given specific mandate in place. Strategies cant be made by shooting an arrow in the
dark and thinking it would hit the target. Rather it is an exercise in specifics. So to solve the case
we need to
1. Have a complete understanding of specifics related to refrigerator buying.
2. Understand how does actually consumers approach buying of a refrigerator and what
kind decision making does it involve?

Top players in industry are whirlpool, Samsung and LG. THE last few years have seen stiff
competition for leadership in the Indian refrigerator market, especially among Whirlpool,
Electrolux Kelvinator Ltd (EKL), Godrej, LG and Samsung. After experiencing marginal growth for
some years now, the segment is looking at a double-digit growth this year. In the FF segment,
the major players are Whirlpool, LG, Godrej, BPL and Samsung. A look at the overall market
share of the major players by ICRA reveals that Godrej lost its leadership position in 1998-99 to
Whirlpool. Meanwhile, Whirlpool's market share has declined from 27.3 per cent in 2000
calendar year to 26.7 per cent in the 2003-04. After Whirlpool and Godrej, the brands owned by
EKL occupy the third position.
So in all there are multiple brands playing the battlefield but there is opportunity for high end
refs. As Samsung has already almost taken exit from low end refrigerators and godrej is very
small player in market. So positioning this product in case would be a challenge for marketers
and hence proper understanding of market is what need of the hour.
Type of consumer who purchases high end refrigerator
Although the man of the house may be involved in the purchase process, it is an observed fact that the
woman is the main decision maker in case of a refrigerator. An up-class, married and working woman
with kids has the need to store lots of fruits, vegetables, milk products and frozen foods. Also being a
lady with high social affiliation, she wants to store lots of drinks and ice to be able to conduct big
parties at home.
Consumer decision making process during purchase of high end refrigerator. Having identified the type
of customer, the consumer decision making process is analyzed below:-
1. Need
The following needs are identified for a refrigeration system at the high end segment:-
(a) Stated need : The consumer wants a refrigeration system with excellent features and great
(b) Real need : The consumer wants a refrigerator to boast/show off as her prized possession
(Aspirational Value).
(c) Unstated need : The consumer expects good after sales service and a free cleaning kit from the
(d) Delight need : The consumer would like the dealer to do free home delivery, installation and
(e) Secret need : The customer wants friends to see her as a savvy and classy consumer.

2. Information Gathering/Search
For purchase of a high end refrigerator customer will use the following platforms for search of
(a) Internet : Online stores, feature/price comparators, reviews, company website etc
(b) Word of Mouth : Advice/ Recommendation of relatives friends and colleagues hold a key
to forming strong image about the product brand/features.
(c) Television Ads : TV advertisements can create a strong influence for consumers to
search for further information from other sources.
(d) Magazines : Ads. in home dcor and interior design magazines are regularly referred by the
working woman for furnishing their homes.
(e) Experiential source: Individuals own experience with a brand product/ prior handling of a
particular product feature is perhaps one of the top three drivers of consumer bias for/against a
(f) Window shopping : Consumers may do a window shopping to check out the product
features/looks/price, etc.
3. Evaluation of Alternatives : The alternatives are evaluated on the basis of the
consumers criteria and the relative importance of these criteria. They are then ranked and a choice
made. For a high end refrigerator following are the criteria in the order of importance towards purchase
(i) Brand name
(ii) Features, look and feel
(iii) Free home delivery, installation and demonstration
(iv) After sales service
(v) Price
(vi) Discounts
(vii) Free cleaning kit

4. Purchase : The purchase act involves the exchange of money or a promise to pay for a product,
or support in return of ownership of a specific good, the performance of a specific service, and so on.
Purchase decisions remaining at this stage center on the place of purchase, terms and availability. If
these elements are acceptable, a consumer will make a purchase.
5. Post-Purchase Behavior: Frequently, the consumer engages in post-purchase behavior. Buying
one item may lead to the purchase of another. Re-evaluation of the purchase occurs when the
consumer rates the alternative selected against performance standards. Cognitive dissonance, doubt
that a correct purchase decision has been made, can be reduced by follow-up calls, extended
warranties, and post-purchase advertisements.