Insights on Brands Perception and Purchase Behaviour of Singaporean

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					       Insights on Brands:
Perception and Purchase Behaviour
      Singaporean Youths

           Temasek Polytechnic
         Temasek Business School
           Diploma in Marketing

           10th December 2007
                                Executive Summary

The Diploma in Marketing at Temasek Polytechnic develops students’ marketing
knowledge and skills through a rigorous curriculum that meets the requirements of a
knowledge-based economy. The curriculum focuses on developing the functional
competencies among our students in areas such as Marketing Research and
Consumer Behaviour in their junior year.

As part of their marketing research project in April Semester 2007/2008, students
from Diploma in Marketing and Diploma in Retail Management interviewed some
2,025 youths aged between 15 and 27 to determine the perception and purchase
behaviour of mobile communication services among Singapore youth consumers.

Data collection for the face-to-face survey was conducted from 29 May to 25 June
2007. Quota sampling method was used.

Youths are a sensible group when it comes to making purchases. It was found that
youths are more rational in their purchase behaviour than normally perceived. They
are quality conscious, will study options before their purchase and brand is not the
most important criterion in their purchases of products.

The starting age of a youth owning and using a mobile phone is getting younger. It is
now common to see an eleven-year-old being the proud owner of a mobile phone.
Youths regard the mobile phone as a crucial item in their lives with youths strongly
indicating they will feel lost without a mobile phone and will carry it wherever they go.

A seventeen-year-old is most likely to wear Adidas t-shirt and shoes with Adidas bag
and watch as accessories. Adidas has become a lifestyle brand among youths today.
Youths are also most likely be found in McDonald’s, with an Apple Mac or Acer
laptop with them. They will also tell you that their preferred computer desktop for
home use is Hewlett Packard.

The survey research is the first youth perception study that Diploma in Marketing has
embarked on. In its endeavour to develop a keen and deep understanding of the
youth consumers in Singapore, the Diploma in Marketing plans to conduct a series of
surveys to examine the current trends and practices that affect the attitudes and
aspirations of youths today.


Key Findings for Youth Perception Study

PART A: Buying Patterns and Preferences Among Youth Consumers
PART B: Handphone Usage and Purchase Behaviour
PART C: Youths’ Top 3 Brands in Singapore

Key Findings for Youth Perception Study


The face-to-face survey covered the period 29 May 2007 to 25 June 2007 and
involved 2,025 youths, grouped into six groups: Secondary school students, Junior
College students, ITE students, Polytechnic students, University students and
National Servicemen. They were between 15 and 27 years old.
Table 1: Sample profile of Youth Perception Study
                                            Youth               Profile
 Full-time Enrolment                        Population1         (n=2,025)
 Total                                             100%               100.0%
 Secondary School Students                        50.4%                 49.0%
 Pre-University Students                            6.8%                 7.8%
 ITE Students                                       5.1%                 2.9%
 Polytechnic Students                             14.8%                 11.2%
 University Students                              11.0%                 19.1%
 NS Men                                          11.8%2                 10.0%
Note 1: Source from Ministry of Education, Educational Statistical Digest 2005
Note 2: Estimates

The sampling method used was quota sampling.

PART A: Buying Patterns and Preferences Among Youth Consumers

1) Cognitive versus Emotive
   While youths like to try new and different things, as well as tend to follow latest
   trend and technology, they are more rational in their purchase behaviour than
   generally perceived:
        Drawn to hi-tech and latest trends (86.5% said they will try new and different
        things; and 76.5% said they tend to follow latest trend and technology)
        Quality conscious (85.9% of respondents)
        Study options before purchase (86.2%)
        Brand is not the most important consideration (only 53.4% agree that brand
        is most important)

    Possible reasons:
     Consumer socialisation process
     More enlightened – better at information search, use of internet, comparisons
     with friends etc (74.6% said they will seek friend’s opinion before buying things)
     More information search for high involvement goods
     Budgetary constraints (81.9% spent $500 and below per month)

2) Handphones as Essentials
   Youths regard the handphone as crucial to their daily life. Handphones play a key
   functional role but not to the extent that they become an expression of their
       Feel lost without handphone (77.9%)
       Carry handphone wherever they go (87.6%)
       Do not “personalise” their handphones (only 52.0% said they will personalise
        their handphone as much as they can) Note: The word “personalise” is
        defined as the downloading of wall paper, ringtones, changing handphone
        cover etc.
       Not a reflection of who they are (Only 32.0% said handphone is a reflection of
        who they are)

  Possible reasons:
   About 80% of respondents spend an average of 2.5 hours on the handphone
   Use it for many purposes other than communication (camera, music, alarm etc)
   (59.6% of the respondents said that they like to play with their handphone
   whenever they can)
   Handphone is used for functional purposes (eg calls and sms) rather than a
   status symbol (55.0% said handphone is only for making/ receiving calls and
   sending/ receiving SMS.)
   Not important to have the latest model of handphones (Only 24.8% said that it is
   important for them to have the latest handphone model. However, 47.7% said
   that it important for them that their handphone has the latest features and

3) Sense of Self-Importance
  Youths have a strong sense of self-importance but do not see themselves as
  opinion leaders and stand out among their peers. Friend’s opinion is garnered only
  on need basis.
      They do not care about other people’s opinion and will do what they want
      If need be, they would seek friends’ advice (74.6%).
      They follow trends but do not regard themselves as competent source of
       advice for purchase (76.5% said they tend to follow the latest trends and
       technology, 32.7% said their friends regard them as a good source of advice
       about handphone and mobile phone service)
      Not important to stand out and perceived as unique (Only 25.9% said it is
       important to them that they stand out in a crowd)

   Possible reasons:
    Able to get expert advice and info from a variety of sources, other than their
    Rational thinking at work

4) Brand of Handphone is not Key
   Brands of handphones do not feature dominantly in the purchase behaviour
    among youths.
    Do not consider brand as the most important criterion in purchase (Only 53.4%
    think that brand is the most important criterion)
    Remain reasonably loyal to a brand and will not switch brands easily (61.7%
    said they do not switch brands easily)
    Will tell others about their favourite brands (68.0% said they will tell others about
    their favourite brand)

   Possible reasons:
    Functional relationship between handphone and its owners (55.0% said
    handphone is only for making/ receiving calls and sending/ receiving SMS.)
    Established and trusted handphone brands
    Tied down by contract (only 16.4% of the respondents said that if they like a
    handphone model, and they are already on contract, they would still sign up
    another line)

PART B: Handphone Usage and Purchase Behaviour

   1) Younger starting age in the use of mobile phones (The average age a 25 year
      old started using mobile phone is 17.3 years old. This is compared to a 20
      year old and a 15 year old now who starts using mobile phone at 14.3 years
      old and 11.8 years, old respectively.)
   2) 22% of all respondents started owning a mobile phone because their parents
      ask them to have one. Of the secondary school students, 27.3% said their
      parents want them to have one.
    3) Camera functions are the most important feature (86.0% used the camera
       function of the handphone).
    4) Functions of phone are more important than brand (54.8% vs. 5.5%)
    5) Value added services (VAS) not perceived to be important (51.0% do not use
       any VAS). The most popular VAS used is the MMS (24.6%), followed by
       Roaming (13.7%) and Internet Surfing (13.0%).

PART C: Youths’ Top 3 Brands in Singapore

1. Sports Shoes Category
   Youths are likely to own a pair of Nike or Adidas sports shoes; and to a lesser
   extent, Puma.

2. Casual Shoes Category
   Converse, Nike, and Adidas are favourites among youths.

3. Bag Category
   Adidas and Nike are the preferred brands. Not to be outdone, Crumpler bags also
   has a strong following.

4. Watch Category
   Adidas, Fossil and Swatch watches are popular among the youths surveyed.

5. Fast Food Category
   Youths are more likely to hang out in McDonald’s and KFC. To a lesser extent,
   Long John Silver as well.

6. Casual Apparel Category
   Topshop/Topman, Giordano, and Zara are desired casual apparel brands among

7. Sports Apparel Category
   Adidas, Nike and Puma are top of youths’ mind when asked which sport apparel
   brands they would like to buy.

8. Desktop Category
   Acer, Dell, and HP are favoured brands of desktop computer among youths.

9. Laptop Category
   Youths desire Apple, Acer, and HP brands if they consider buying a laptop.

Researched and Presented by: Diploma in Marketing, Temasek Business School, Temasek Polytechnic.