EXPLORING CONSUMPTION PATTERNS OF COSMETIC PRODUCTS AMONG FEMALES IN PAKISTAN.
ABSTRACT: This study aimed to explore the consumption pattern of Beauty Care products based upon selection use and satisfaction among females in Pakistan. This study lead towards females post purchase satisfaction and repurchase of their selected products being brand loyal with the same product. Data was collected from 23 female respondents through in-depth semi-structured interviews with maximum suitable probing to extract variables appearing under research problem. These variables included purpose to use beauty care products psychological aspects behind use of these products user experience with the product brand consciousness value for price and media role in modeling purchase intentions and switching off from one product to another in case of dis-satisfaction or become referral in case of satisfaction. Collected data was analyzed through Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.
Social implications of this research gave a comprehensive idea about specified features of commonly adopted products of this category by females and general public of Pakistan who found more information about itemized brands.
Key words: Customer's Satisfaction Brand loyalty Repurchase. INTRODUCTION
Consumption of beauty care products to look gorgeous striking elegant and presentable is natural in males and females since prehistoric era but females are always considered to be more interested towards use of such products. Firm beauty in every culture is depicted with the character of Cinderella whose first traces are found in Chinese stories during early nineteen century (Miller 2008). Likewise the entire world females of Pakistan are also indulged in rigorous use of beauty enhancement products especially face and body care products to enhance their physical appearance (Adams 1977). Pakistan is an underdeveloped country but use of beauty care products has increased 90% and maximum share is caught by skin care and hair care products (Manto 2011). The scope of this article reveals that how use of beauty care products is currently perceived by all females of Pakistan including working class as well as non-working class.
Skin care creams and lotions are currently in use by almost all females of Pakistan. These products are appearing under two price tiers. First one is mass fairness where a cream having average price of Rs. 1.25 per ml. The second one is mass premium fairness ranging price level up to Rs. 400 per ml and above (Manto 2011). Both local and international brands are appearing under said two categories. Former price tier is covering Bio Nikhar English Fairness Care Honey Cream and Lotion Faiza Beauty Cream Fair and Lovely Pakistan Tibbat Cream and many more. Later price tier is covering Revlon Honey Lotion Olay international Pond's White beauty Garner and L'Oreal etc. Apart from local top six global companies are playing in Pakistan with their unique face and body care products including PandG L'Oreal Unilever Colgate Avon and Beiersdorf (Manto 2011). The ultimate purpose of using all these creams and lotions is to get tagged beauty and fairness.
So while considering beauty as a series of social cultural and economic practices beauty should also be considered as embodied affective process as reported by (Coleman and Figueroa 2010). In Pakistan females are particularly concerned about color tone of their skin being adopted as a social trend to look fair; they tend towards the use of face and the body care creams and lotions irrespective of class range and age bracket. Females describe their satisfaction by the use of these products in their own personalized ways. Since marketers are involved to launch more and more products of same category so as to attract the customers (Liao and Chuang 2004). Females also use these beauty care products to minimize anti-aging effects as well. Females also demand a perfect beauty from a single product of this category. Market players are also treating the females in the way to promote this feature of their products as well because
It is generally believed that higher satisfaction of any band leads towards higher economic returns (Yu 2007). Females also wish to look superior to others in selection of their beauty care brands. Such desire on females part not only adheres them to opt particular fashion trend but also decides radically about their face and body as well (Johnston and Taylor 2008). In Pakistan female's selection of face and body care products is also considered to be a pose of their personality as well. Type of personality is related to the use of product. If a lady is still using very early introduced beauty care product i.e.
Tibbat Snow is considered to be appearing at lower level of new products adoptability. Same way if any female immediately adopts any newly introduced product is considered to be really modern (Andrew 2011). So whenever international companies launch their new beauty care products in Pakistan they specially try to touch" these feelings and launch their products even if their products are geographically not fit for the territory atmosphere or may not bring same results as our females expect while observing the results in other parts of the world. For this manufacturers launch same advertisement campaigns as they used in other geographical territory (Castaneda 1997).
This study has been conducted while keeping in view all above aspects and specific objectives of this research including to analyze the factors affecting in selection of these products to know the reasons of using face and body care products to measure the customer satisfaction with face and bodying care products use and to analyze the reasons of staying with their selected brands".
MATERIALS AND METHOD
It was a qualitative study designed with the purpose to explore the preferences of females in the selection of beauty care products which consisted of all females of Pakistan out of which a sample of 23 women was randomly selected on the basis of Non-Probability Sampling technique covering both working and non- working females as a group. These females were belonging from Lahore and Faisalabad. In-depth semi- structured interviews were conducted. Collected responses were analyzed while using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Sample size was taken as per previous studies practice where same data analysis technique was used (Larkin et al. 2006; Smith 2004). Assumptions were made about how females perceive about their beauty care products in social cognitive perspective. All scripts of interviews were studied thoroughly. Comments about each part were noted down in same script and initial list of sub themes according to category was developed.
These themes were reorganized to create a coherent picture along with model of each theme. The following nine themes (factors) were considered during study i.e. Social aspects Brand Consciousness the Price of the product the Role of media in buying decision User experience Intention to switch over Repurchase Behavior Referral of a product and Customers' Satisfaction with any beauty care product. So research has been designed with the question To what extent female customers are satisfied with the selection and usage of Beauty Care Products in Pakistan"
Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was conducted for nine major themes related with the selection use and satisfaction of beauty care products in females.
One major theme reflected the social aspect of beauty care products was to boost up of their personality to improve interpersonal relationship to get acceptance in peers to enhance individual personality to get people's attraction to have daily skin care and above all to get younger look. During the interviews females under study prescribed purposes of use of their beauty care products and contended that beauty care products were now part of their personality as described below in an emergent theme:
I feel my personality just complete and presentable after using my selected beauty care product. My selected beauty care product plays an important role to expose my personal image in public when exposed. It gives a comparative status in my peers. It keeps my skin nourished and gives me a younger look which I desire all the time".
Another illustration was as under: My selected beauty care product boosts up my personality while giving me confidence in such a way that I just feel myself Complete" in all respects and it is an enough good reason to continue the use of my beauty care product. Some time it also enhances those features of my personality which are otherwise not possible to be highlighted.
Second Major Theme reflected the Brand Consciousness while selecting beauty care products" they keep in view product quality in such a way that they carefully observe the manufacturer's information available on product as product features functions and packaging. Majority of them never tried to use new products launched in the market. For them market image of their own selected product also never mattered but they wanted from their own manufacturer to add new features in their product time and again in order to be compatible in the market. Females also wanted their selected product to be multi-functional. They like one brand which should serve as night skin care product as well as day log protector including sun block function and it is prescribed in below verbatim:
Yes I am all the time brand conscious while selecting my beauty care product and in my views brand consciousness covers many aspects for me like mine chosen brand should be the best in functionality and should be multipurpose. Quality no compromise on it at all! Once found bad quality just throw that product out from my home. New included features are of special interest of mine to stay with my product and I always look for something new in my current product like flavors functionality even packaging etc."
Another description is as under: When talk about brand consciousness for me image" and quality" move side by side. I always remain keen to know about market image of my select beauty care product which prevails in the market. If any bad move starts regarding quality and features of my selected product I may become the one to re-check my selected product and if minor difference is found not at all to return for that product at least for that time!"
Third major theme reflected the Price of the Product" All females were found to match the price and benefits along with the quality of their chosen product. The associated benefits were high for them they would pay extraordinarily high price for any product. Also they would stay with same product as loyal customer even in case of the price has been increased provided they were satisfied with the product. Like mentioned below:
Of course price and quality go side by side one can take place of other at times but I do match both most of the time. I am simply unable to compromise upon any single one. I like to view true match of both in my selected product all the time. Even I am ready to pay some extra as part of my satisfaction cost and I remain loyal with my selected product as long as it is providing me a combination of both: price and benefits!"
Another view was as under: It's not the era to forget the relation of price and quality! I keenly observe and match both side by side but when special interest of my long lasting beauty comes Quality is at top always" and I pay for it even extra!"
Forth Major Theme reflected the Role of Media in buying decision of a specific product" by the females which showed influence of media campaign effects only in case of own brands advertisements" when new information about the product already in use appeared in campaigns. Advertisement of other brands is also seen just to compare benefits of own used product. Females do not have any particular point of view about advertisement of their selected product. No particular remarks were there about celebrity endorsement in the ads. Instead of advertisements opinion of friends and family appeal a lot to decide about beauty care product as depicted below: Ad campaigns usually never impacted me in such a way that these can enforce me to purchase at least any beauty care brand! No I am really particular about my purchase decision of such kind of brands. Yes I observe advertisements of such brands but just for the sake of information.
Celebrities can also not administer me to buy any particular product just because of them. Indeed my purchase behavior can be influenced by the opinion of my fellows as they are real world users of same products! Another respondent respond it in below manners:
For me only ad campaigns are not enough I pair these campaigns with the information gathered from my fellows and peers and if they endorse somehow to the words boost in ad campaigns I go to consider new products but frankly. My tested beauty care products are still at top!"
Fifth major theme reflected the Good user experience" which explained females Good trust to show good results of their selected beauty care products which bound them to reuse the same products successively which showed their brand loyalty. They go in search of same brand if they do not find it easily. As depicted below:
I don't try new brands easily when I already have good experience for my products. I just go and pick mine one from shelf when I already have enough good trust on my brand. I use time and again same one and I don't find any difficulty in it even if I am unable to get it from one shopping place I go to next one but get the same one!" Another respondent respond in below words:
When good results are already with me I usually never felt the need to try for new products! Being satisfied I go for same products again and again and most of the time remains loyal with my once selected products"
Sixth major theme reflected the intention to Switch Over" and it showed that females did not tend to shift from their selected beauty care product to the cheaper alternatives available in the market. They switched over from one product to another in case of non- availability of prescribed product or under special circumstances when one ought to use the beauty care product. Immediate shifting also occurred when product showed minor side effect on their face or body. Peer gifts sometimes become other source to make them shift from their own selected product for future use as presented below:
Products below in quality and price than the ones already in use never attracted me to go for them. In case I am unable to get my desired product but immediate need to use the product is there then I go for another one. No way to use further if any minor side effect was shown after use of any product. Usually I did not switch over from my own brand to a gifted product from any friend or a family member but sometimes it becomes source of regular use which ultimately becomes source to leave previously in use product"
One more lady explained her experience in below words: I usually never switch off from my product if I remain satisfied with my product after successive uses. But in case of any minor side effect not a question for reuse! I just ban that beauty care product in my vicinity once for all"
Seventh major theme reflected the Repurchasing of the same product" which showed that females intended to repurchase same product again and again being satisfied with the product. Good results of previous use become strong reason for its use. If females intended to reuse same product no attraction appears for new entrants or cheaper products available in market. There was very little likelihood to use new products on usual basis. They made no compromise or new experiment with their skin's freshness and beauty while using any new product. Only one thing which mattered here was their satisfaction with previous product as depicted below:
If I am already satisfied with one product I used previously where is the need to go for any new product to be purchased My skin matters a lot for me so can't afford any experiment on it by using any new product in market on regular basis. To be cheaper for another product never mattered for me I just bother for my own product".
One more lady explained her views in below interesting manners:
My beauty care products are very specific all the time! Their shopping is so easy for me or another member of my family! Just have to go to any mall and have to pick from specified shelf. Off course looks could be for other products of same category but usually my purchasable are always pre decided for me"
Eighth Major theme reflected To become a Referral for any product" which showed that the females tended to become referral for their own products most of the time in case of satisfaction. In some cases no referral appears in case of extreme beauty comparison. Females also showed dual behavior in this regards and they could become referral in peers but no referral when having any social relation. Rationale behind referring same brand was that others could also get same benefits from their product as they were getting like in below depiction:
If one product can work well for me same probability was there for my peers as well. But before becoming referral I had to select the GROUP. If I am facing competition with the ones around me no ways to recommend my product to them in any case! My product appeared as my secret of beauty so this secret can be shared only with dear ones!"
One lady gave her comments as under:
As far as general beauty care products is concern including hands and body lotions or shampoos it's very easy to become referral for others but when comes turn of beauty enhancement articles or my make-up products frankly I take time to refer another lady the same ones!
Ninth Major theme reflected the Overall Satisfaction with any beauty care product" which showed that the females tended to show multi-attitude about it. In some cases they were always satisfied with their selected brands as they had chosen lucidly but even then there was a very slight mark between satisfaction and dis-satisfaction. They took no time to stop it if they were one time unsatisfied with any product. Here very unpredictable behavior was observed like presented below:
Yes normally I used to be satisfied with my usual chosen product but sometimes my regularly used product also become source of my dis-satisfaction when I become unable to get my desired results every time. That could be because of season change or even my own perception change about my product. If one time dis- satisfiedsimple mean was to leave that product at least for that time but of course keeping good previous record in mind I could go back to my previous one as well!" Another respondent gave her views as under:
My ultimate satisfaction from my beauty care product varies in many ways. If remain satisfied choose my products again and again if dissatisfied just once may leave the product once for all. If dissatisfied level could be high enough to spread even negative messages among other females to forbid them too from a particular product and brand!"
Female's overall satisfaction with their beauty care brand appeared as really a complex phenomenon after their whole phenomenological analysis. All aspects studied above were interlinked with each other but affect independently as well. Multi attitudes were seen in this regards. If they were always satisfied owning to any reason mentioned above they may keep buying the same product again and again but if they were unsatisfied with their product just one time owning to any reason they would just stop buying the same product immediately rather to spread bad name for that product to their group fellows as well. It also occurred that they may reuse the same product after some time. So overall female's behavior showing satisfaction with their chosen beauty care products was really variable.
All behavioral aspects of females related to their beauty care products were mentioned in a figure below.Figure
Not only in Pakistan the worldwide studies been conducted on same topic but with different directions and perspectives. These research studies indicated that there were two different perspectives of customer's satisfaction: First was cognitive perspective which paired the customers' expectations with the perception of the value of product or service received. Second one was emotional perspective which considered satisfaction as a positive emotional state which occurred after the consumption experience. Collectively customer's satisfaction was a perceived value attached with the product or service (Bolton and Drew 1991). Customer's satisfaction was also an end point of customer's expectations from their purchased product (Kristensen et. al. 1999).
Females are keen towards the use of beauty care products so as to look attractive when exposed. A series of studies were found showing that attractive people were treated in better ways by society than unattractive ones. Same way they get better status in society (both personal and professional) than unattractive ones (Godoy et al. 2005). Results of this study showed in the territory of Pakistan females used beauty care products to make their skin smooth to reduce aging effect or sometimes as their make-up base (Syed et al. 1996). Again purpose was to connect physical attractiveness with enhanced personality image (Dion et al. 1972). One more argument here was the physically attractive people have more upright interpersonal attributes including sociability happiness and intelligence (Miller 1970). This effect of sublime beauty was so ubiquitous and robust that it coined what- is-beautiful-is-good effect" (Eagly et al. 1991).
Same way again results showed that our females always had a notion; etreme beauty appeared as a source of ultimate pleasure so they use beauty products as a vehicle of their self-confidence and self-preservation (Featherstone 1991).
To look unique was another purpose to use beauty products by females as human body was a social symbol which exposed the messages of every one's self- identity. So as much as body is exposed to the society that much need of personality image enhancement was desired by the females. Satisfied self-image also enhanced the behavioral aspects of female's personality (Thompson and Hirschman 1995). This research study also showed that almost all females try to improve their body and especially facial appearance and in this way they adhere to their beauty care products which seemed to be a very popular concept and cosmetics and grooming industries used this fact very successfully and earned money while catering females demands according to their desire (Askegaard et al. 2002). Females have emotional attachments with their beauty care brands and they always seek innovativeness in their brands in order to look unique from others (Tzou and Lu 2009).
Since females have a desire for a definitive beauty so the frequency of beauty care products use was also very high. Believe was that successive use of beauty care products always brought long lasting beauty boost (Hassenzahl and Tractinsky 2006). Results showed that in the society of Pakistan frequent use of beauty care products was also considered to bring a white" face impact as reported by (Webster and Driskell 1983) that actual model of female beauty lies in white complexion.
At behavioral level routine use of beauty care products also lead towards emotional feeling of every day new beauty (Norman 2004). Our females also stab to use beauty care products every day to give more shine" to their face and body when they are already having a fair color. A study showed that the females feel inferiority complex if their skin tone turned darker so they continue to use white effect products (Sahay and Piran 1997).
One time emotional experience of females with any beauty care product leads towards long term satisfaction (Ashmore et al. 1996). It was also concluded that in our society apart from gaining fairness by beauty care products two common skin problems were identified: acne and hyper pigmentation (Barry 2011). Both international and local brands were targeting female's market while enhancing specific features of their brands concerned with all these subjects. 70% users of Pakistan were under-30 and almost half of them faced acne and hyper pigmentation related problems therefore they were very conscious about the selection of their beauty care products (Barry 2011).
Beauty products fit for which customer had paid significantly contributed to the emotional brand experience (Hirschman and Holbrook 1982) If a beauty care brand fully indorses its cost for quality as well as features for which it had been selected can deliver emotional benefits through its association with positive brand experience (Aaker 2011). Same aspect was again confirmed from this study that the positive stimulation and association of brands induced psychological pleasure that lead towards repeated purchase of the same product as reported by (Craig et al. 2009). Being part of worldwide decreasing economy consciousness of females' of Pakistan reached at their peak when they pair their beauty acquiring aspect with value of their money (Barry 2011). In current modern era women were considered to feel increasingly responsible for their enhanced physical appearance (Grabe et al. 2008). All advertisements were targeting this present standard of beauty to indulge females in use of their products (Heinberg and Thompson 1995). After inspiration firstly females started feeling of dissatisfaction from their present personality and later tended towards the use of beauty enhancement products (Downs and Harrison 1985). Many authors have used social comparison theory in order to explain the fact how attractive models and celebrities affect the female's behavior towards the use of prescribed beauty enhancing products (Tiggemann and McGill 2004). As argued by (Murray 2012) one of the main psychological motivation of females to use beauty care and enhancement products was to reduce the negative feelings about their own self-image which was highlighted by the media campaigns.
As results of this current study showed that targeted beauties in advertisements evoke temporarily feeling of dissatisfaction and stimulate females to use advertised product and gain desired beauty and aesthetic self enhancement by producing feeling of accomplishment (Richins 1997). The preference to look beautiful reinforced by media when ideals of beauty such as fair- skinned models and actresses were exposed in beauty products ads to create psychological pressure to conform from these beauty icons. (Van and Frost 1986) Despite from rigorous impact of advertisements on buying behavior of females a study conducted in Japan showed that females follow their family members friends and fellows while having purchase decision about their beauty care brands instead of having influence from celebrities presented in any ad campaign (Barnes and Yamamoto 2008). In another study conducted by scholars of
Pakistan reported that the media was affecting females of Pakistan in enhancement of their body image and their spending habits while presenting their innate need of beauty through successive ads (Ali and Shahwar 2011). Again same was confronted from our results. As female's satisfaction increased tendency to repurchase the same beauty care product was also increased. As mentioned by (Gladwell 2000): satisfied customers not only purchase same product again and again rather they become positive word-of-mouth advertisement and also appear in the form of loyal customers for the products in the long run. Same ways dissatisfied customers behave oppositely and complaint to others or third party and also ultimately switch towards competitors. If one time females were dissatisfied from any beauty care product they not only influence others switching over from that product and adopt competitors' products and they spread negative message among peers about that product (Ganesh et al. 2000).
This vary effect was also confirmed by the present study.
Conclusion: Nine major themes emerged after phenomenological analysis and conclusion was drawn. Finding of whole phenomenon covered all the psychological and social aspects owning to which females showed a tendency to use beauty care products in their lives. There were few defined purposes of using beauty care products. These purposes were psychological as well as social. Females use their selected products in order to enhance their personality image to look gorgeous presentable and attractive or some times to get appreciation from others. Females also use their beauty care products to look prominent when exposed in all social relations. When females use their prescribed products for all beauty purposes they definitely show their brand consciousness while selecting their product. Since purposes are high so associated benefits description is also high. Females consciously choose their beauty products.
Overall market image of product does not matter as compared to quality features and multi- functionality matters. For this purpose they demand regular updating the features of their selected products. While becoming personalized about any particular product they do not bother to pay much attention to new entrants in the market. Strong relation among price quality and product benefits also appeared and if associated benefits are high they are ready to pay even extra amount while staying with the same product. Extensive products information about the ones which are currently not in their usual use does not affect the purchase decision. Media just plays the role of information provider most of the time but they never inspired enough to start use of new products. Instead of media social group's opinion matters a lot while selecting any product and females often try to use the products recommended by any member of their family or peer group.
A repeated purchase of same product also occurs if they become satisfied with any product purchased once.
Even product search is made by the users if they are unable to find the desired product from one mall or the other. Here brand loyalty with their satisfied brand appears. Switching over from regularly use products can also be seen in case of any side effect on skin or body.
Unavailability of the same product for a longer period of time or not getting the product during the period of intense need also becomes a reason of shifting behavior. Sometime any gifted item of some other brand becomes so fit to one that it appears as a need of future use as well. Females also purchase same products time and again if they are one time satisfied with any product. They hesitate to have new experience on their skin so continue the use of same product until they may face any bad experience from their products. Satisfied females not only purchase same product time and again themselves rather they also refer that product to their fellows as well. Referral behavior again varies from one to another. They may refer their chosen product to their peer but not to the females in their family relations.
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|Publication:||Pakistan Journal of Science|
|Date:||Dec 31, 2014|
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