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MARKETING RESEARCH

REPORT

FOCUS GROUP ON

‘Gold Leaf Smokers’

Submitted To: Sir Siraj Iqbal


Date of Submission: 26th April’ 08

Submitted By:
Amer Deep
Tina Virani
Ashraf Sajwani
Owais Taufique
LETTER OF ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

April 26, 2008


To whom it may concern,

We would like to thank our Professor, Sir Siraj Iqbal for giving us this great opportunity
of being able to conduct a research on the problem regarding the reasons why people in
general like to smoke Gold Leaf Cigarettes and become addicted to it. And for those who
are not, be able to find out reasons as to why they have switched to other brands. We
have learnt how to conduct a focus group with regard to our research problem which was
a great experience

We would also like to thank our fellow peers within campus who dedicated their time and
shared their personal views about their smoking habits. The effort is greatly appreciated.

Thanking You,

Tina Virani
Amer Deep
Ashraf Sajwani
Owais Taufique
TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Executive Summary………………………………………………..pg 4

2. Introduction…………………………………………………………….5

3. Research Problem………………………………………………………5

4. Research Objective…………………………………………………..... 6

5. Research Design……………………………………………………..... 6

6. Methodology………………………………………………………….. 7

7. Data Analysis of Focus Group……………………………………..…..8

8. Conclusion………………………………………………………..…...12

9. Recommendations……………………………………………….……12
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
BACKGROUND INTRODUCTION

We have observed many smokers all around us and most of them tend to be ‘Gold Leaf’
smokers. Every individual has his own perception and view about smoking in general.
Many are brand cautious, while others smoke just for the purpose of attaining internal
satisfaction. Our main focus will be on the entire sector of smokers but we will be
targeting in specific, those who smoke Gold Leaf Cigarettes and those who smoke other
brands, either in premium quality relative to the brand in focus, or other low image
brands.

 Why do people smoke Golf Leaf?

RESEARCH PROBLEM DEFINED

Gold Leaf is a brand of the Pakistan Tobacco Company. This company also produces
Benson and Hedges which is considered to be a premium cigarette brand relative to Gold
Leaf. It is surprising to have observed Gold Leaf being consumed to a greater extends. In
fact a large number of smokers who were previously non consumers of the brand, have
been seen to have switched, and now that they have, they refuse to smoke any other brand
of cigarettes. WHY?

Here, we will make additions to the above mentioned question that was raised to make
our problem clear.

 Why do people smoke Golf Leaf ?


 What are the reasons that make them addicted to it?
 How come don’t they switch back to any other brand?
 If they do, what are the reasons?
RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Now that we have stated our research problem, we can now arrive at the research
objectives that we will try to achieve. They are basically a mission statement for us to
attain a solution or a proper recommendation for the research problem in hand. Our
objectives include;

 Finding out why people switch from other brands to Gold leaf and get hooked
onto it.
 To find out the reasons why smokers are so brand loyal towards Gold Leaf
cigarettes.
 To obtain views of smokers regarding their loyalty.
 To get a knowledge as to why the sales of Gold Leaf are rising
 To understand the reasons why smokers refuse to switch to any other brand.
 To know what is so special about Gold Leaf Cigarettes by acquiring the perceived
attributes of the brand.

RESEARCH DESIGN

For the research problem in hand, we have decided to conduct a focus group to obtain the
primary data that will be required for analyzing the results of our research project. The
focus group will be based on qualitative research in which we shall collect, analyze and
interpret the data that we have obtained by what people do and say. We will observe and
communicate with every person within our focus group.

We are interested with both smokers of Gold Leaf cigarettes, as well as non- smokers,
those who were previously consuming it and have turned to other brands. For this reason,
we will be conducting two focus groups. Each will consist of 8 random individuals from
within campus. One group will comprise of those people who have been consuming Golf
Leaf cigarettes since a long time and have become addicted to it. The other will comprise
of those individuals who were consumers of Gold Leaf and have switched to other
brands.

METHODOLOGY OF CONDUCTING THE FOCUS GROUP

Our focus group is basically a group consisting of about six to seven individuals from
within SZABIST who are representative of the entire sector of smokers that we are
interested in. These people are brought together in the study room at SZABIST 100
Clifton, so that they can dedicate their time and share their personal views about their
smoking habits and perception about the brand in focus. They are guided through by a
moderator, which is one of our group members whose main strategy was to keep them
focused on Gold Leaf cigarettes via unstructured and informal questions that were asked
relevant to the research problem.

The first focus group was conducted at 2:30 p.m. at the 100 campus of our university,
right after students get off from their class. They were brought together in the study room
and the duration was about 20 minutes. These people were all highly addicted Gold Leaf
cigarette smokers. Our objective here was to find out the major reason for their
addictiveness and understand why they have become hooked onto it and refuse to switch
to any other cigarette brand, some that are even presumed to be better in quality. This
issue was to be focused upon and so the moderator had asked a few questions regarding
their perspectives of Gold Leaf and it’s competitors to obtain the desired results that
could accomplish our objective.

The other focus group was held at the same location and time, the very next day. But this
time the target audience had changed. We had gathered those people who were
previously consumers of Gold Leaf cigarettes, but for some reason could not stay
addicted, and therefore switched to other brands.
The age group of these people was between 19-23 years of age including the freshmen as
well as students from the MBA program, all of who had previously been consuming Gold
Leaf, or have been consuming it since they started smoking and refuse to let go. It is
important for us to analyze our findings and results to get a clear rationale behind our
objective and research problem in hand.

DATA ANALYSIS OF THE FOCUS GROUPS

People who have switched from Gold Leaf to any other brand

Our focus group consisted of 8 people all of whom were students of SZABIST. These
people have either switched to a higher category brand such as. Davidoff, Benson &
Hedges, Dunhill or Marlboro etc, or to a lower category brand like Pall Mall, Pine lights,
Pine menthol or others.

On our first question regarding why these people quit smoking Gold Leaf cigarettes, one
individual answered by saying that the tobacco and the paper of the Gold Leaf cigarette
stick was not of good quality because they have to put in relatively more effort to suck
the smoke of Gold Leaf rather than other brands. The rest of the people agreed.
According to them, other cigarettes are made up of much finer blend and paper that
makes them easier to smoke.

The one trait that was observed to have been similar to all 8 individuals was that they
started smoking Gold Leaf since they were young. This was figured out when one person
who was apparently an MBA student, had brought up another feature of the brand that
disturbed him. He said that the smell of Gold Leaf tends to be extremely strong, and
while being young it took a lot of time to get rid of the strong smell from their hands n
clothes before going home or to some high class location. With the answer to this, the
other members of the focus group agreed.

Another major reason for the switch from Gold Leaf to other brands that we found to be
was the image concerns people had, mostly amongst young teenagers. Three teenagers
had agreed to the point where they all perceive Gold Leaf as being a cigarette of the
standard of a “Peons (Chapprasis) and drivers”. And they want to maintain a high
standard image especially while they have been enrolled in a university. According to the
findings of the secondary data this phenomena is totally wrong as many people from
within the wealthy Sec A and B smoke Gold Leaf. Our focus group suggested that Gold
Leaf has this kind of image especially in the urban areas. These people don’t want to get
embarrassed when they take out their packet of Gold Leaf in front of their friends and
others in places like five star hotels, restaurants and other posh areas.

Another argument that arose from a student that was 22 years of age, was that Gold leaf
is a brand for all. They wanted to stand out from the crowd and so wanted to look unique
so they started smoking a premium brand to distinguish themselves from the rest.

Similarly, we have identified that some of these people have tried to reduce the number
of cigarettes they smoke per day. One individual had said that his girlfriend wanted him
to quit smoking, so he decided to quit gradually by switching to a premium brand that
was much more expensive. This way they not only leave Gold Leaf but get addicted to
other brands. However they still want to quit smoking, a fact that seems to be impossible
for, but are still striving for hope.

One amazing finding from the focus group was that one person considered Gold Leaf
cigarettes to be hard as compared to Benson & Hedges or Dunhill and felt that smoking
Gold Leaf in Karachi, where the temperature is warm almost throughout the year, is not
recommended as it brings up your body temperature as well and that the body
temperature remains constant when he smokes Benson & Hedges or Dunhill.
On the question about which situation they find themselves most desperate to smoke, all
were unanimous on the point that when one is in extreme tension, a cigarette is must. We
asked them for reasons why they don’t smoke Gold Leaf during those times they again
identified the factor of comfort with the brand they have been smoking and for two of the
individuals, they don’t follow any particular brand they just want to smoke.

This concluded our second focus group. We obtained answers to our spontaneous
questions and the reasons why people generally want to leave Gold Leaf and try out other
brand of cigarettes.
People who do not switch from Gold Leaf to any other brand

This focus group comprises of 8 people who are Gold Leaf smokers and are not willing to
switch to any other brand. The age group of these people is between 18 -25 and all of
them are students. Only two people of this group have started smoking cigarettes gold
leaf from the very beginning and are still continuing it but the rest of the people have
switched to Gold Leaf either from a superior brand (e.g. Benson & Hedges, Dunhill and
Marlboro lights) or from a relatively inferior brands (e.g. Capstan, Red & White and
Diplomat).

One prominent thing that we found about why Gold Leaf smokers are not switching to
any other brand is that it has more emotional attachment to its customers. Though, it is
not only the case with Gold Leaf but with every other brand. It is a global phenomenon
that once a person is addicted to any particular brand of cigarette; it is most unlikely for
them to switch to any other brand.

What we observed from the focus group that the major reason that gold leaf smokers
stick to the brand no matter form what ever class they are is because of its unique taste,
and its quality. Gold leaf is a mediocre cigarette as it’s not too hard as Marlboro hard and
even not too light.

Its taste is also unique and most of the smokers of gold leaf stick to the brand for its
unique taste. They say that once you’re addicted to the taste and quality of gold leaf, you
can’t switch to any other brand.

Another reason that was prominent by most of the members of the focus group is the
availability factor. Gold leaf has different SKUs and all of them are available every
where from rural areas to premium urban areas. The taste and quality of gold leaf is same
whether you buy it from Shershah or from “My superstore” in Clifton. There is no
duplicating of the brand while other brands have a lot of duplications.
While coming to the topic that what is that one moment when they really need to smoke
Gold Leaf they identified three timings, in the morning when they have just woke up, or
before giving their exams, or immediately after the “Aftari”. These people also feels that
smoking a Gold Leaf after aftari is the best time to smoke because it relieves them and
they are free from all the tensions after smoking even one cigarette. But, unfortunately
they were unable to identify one exact reason for this. The only thing that they
unanimously said is that the feeling is out of the world.

CONCLUSION
The sales of gold leaf are exceeding because people don’t switch from gold leaf to any
other brand. After analyzing the data we got from focus group we have come to the
conclusion that people do not switch from gold leaf and are addicted to gold leaf is
because of its unique taste, quality, availability factor and it is economic that’s why it is
preferred.

Those who have switched from gold leaf is because mostly because of the image factor.
They have switched to the premium brands. Another reason is that for those who have
switched from gold leaf to light cigarettes are because gold leaf is much heavier.

RECOMMENDATIONS

• PTC should maintain the taste and quality of the cigarettes because it is the most
prominent reason why its customers hooked onto it.

• PTC should also improve the image of Gold Leaf because the major reason why
people have switched from gold leaf is its image.