Indian Journal of Finance | Prabandhan: Indian Journal of Management | Arthshastra: Indian Journal of Economics & Research

   Volume 44 • Number 4 • April 2014

Exploring the Dimensions of Pilgrims' Experiences
Indian Journal of Marketing, 44(4), 5 – 16
Purpose: Experiences are private events that occur in response to some stimulation. They often result from direct observation or participation in events – whether they are real, dreamlike, or virtual. This study aims to understand and explore the dimensions of pilgrims' experiences at Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) located in Tirumala near Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. Furthermore, the study aimed to develop an instrument that would measure the pilgrims' experiences.
Approach: The current trend in the marketing practices is to create engaging and lasting experiences for the customers. To understand the experiences in the services context, the study was conducted with the pilgrims who visited the holy Tirumala temple. A self administered questionnaire which included both structured and open-ended questions was used.
Findings: A close look out for the various dimensions of pilgrims' experiences management was developed and an instrument to measure pilgrims' experiences in the context of the holy temple was evolved.
Research Limitations: The research scope registered only exceptional experiences of the respondents and experiences observed at the time of the study. The grade of criticality of the experiences was not examined further.
Practical Implications: The study provides a new understanding of pilgrims' experiences and would help the temple management to design a framework that enhances the darshan experience and ensures that the pilgrims have a memorable stay at the Tirumala temple.
Originality/Value: This paper is the first of its kind, exploring the various dimensions of pilgrims' experiences and addressing the dimensions that create the various aspects of a wonderful darshan leading to the pilgrims being satisfied with their visit.
Keywords: pilgrim, pilgrims’ experiences, pilgrim satisfaction, Lord Venkateswara, TTD
Paper Submission Date: August 3, 2013 ; Paper sent back for Revision : December 16, 2013 ; Paper Acceptance Date : January 7, 2014
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Sathish A.S.
Associate Professor
VIT Business School
VIT University, Vellore, Tamil Nadu.

Ramakrishnan Venkatesakumar
Associate Professor , Department of Management Studies
School of Management, Pondicherry University, Puducherry.

Brand Credibility and Purchase Intention Among Users of Shopping and Convenience Goods: The Moderating Role of Brand Involvement
Indian Journal of Marketing, 44(4), 17 - 24
In the present study, we explore the moderating role of brand involvement, which is a potential factor influencing the relation between brand credibility and brand purchase intention. The study is intended for two categories of products, that is, convenience products and shopping products. The product being shopping in nature, the brand credibility (BC) and purchase intention (PI) scores are relatively higher and significant for two categories (high and low) of brand involvement (BI), depicting the complexity and importance shown by consumers while shopping for high ticket shopping goods. The product being convenience in nature, the brand credibility and purchase intention scores are relatively low and insignificant for the category of low brand involvement (<2.79), depicting the even lesser importance shown by consumers for convenience goods with lesser price points. At the same time, the brand credibility and purchase intention scores are relatively high and significant for the category of soap users with high brand involvement (>=2.79), depicting the importance shown by consumers of high end soaps with higher price points, even though they are convenience goods. In future studies, more categories of products like specialty products (e.g. luxury cars, deluxe vacations) and unsought products (e.g. life insurance and retirement plans) can be included to draw a detailed comparison across the consumer product classification.
Keywords: brand credibility, brand involvement, shopping goods, convenience goods, purchase intention
Paper Submission Date : June 6, 2013 ; Paper sent back for Revision : December 20, 2013 ; Paper Acceptance Date : February 2, 2014
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Joji Alex N.
Associate Professor - Marketing
Rajagiri College of Social Sciences, Kakkanad,
Kochi- 682 039, Kerala
Jithin Thomas
PGDM Student, Rajagiri Business School, Kakkanad
Kochi-682 039, Kerala.
Nutrition Label Usage: An Empirical Study of Consumer Response in India
Indian Journal of Marketing, 44(4), 25 -33
Purpose : Indian consumers are in the process of changing their consumption/buying behaviour, especially with respect to food items. The present study attempts to explore the Indian consumers' level of awareness and usage of information given on food product labels. The research also aims to understand the association of demographic differences with regard to food label usage. Moreover, it intends to identify the specific nutritive and non-nutritive information, and food attributes that consumers seek from food labels.
Design/Methodology/Approach : The data was collected using a structured questionnaire-based survey. A total of 250 respondents were considered for the study. Friedman's ANOVA, Descriptive statistics, and Chi-square test were used to analyze the data.
Findings : The results indicated that Indian consumers, like consumers in other countries, are reading nutrition labels and that these labels influence their purchase decisions. The research also indicated that quality and nutrition are the primary attributes which consumers seek from food products. Fat, energy, and the amount of cholesterol in food products were found to be the most frequently sought nutritional information, while environment related information was rarely pursued. Income level, education, and gender play a role in the usage of nutritional labels by the consumers. Consumers seek further simplification and standardization of food labels
Originality/Value : The outcomes of the study will help Indian policy makers and food companies to understand the complexity of issues involved in nutrient labelling, and design strategies to maximize benefits from resources spent on food labelling.
Keywords: nutrition, processed food, food labels
Paper Submission Date : December 12, 2013 ; Paper sent back for Revision : December 30, 2013 ; Paper Acceptance Date : January 13, 2014
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Reeva Paul
Research Scholar, University Business School, Panjab University, Sector 14, Chandigarh - 160 014 and Adjunct Faculty, University Institute of Applied Management Sciences, Panjab University, Chandigarh.


Monica Bedi
Assistant Professor, University Business School, Panjab University, Sector 14, Chandigarh - 160 014.  


Match-up on Physical Attractiveness: Effectiveness of Cartoon Spokes-Character and Human Spokesperson
Indian Journal of Marketing, 44(4), 34 - 42
Marketers have been selecting celebrities to endorse their brands on the basis of their physical attractiveness. Consumers tend to form positive stereotypes about such people because they assume that the endorsers, who are ranked high on one dimension, would excel on other dimensions as well. However, attractive endorsers were found enhancing consumers' favourable attitudes in case of 'matching/congruent' attractiveness related products only. Therefore, the first objective of this conceptual paper is to frame propositions to demonstrate the congruence effect in case of spokes-characters too. Hence, in first part of the study, the propositions related to the impact of attractive/unattractive spokes-characters in terms of product types (attractiveness related vs. attractiveness un-related) have been framed. The second part of the paper is based on the 'distinctiveness' theory which says that an ad having certain stimuli different from similar ads would catch more attention of the target audience and would have a more favourable impact on consumer attitudes. Therefore, the second objective of the paper is to compare the ad- and product-based attitude of attractive human spokesperson and attractive cartoon spokes-characters in terms of product types. All the three propositions presented in the present paper can be empirically tested by researchers in the future.
Keywords: human spokesperson, cartoon spokes-character, match-up hypothesis, distinctiveness theory
Paper Submission Date : October 25, 2013 ; Paper sent back for Revision : December 18, 2013 ; Paper Acceptance Date : January 15, 2014
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Aditya S. Mishra
Assistant Professor, IBS Hyderabad (I.F.H.E.), Dontanapalli
Shankarpalli Road, Hyderabad – 501 504, Andhra Pradesh.

The Indian Rural Market: Emerging Opportunities and Challenges
Indian Journal of Marketing, 44(4), 43 - 50
An estimated 68.84% of the total Indian population living in villages (Census 2011) makes rural India the 'next big thing' for businesses. The sheer size of rural India gives it a significant share in the total Indian market, which from the marketer's perspective, translates into a huge consumer base. However, just like everything else in India, rural India too is changing. Education, access to technologies, and a progressively increasing purchasing power is the new face of rural India. While such changes uncover new opportunities for marketers, these also lead to new challenges, which so often accompany change. Based on secondary data, this paper draws conclusions with the aim to understand the changing rural consumers and markets. It also aims to identify new opportunities and challenges faced by marketers precipitated by such change. This would allow businesses to formulate an appropriate strategy focusing on customization, relationship management, distribution and promotion, which prepares the marketers to tackle and benefit from such change.
Keywords: rural marketing, Indian rural market, Indian rural consumer, distribution, promotion, customization
Paper Submission Date : October 25, 2013 ; Paper sent back for Revision : December 18, 2013 ; Paper Acceptance Date : February 11, 2014
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Mohd. Azhar Suharwardi
Lecturer (Contractual), Department of IMBA, North Campus
University of Kashmir, Baramullah, Jammu & Kashmir.
Iqbal Ahmad Hakim
Professor, The Business School, University of Kashmir
Srinagar , Jammu & Kashmir.