Life-Style Distinction Between Customers and Non-Customers of Sikkim Cymbidium

Life-Style Distinction Between Customers and Non-Customers of Sikkim Cymbidium

Ajeya Jha (Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology, India), Bibeth Sharma (Sikkim Manipal University, India) and Jitendra Kumar (Sikkim Manipal University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4056-4.ch002

Abstract

For marketers, it is a vital to be able to differentiate customers from non-customers for their product. Sikkim a tiny Himalayan state in India is the home of globally known cymbidium orchids. It has been identified as a product that can boost local economy. In order to achieve this, it is important to formulate marketing strategies. One important input in strategy formulation is to prepare a customer profile. This is based on demographic, geographic and psychographic factors. This paper develops a customer profile purely on identified Activities, Interest and Opinions (AIO). Methodology involves collecting data from buyers and non-buyers of Cymbidium orchids about their life-style. Statements were framed on Likert scale (1-5). In all five variables have been tested. Final analysis is based on discriminant analysis. Results indicate a weak discriminant function but 90% respondents are correctly identified as buyers and non-buyers.
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Introduction

For marketers it is a vital to be able to differentiate customers from non-customers for their respective products. This is vital to focus marketing efforts and energies on people who need our products. Sikkim, a tiny Himalayan state in India, is the home of globally known cymbidium orchids. It has been identified as a product that can boost local economy. While formulating marketing strategies it is important to develop the right profile of its customers and differentiate them from the non-customers. Differentiation is broadly based on demographic, geographic, behavioural and psychographic factors. Studies of this nature focus manly upon demographic factors. Psychographic factors based studies have evolved later. This chapter develops a customer profile of Sikkim cymbidium is purely based on identified activities, interest and opinions (AIO). Methodology involves collecting data from buyers and non-buyers of Cymbidium orchids on identified AIOs.

Sikkim Himalaya under Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot is a bio-geographic region with magnificent basin of diversity and is almost a rectangular piece of land, covered with extremely rugged hills and mountains, squeezed in between the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal in the west and Bhutan in the east. It lies between 27°5” and 28°9” Latitude and 87°59” and 88°56” Longitude. The total number of orchid species in India is estimated to be around 1229. Out of which 523 numbers of orchid species is from Sikkim alone, only next to Arunachal Pradesh having 620 species of orchids. But when land to species ratio is considered, Sikkim perhaps is the world's richest orchid diversity hot spot (Sudhizong Lucksom, 1990). Around 450 species of orchids are available in Sikkim. But all of these are not cultivated for commercial purposes.

Cymbidiums are among the most popular winter and spring blooming seam-terrestrial orchids originated from tropical and subtropical Asia covering North Eastern India, China, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Borneo islands and North Australia, usually grown in cooler climates at high elevations. Cymbidiums are highly valued for genetic resources, cut flowers, hanging baskets, potted plants and herbal medicine. Cymbidium has been considered as a top commercial orchid in Europe since many years. Among orchids cymbidium cut flower ranks first. It occupies the seventh position out of top ten cut flowers of international trade (Chakrabarti, S, 2007). Cultivation of Cymbidiums has been in practice in China for over 2500 years and is even today considered as a symbol of royalty. With the advent of hybridization in Europe in the later part of nineteenth century based on the Himalayan species, number of novel hybrids of commerce have been produced with long lasting, large-sized and brilliantly coloured and textured flowers, paving a way for the development of cut- flower trade world over (Hedge. S.N, 1999).

Cymbidium orchids are among top ten cut flowers sold in Dutch flower auctions and each flower spike fetches approximately 2.00£ (Ram Pal, R. P. Medhi & N. K Meena, 2011). Cymbidium hybrids are classified into three groups- Standard, Intermediate and Miniature hybrids (Lakshman Chandra De, 2011). Standard and Intermediate hybrids produce 90 to 120 cm long spikes with 8 to 15 flowers per spike. Miniature hybrids produce green, yellow or brown coloured flowers, 30 cm tall and each spike contains 30-40 flowers of 2.5-8.5 cm across. On an overall evaluation, Yankalilla, San Francisco Mona Lisa, Nonina Paleface, Takaragaike, Stanley Fouraker White Magic and Fantasia Deserio Dulmar were identified as the most commercially promising Cymbidium hybrids suitable for cultivation in Sikkim and the North-Eastern Himalayas (Barman D., Basak J., Raj B., Devadas R., Nagrare V., & Medhi R.P, 2007).

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