Consumer Trends in the Philippines: Marketing in a Deteriorating Economy

ABSTRACT - As the continual devaluation of the peso increased production costs at the same time unprecedented inflation and unemployment rapidly eroded the purchasing power of consumers, large manufacturers in the Philippines responded with risk-oriented crisis marketing. Innovative survival tactics included unconventional promotional efforts which offered entertainment as added value to purchases, the introduction of smaller packaging sizes, and cheaper substitutes. Recent findings on the psychographic profiles of various demographic segments of the Filipino consumer base are presented, and then discussed in relation to the potential effectiveness of such strategies in maintaining a relatively dynamic market during the economic decline.



Citation:

Corinna T. de Leon (1985) ,"Consumer Trends in the Philippines: Marketing in a Deteriorating Economy", in SV - Historical Perspective in Consumer Research: National and International Perspectives, eds. Jagdish N. Sheth and Chin Tiong Tan, Singapore : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 173-181.

Historical Perspective in Consumer Research: National and International Perspectives, 1985     Pages 173-181

CONSUMER TRENDS IN THE PHILIPPINES: MARKETING IN A DETERIORATING ECONOMY

Corinna T. de Leon, National University of Singapore

[Acknowledgment is given to the following, for furnishing data and opinions: Antonio R. de Joya of Advertising & Marketing Associates, Inc.; Jose Orias of SSC&B: LinLas Worldwide (Philippines); Annette Alcasavas of Filipro, Inc; Angela V. Lascon of Philippine Refining Corp.; Antonio V. Concepcion of San Miguel Corporation; Alquimedes ?. Morales of Qualitative Empirical Research, Inc.; the Philippine Board of Advertising; the Marketing and Opinion Research Society, the Asian Federation of Advertising Associations.]

ABSTRACT -

As the continual devaluation of the peso increased production costs at the same time unprecedented inflation and unemployment rapidly eroded the purchasing power of consumers, large manufacturers in the Philippines responded with risk-oriented crisis marketing. Innovative survival tactics included unconventional promotional efforts which offered entertainment as added value to purchases, the introduction of smaller packaging sizes, and cheaper substitutes. Recent findings on the psychographic profiles of various demographic segments of the Filipino consumer base are presented, and then discussed in relation to the potential effectiveness of such strategies in maintaining a relatively dynamic market during the economic decline.

INTRODUCTION

The assassination of opposition leader Benigno Aquino in August 1983 triggered severe -political inst-ability in the Philippines, which in turn aggravated the country's economic problems. A year later del Rosario (1984) observed that ''the demonstrations are ... angrier, more intense ... companies are shutting down and employees are being laid off ... never have so many banking and financial institutions collapsed in so short a time'' . Having anticipated growth in the eighties, marketing management confronted instead a challenge of survival for most of their product-, in the most adverse of economic conditions.

THE ECONOMY

Mainly to restructure repayments of the national debt , the Philippine government made essential changes in its economic and monetary policies. Significant measures included substantial depreciation of the Philippine peso, adjustment ef government controls which increased domestic prices, and wage restraint. The deterioration of monetary conditions was made evident by the nominal interest rates of loans which reached 28% in July 1984, compared to the average of 19% in July 1983.

On June 23, 1983, the nominal exchange rate was devalued from P10.20 to the U.S. dollar, to P11.00. Two months after the Aquino assassination, October 1983, the peso depreciated further to P14.00 to the US$. One year later, after the peso was allowed to float, the peso traded at P20.10 to the US$. The exchange rate in July 1985 was officially at P18.75 to the US$; but the wide-spread expectation is that the exchange rate will reach P23.00 to the US$ by the end of 1985.

Because of the limited foreign exchange resources, the imports of raw materials became difficult in 1984. Consequently the sudden decrease in manufacturing outputs resulted in speculation and hoarding of goods. As the availability of foreign exchange has improved, the increase of production costs and the decline in sales volumes in 1985 were mainly due to unprecedent inflation rates. Inflation reached 26% in December 1983 and 64% by September 1984. Although the government announced in June 1985 that inflation had lowered to 35%, the annual average was estimated at 50%.

Based on a survey of key manufacturing enterprises during the second quarter of 1984, the National Economic and Development Authority of the Philippines (NEDA) reported that the average nominal value of production increased 37% over   1983. However the volume of total production output and of sales is evidently declining in 1985, when the growth rates are viewed in terms of the substantial increase in domestic prices. Carrion (1985) stated that in food processing, only meat products were expected to increase sales,, by a mere 0.6%; whereas, sales of flour and bakery products are expected to decrease by 3%; milk, by 21%; passengers cars, by another 50% after the 75-80% decline in 1984; and home appliaiices, by 20%. Another effect of the economic crisis is the rising unemployment, as enterprises trim operational expenses or eventually shut down. The NEDA survey showed that in the first half of 1984 employment was reduced by 6% from the previous year. The published rate of unemployment rate rose from 5% to 6% in 1984. Moreover, the underemployment ratio rose from 31% in 1983 to 37% in 1984.

THE MARKET

The population of the Philippines is estimated to be 54.4 million in 1985, with almost, as many females as males, as shown in Table 1.

Children comprise the largest segment of the market, and the majority of the consumers are below 30 years of age. The typical Filipino lives in the rural areas, is literate, and has completed elementary education. Almost all are Roman Catholics, due to the Christianization during three centuries of Spanish colonial rule.

There are 9.7 million households in the country, with an average of 5.6 members per household. Televisions are found in almost all homes in Metro Manila, and in half of the households in urban areas; but only one out of five rural homes owns a set, despite the 80% electrification in the Philippines (Table 2).

The reach of the broadcast media may be facing competition however from video recorders which are used in 11% of Metro Manila homes, and 2% of all households in the country. There are five television networks with I satellite in Metro Manila, and 20 replay stations reaching 42 provincial cities; 305 radio stations, of which 85% are commercial stations; 89 newspapers, of which 17 are circulated nationally; 142 magazines, including 45 illustrated comic books; and 1,046 cinemas (Advertising Age's Focus, 1984)

TABLE 1

DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILE OF THE PHILIPPINES

TABLE 2

THE REACH OF BROADCAST MEDIA IN THE PHILIPPINES

Although of common Malay, Chinese, and Spanish ancestries, the 54 ethnic groups living on the 7,000 islands of the Philippines speak nearly 100 different dialects, with English widely spoken as the language of business. Depending on the region, the media communicates in one of seven major dialects. In 55% of the area coverage, the national language of Pilipino (or Tagalog) is used as the media dialect, mostly in Metro Manila and surrounding areas in Central Luzon. Cebuano is the media dialect in 24% of the country, mostly in the islands of the Visayas. The other dialects of the media are Ilocano (11%), Ilonggo (10%), Bicolano (7%), Waray (3%), and Chabacano (2%).

The Philippine Board of Advertising (PBA) was organised in 1974 as the body responsible for the self-regulation of the advertising industry. All sectors of the industry are represented in the confederation by their respective associations; namely the Philippine Association of National Advertisers, the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies, the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkasters sa Philipinas (Association of Broadcasters), the Print Media Organization, the Cinema Advertising Association, the Outdoor Advertising Association, the Advertising Suppliers Association, and the Mark,,ting and Opinion Research Society. The main agreement guiding the PBA is that all commercials must be submitted for screening and approval, prior to media exposure. As noted by Kahn (1984), recent measures prohibited the actual intake of alcoholic drinks and the actual inhalation of smoke from cigarettes/cigars in commercials, required the inclusion of the warning "drink moderately" and "if symptoms persist, consult your physician", and permitted the "Number One" claim only for six months after submission of updated supporting data.

Quiogue (1984) reported that in 1983 the PBA screened 1,210 commercials, out of which 18% were deferred for lack of substantiation and 3% completely disapproved from airing. In 1984 a total of 1,736 commercials were sent to the PBA for screening, half for television and half for radio, 87% of which were approved. These figures indicated that advertising activity did not decline during the economic crisis of 1983-85.

TABLE 3

PHILIPPINE ADVERTISING EXPENDITURES BY MEDIA TYPE

Nonetheless, Table 3 presents data which that advertising expenditures decreased by 10% in 1984, as compared to that of 1983. Television and newspapers have- been traditionally the major media in the Philippines; and in 1984 expenditures on print advertisements decreased by 5% to 34%, whereas expenditures on the broadcast media increased by 5% to 631'. At the end of 1984 only half of the media had profits, while a quarter declared losses (Carrion, 1985). The 10% increase in the 1985 revenues of the broadcast media fell short of the 40% rise in their op-~rational expenses. Carrion (1985) took the view that on the whole advertising budgets for 1985 will be less than 1984, although some major advertisers may increase allocations "with the forward-looking objective of improving market shares when markets return to normal,,.

The status of marketing research in the Philippines was investigated for the first time by the Marketing and Opinion Research Society (MORES) in the first quarter of 1984. Belonging to the top 2000 corporations, 225 manufacturing, financial, and commercial establishments participated in the survey. As shown in Table 4, only three out of five companies stated that they use marketing research these companies are equally distributed into those with a separate marketing research department, and those whose research functions are the responsibility of the marketing department or the marketing planning/services unit. About half of the corporate respondents conducted their own research within their organisation, whereas two out of five did some studies on their own as well as commission the services of a research agency.

TABLE 4

1984 SURVEY OF MARKETING RESEARCH USERS BY THE MARKETING AND OPINION RESEARCH SOCIETY

There are presently nine research agencies in the Philippines, the oldest being the Asia Research Organization; the newest being Qualitative Empirical Research (QUERY), Inc.; and the three largest being Pulse, Inc., Unisearch (of the Unilever group), and Philippine Survey & Research Center, Inc.

When asked to compare their budget with that of five years before, the participants of the MORES survey noted an average increase of 91%. In 1983/84 the average research budget was P365,000 (approximately US$19,500) per annum, with two out of five companies reporting that their allocations were in the range of P150,000 or less (about US$8,000). Informal queries to the marketing research managers of large manufacturing concerns indicated that research budgets for 1985 were not expected to be substantially less than that of 1984, because the cutbacks were in the advertising budgets which have been customarily far larger than research allocations.

An increasingly prevalent promotional activity in the Philippines is the sponsorship (by major brands) of entertainment shows. As in the rest of South-east Asia, mobile cinema or merely video films can be a crowd-drawer, especially in rural .areas. However, with the large number of cinemas throughout the Philippines, roadshows featuring live entertainment, traveling from town to town, have been a more effective promotional tool. Television, movie, or radio stars seen in person by their fans, reach the audience not only by entertaining them, but also by endorsing products. In television top-rating live shows are usually comprised of various segments with different sponsors, which elicit audience participation in games or raffles. Sponsored segments have become common in radio shows as well, usually relying on the announcer's popularity, who in a chatty-friend style. makes ad-lib commercials. Unstructured advertisements have been written into the story-line of popular drama shows on radio and television, deriving its impact from the delivery by a major star. Unconventional promotional tactics are apparently limitless, as a leading soap brand encouraged radio listeners to use its wrappers to write in their requests for songs dedicated on-air to their loved ones. In view of the considerable Lime exposures of the products ana the comparatively lower fees, such as promotional tactics evidently maximise cost effectiveness during the period of budgetary constraints.

Another trend in Philippine marketing is the introduction of cheaper substitutes, mainly through product reformulations which use raw materials that are produced locally. Encouraged by the success of the competitive Sorbetero Pilipino ice cream which specialised in native flavours, the market leader Magnolia diversified into the Sorbetes ice cream line which uses the abundant coconut oil as base rather than imported milk fats. More recently Magnolia launched new flavours for the inexpensive " ice-drop" on a stick, which is a non-fact water-based formulation. Nestle milk products re-introduced the previously unsuccessful Vita which is a chocolate flavoured drink made from soya beans, an ingredient which is locally grown. Although coffee is culstivated in the Philippines, Nescafe redirected their product development away from the higher-priced specialty coffee brands such as Master Roast and Decaf, to place in the Philippine market the new Sunrise brand which is described as an instant coffee blend with "added carbohydrates".

An inspection of outlets revealed that downsizing of major brands is a common practice during the period of unprecedented inflation. Many convenience goods are presently available in three to five sizes; and the extreme example is Blend 45 coffee which is packaged in seven sizes ranging from 30 grams to 250 grams, in different types of decorative re-usable bottles. The ever popular San Miguel beer can now be purchased not only in the regular 12 oz. bottle, but also in a smaller bottle called Miguelito, (a Spanish proper name which translates into "small Miguel"). Positioned originally by San Miguel Brewery as the beer with high alcohol content and in the largest bottle, Red Horse beer is now available in the smaller sized bottle referred to as the Colt. As major brands have produced the 30-gram bottles, Great Taste coffee is also marketing single-usage packets containing 1.5 grams. The classic wide-mouthed cans of Dole/Del Mor~te pineapple with 836 gram contents has been joined by a 235 grams can similar to that of tuna products.

Personal care products are now available in pocket-size bottles containing a quarter or less of the contents of the regular size. Moreover, most shampoo brands can be bought in single-usage sachets, a form of packaging recently adopted as well by Close-up toothpaste. Normally packaged in tin cans, powdered milk is now offered in smaller units, packed in aluminum or plastic bags.

THE CONSUMER

An indicator of the effects of the deteriorating economy on the consumer is the change in the proportions of the socio-economic classes. As shown in Table 5, consecutive surveys by the Philippine Survey and Research Center (1983-1984, 1985) revealed that the lower-class DE households in the total Philippines increased by 2% in 1985, as compared to,,,1983-84. In Metro Manila where there is a larger segment of higher-class AB households, a downward movement of 12% to 9% was found. Earning at least P10,000 (approximately US$500) a month, the higher-income AB class comprise only 3% of the population, and three-fourths of all households are in the DE class with the monthly income of the household head less than P3,000 (about US$150).

Recognising the importance of socio-economic classification to marketing, the Marketing and Opinion Research Society are presently conducting studies to standardize and validate research procedures. Concepcion (1983a, 1983b) pioneered the investigation with a survey of Metro Manila households, which yielded evidence that reported household income had the highest correlation with the standard of living. Correct classification of households improved when all five criteria were used; namely, general appearance of the residence, household appliances and vehicle ownership, household, income, education of the household head, and Occupation of the household head. However, the residence, appliances/ vehicles, and income were the criteria which most significantly discriminated between the three classes of AB, C, and DE.

TABLE 5

1983/85 SOCIO-ECONOMIC CLASSIFICATION OF PHILIPPINE HOUSEHOLDS

Roberto (1984, 1985) conducted comparative surveys of Metro Manila housewives who belong to the lower-class DE homes, in January 1984 and December 1984. Reprinted in Table 6, his results showed that more respondents reported an improvement in their household incomes at the end of the year than in the beginning of 1984. This response was evidently due to the across-the-board salary adjustment ordered by the government, and the thirteenth month pay given in December. Nonetheless nine out of ten housewives stated that their present income was not sufficient; such that, the percentage of whose who felt their "income was very short" increased by 16% to almost half of the sample. Furthermore the proportion of the respondents who said they experienced being "hard-up" often in the past four weeks almost doubled from a quarter of them to 44%.

The ''coping strategies' of the class DE housewives were investigated also by Roberto (1984,1985) who proposed that regression of product usage follows a hierarchy of behaviours from the initial usage economization, to the later purchase reduction, substitution and elimination. As presented in Table 7, the majority of the respondents maintained expenditure levels of normal essential items such as rice, lights/electricity, water, medical consultations and medicines in December 1984 as in January 1984. However, although food and drinks comprise 55% of household expenditures, a greater proportion of housewives in the second survey reported usage-economizing tactics for rice and viands.

TABLE 6

PERCEPTIONS OF INCOME BY LOWER-INCOME HOUSEWIVES

The impact of the economic decline is more clearly evident f rom th,~ coping patterns involving non-essential items. At the start of 1984, about half of the housewives in Roberto's study had eliminated eating out, magazines/comics/newspapers, cinema, social visits, parties, and social outings (Table 8). A year later the elimination of these same items increased substantially, to 80-90% of low-income housewives. Moreover, a second wave of elimination strategy seems to have occurred; such that, at least four out of ten respondents reported doing Without shopping for household needs, refreshment/drinks, health medicines, snacks, and shopping for clothing, whereas elimination rates for these items were minimal at the start of the year.

The study to be presented here pertains to the initial attempts in the Philippines to investigate the psychographic profiles of the socio-economic classes (SEC), as well as of the other demographic factors of age, gender, and family life cycle (FLC). The primary research objective was to verify the existence of psychographic differences between the three socio-economic classes, between the five age groups, between the two genders, and between the six stages of the family life cycle. The second objective was Lo identify which psychographic variables account for the differences between the demographic segments of the population.

Methodology

The first survey was conducted in the Metro Manila area in December 1983, with a sample of 2100 respondents. Face to face interviews were conducted with equal numbers (N = 70) of males and females, of the five age-groups ranging from 12-19 years old to 40 years old and above, and of the socio-economic classes AB, C and DE. The second survey was conducted in Metro Manila in February/March 1985, with a sample of 530 limited to females.

TABLE 7

COPING STRATEGIES FOR ESSENTIAL ITEMS OF LOWER-INCOME HOUSEWIVES

TABLE 8

ELIMINATION OF NON-ESSENTIAL ITEMS BY LOWER-INCOME HOUSEWIVES

The multi-stage probability sampling method was based on a prelisting of households by socioeconomic classes in each of the primary sampling areas (PSA) of approximately 200 homes each. Ten households were randomly selected in each PSA to be included in the survey, and the respondent was chosen from the household members using a stratified selection guide. The total base of the study was comprised of 700 households each for the AB, C, and DE classes.

The first survey examined eleven psychographic variables; namely, gender awareness, sociability, health consciousness, status consciousness, stress and anxiety, traditionalism, life independence of judgement, product loyalty, and cost consciousness. The second survey included community involvement as the twelfth variable. The inventory consisted of ten attitude statements for each of the psychographic variables, presented in Pilipino and in English. The statements were written on separate cards which were randomly shuffled for each respondent. The responses were measured on a linear, unmarked scale without a neutral point, which merely stated the bipolar meanings of ''agree strongly" and "disagree strongly" at either of the two ends. The respondents placed the mark ''X" on the appropriate place on the line, which was later measured by its distance from the poles by using a standardised scale of 20 points.

The statistical analysis was performed on the total scores for the Len statements of each psychographic variable. Each respondent was categorised according to the four demographic factors. Using the SPSS computer program, discriminant analysis distinguished statistically between the categories of the four demographic factors by using the twelve psychographic measurements as possible discriminating variables. The means and standard deviations for each of the psychographic variables for all of the demographic categories were calculated to explain the direction of the significant differences.

The Findings of Survey 1

The data analysis verified that there are differences due to the psychographic variables, between the three SEC classes, between the two genders, between the five age-groups, and between the six FLC stages. Summarised in Table 9, the findings revealed that the psychographic differences between the SEC, age, and gender categories are statistically significant beyond the 0.001 level; and the level of significance for FLC is 0.005.

TABLE 9

1983/84 SURVEY ON THE PSYCHOGRAPHIC DIFFERENCES OF DEMOGRAPHIC CATEGORIES AMONG THE TOTAL POPULATION IN METRO MANILA

The specific psychographic variables which account for the differences between categories depends on which of the demographic factors is examined.

The standardized discriminant function coefficients (Table 9) indicated that Filipinos of either sex and of any age can be distinguished as belonging to the AB, C, or DE class mainly through the degrees of their sociability, stress and anxiety, traditionalism, life satisfaction, and status consciousness. The upper-class AB respondents were more sociable, more traditional, more satisfied with life, and more status conscious than those who belong to the middle-or lower classes. The lower-class respondents were more vulnerable to stress/anxiety.

The five age-groups included in the survey were as follows; 12-19 years old, 20-24 years old, 25-29 years old, 30-39 years old, and 40 years old and above. The levels of sociability, cost consciousness, and self-confidence accounted for the differences between age-groups to a greater extent than any other psychographic variable. Most sociable were the 20-24 year olds, with sociability decreasing with age. How ever cost consciousness increases with age. The Most self--confident are those in the older segment, while the least self-confident are those in the youngest segment.

Gender differences were shown to be mainly in the levels of sociability, gender, awareness, self-confidence, cost consciousness, and stress and anxiety. Males are more sociable, more self-confident, and more vulnerable to stress/anxiety. On the other hand, females are more aware of femininity/masculinity, and more conscious of cost.

The FLC stages were categorised to be respondents who lived in households alone, with pre-school children, with primary-school children, with high-school children, with adult children, and with other adults but no children. The stages can be distinguished in terms of cost consciousness, sociability, self confidence, and status consciousness. People who were alone or without children were the most conscious of cost and of status. Filipinos who live alone were the most sociable, and those who are with primary school children the least sociable. The later stages of the FLC was associated with greater self-confidence.

The Findings of Survey 2

The Second study verified that among females psychographic differences exist for SEC and age, but not for FLC. As shown in Table 10, the discriminant functions were statistically significant beyond the 0.001 level for SEC and age. Similar to the findings of the first survey, the psychographic differences which discriminate between the SEC categories are dissimilar in their importance from those which distinguish between age-groups.

The results indicated that females in the AB, C, or DE classes differ in their stress/anxiety, sociability, life satisfaction, product loyalty, and traditionalism. Females in the middle and lower classes are more vulnerable to stress/anxiety. Upper-class females are more sociable, more satisfied with their lives, more prone to product loyalty, and more traditional than the C and DE class females.

TABLE 10

1985 SURVEY ON PSYCHOGRAPHIC DIFFERENCES OF DEMOGRAPHIC CATEGORIES AMONG FEMALES IN METRO MANILA

In order of importance, the psychographic variables which discriminate between age-groups are cost consciousness, community involvement, stress/anxiety, life satisfaction, and traditionalism. The older women were found to be more conscious of cost, less Satisfied with life, and more vulnerable to stress/anxiety. The younger women (12-29 years old) expressed more involvement with the community, and more traditional beliefs.

CONCLUSION

Confronted by a worsening economic crisis, marketing management in the Philippines resorted to innovative survival tactics. Risk-oriented moves included promotional activities that offer entertainment as added value to purchase, the down-sizing of major brands, and the introduction of substituLe products positioned at a pricerange lower than leading brands. At such an early stage of implementation, the success of these marketing strategies can only be surmarised, by drawing implications from the psychographic profile of the Filipino consumer.

The use of entertainment as a promotional vehicle targets the lower socio-economic class who comprise the majority of the market. Such attempts draw its popularity from the present economic situation in which entertainment and other social activities are luxuries very few can afford, and hence have been eliminated by almost all DE households (Roberto, 1984, 1985). Psychographic data yielded evidence that the lower class can be characterized as less satisfied with life, less sociable, less traditional and more stressed/anxious than the upper-and middle-class minority. Free entertainment may be the only source of a social life for the poorer consumers, as well as providing novel diversions away from a life that is unsatisfying and stressful. Therefore unconventional promotional gimmicks could effectively elicit grass-roots involvement with products beyond mere usage, functioning as a psychological tool to enhance product awareness and loyalty.

Product loyalty was found to be more typical of the upper-class consumer, rather than of the lower classes or any other demographic category. However as rapid inflation forced consumers to trade down to the lower end of the available price-range, products which had been positioned previously for the lower-income consumers became attractive as well to the upper-and middle-class segments. The new but cheaper products may prove to be successful even among the higher-income consumers, mainly because of the Filipinos' propensity to "readily switch" from one product type to another as "occasion, mood, or whatever other circumstances, triggered'' (Roberto, 1982a, p. 17). Moreover brands which accommodate dwindling household budgets may be acceptable to housewives of any income level, who as older consumers and females belong to those segments which are more cost conscious than others. For the lower class, the availability of more affordable products defers the need for total elimination of the item, by making it feasible to merely substitute (Roberto 1984, 1985).

Since the demand for higher-priced specialty brands declined, the remaining market opportunities were for products that offered more tangible value for less money. Roberto (1982a) proposed that product attributes are perceived by Filipino consumers either as dissatisfiers which as the minimum requirements causes product dissatisfaction when absent, satisfiers which enhance satisfaction when present, and residuals which were nonessential attributes. For example, in Roberto's study, ''easily lathers" and ''cleans hair'' were the only two dissatisfiers out of Len shampoo attributes, and the single satisfier was "does not hurt eyes''. Hence , it can be argued that simpler, inexpensive substitutes of f er the dissatisfier attributes without the added costs of satisfier or residual attributes. Ice-drops may show better market performance than regular ice cream during the inflationary period, simply because it provides the dissatisfier attributes of "cold refreshment'' and ''good flavour" at a far lower price.

Smaller product sizes enable consumers to cope through usage-economization, and defer substitution or elimination of the item. For example, single-usage packets of shampoo or toothpaste permit the infrequent usage (e.g. special occasions) among low-income consumers who are known to convert to ordinary bath/laundry soap in place of shampoo and to salt instead of toothpaste. Down-sizing could encourage trial usage by minimizing monetary risk, as well as sustain brand loyalty by reinforcing consumers who are "hiyang'' or ''sanay" to the brand through the maintenance of usage per se. ..Hiyang" pertains to the tendency of Filipinos to develop a sense of unique compatibility with a particular product, and "sanay" means a trust in the product borne of habitual usage over Lime (Roberto, 1982a). Furthermore smaller packaging may be especially convenient for housewives who, as the purchaser of household goods, have to satisfy the varied preferences of j-he members of the typically large Filipino household without repressing her cost consciousness.

Small packaging units conform to the traditional ''tingi-tingi'' system of small corner outlets called the "sari-sari store" which sell cigarettes by the stick, vinegar by the cup, and many household items repackaged into small plastic bags. Downsizing seems to be an appropriate response to the consumers need for tighter control over cash outlays. As such down-sizing could relieve the stress of purchase occasions for the majority of Filipino consumers who, in belonging to the low-income segment, are particularly vulnerable to anxiety-

Product survival during the economic decline could be ensured by such marketing strategies, through the evident sensitivity to the concerns of consumers. Nonetheless the impact of the described tactics should be evaluated directly, aft~r the present introductory period. In particular research should investigate the long-term changes in consumership patterns, and the possible ramifications of such developments when the market returns to normal.

REFERENCES

Advertising Age's Focus ( 1984) Far East Media and Marketing Guide, Grain Communications, London.

Carrion, Marcial, S. (1985), "PBA Updates: Smaller Ad Pie'', Business Day, Metro Manila, 27 February.

Concepcion, Antonio V. (1983a), ''Standardization of tile Socio-Economic Classification of  Philippine Homes", Paper presented to the General Membership Meeting, Marketing and  Opinion Research Society of the Philippines Inc., 4 March.

Concepcion, Antonio V. (1983b) ''Standardization of the Socio-Economic classification of Philippine Homes", Master of Business Administration Thesis, Ateneo Graduate School of Business, Metro Manila,

Del Rosario, Ramon R., Jr. (1984) ''The Financial Executive: A Nation Adrift'', Business Day, 25 July.

Kahn, Andre S. (1985), "PBA Updates: The ACR in Progress'', Business Day, Metro Manila, 5 March.

Marketing and Opinion Research Society of the Philippines, Inc. (1984), "Status of Marketing Research in the Philippines", Unpublished Report.

Quiogue, Manuel P. (1984) PBA Update: In Pursuit of Truth in Advertising", Business Day, Metro Manila, 6 November.

Philippine Survey and Research Center, 1984), Media Fact Book, Unpublished Report.

Philippine Survey and Research Center Media Fact Book, Unpublished Report (1983-1985),

Quiogue, Manuel P. (1984) "PBA Update: The Last 7 Months", Business Day, Metro Manila, 3 February.

Roberto, Eduardo L. (1982a), "Profile: The Filipino Consumer", Occasional Papers No. 4, Asian Institute of Management, Metro Manila.

Roberto, Eduardo L. (1982b), "How Do You Motivate Consumers", Occasional Papers No. 5, Asian Institute of Management, Metro Manila.

Roberto, Eduardo L. (1984), "Coping with Difficult Times: The Case of Metro Manila Downscale Consumers", Occasional Papers No. 8, Asian Institute of Management, Metro Manila.

Roberto, Eduardo L. (1985), "Consumer Coping with Difficult Times: One More Time", Occasional Papers No. 9, Asian Institute of Management, Metro Manila.

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Authors

Corinna T. de Leon, National University of Singapore



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SV - Historical Perspective in Consumer Research: National and International Perspectives | 1985



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