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View Poll Results: What do you think of companies launching scooters targeted specifically at women?
It is a practical approach with specific features tweaked to suit women 9 30.00%
It is a marketing gimmick just to grab women's attention 21 70.00%
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Old 13th January 2014, 21:28   #1
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Default Scooters targeted at Men / Women. Marketing Gimmicks?

There are several gearless scooters in our market targetted either at the male or female segment. Is it practically correct or just a marketing gimmic?

This question has been in my mind for a long time now. Look at the following examples to get an idea-

Model - Target Audience

Hero Pleasure - Women
Hero Maestro - Men

Yamaha Ray - Women
Yamaha Ray Z - Men

Scooty - Women

The big question is -

How true in terms of practicality is it when a model is targeted towards a particular sex or whether it is just a marketing gimmic to get those sections interested.

The reason for this is that we see on road a lot of times people of both sexes driving these scooters irrespective of how it is targetted such as Pleasure or the Ray used by men as well and viceversa for the Maestro by women etc.

Would like to know what others think on this?

Last edited by girishglg : 13th January 2014 at 21:33.
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Old 13th January 2014, 21:46   #2
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Default re: Scooters targeted at Men / Women. Marketing Gimmicks?

A lot of people I know buy a scooter so both husband and wife, plus other family members can ride it out as per convenience. Except for the seriously teen-targeted scooters like the TVS Scooty Streak, I don't think many buy an automatic scooter because it looks more feminine or masculine.

Marketing gimmick? Well yes, every product is marketed for a specific group of consumers.
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Old 14th January 2014, 08:22   #3
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Smile re: Scooters targeted at Men / Women. Marketing Gimmicks?

Gearless scooters were mainly introduced with the female audience in mind since there were already bikes for the male population. Over the period of time even the male section got hooked to the scooter for the reasons obvious. Hence manufacturers started advertising to specific sexes intending to capture additional markets. The lighter weighted scooters are targetted at ladies whereas the heavier ones are advertised for men. This is a practical aspect. The humble scooter which started as a means for running daily errands for women ended up with men using it as a means to get through the chaotic traffic on way to work.

I guess more than 50% of the gearless scooter purchases are initially intended for the women of the house but end up in male hands.
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Old 14th January 2014, 08:49   #4
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Kinetic Honda changed the Indian Scooter-commute-scape irrevocably in 1987 with the KH EX priced at Rs 11000 and the KH DX at Rs 12500 (Madras).
It was aimed at all kinds of commuters. Not just ladies.
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Old 14th January 2014, 10:18   #5
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Default re: Scooters targeted at Men / Women. Marketing Gimmicks?

IMHO , its a big marketing gimmick. Imagine if HH Pleasure was renamed and just launched as a plain scooter without any target customers , probably they would have sold more numbers . No college going guy would willingly buy a Pleasure after reading / seeing their tagline "why should boys have all they fun ?" .

^^ Like Shankar Balan said , Kinetic Honda did a nice job by just launching their products. Even TVS XL 50 had no gender discrimination.
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Old 14th January 2014, 11:02   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by girimajiananth View Post
IMHO , its a big marketing gimmick. Imagine if HH Pleasure...
Have to disagree here. In hero product range, they have Meastro targeted at men, and pleasure for women. If you test both, they are as different as two similar cc scooters can get.

Even when I tried sitting almost near the pillion seat- pleasure was just not spacious enough for me to take a U-turn without the handle bar hitting my leg. Meastro however is one of the most spacious scooters in the market.
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Old 14th January 2014, 11:07   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by girimajiananth View Post
IMHO , its a big marketing gimmick. Imagine if HH Pleasure was renamed and just launched as a plain scooter without any target customers , probably they would have sold more numbers . No college going guy would willingly buy a Pleasure after reading / seeing their tagline "why should boys have all they fun ?" . ^^ Like Shankar Balan said , Kinetic Honda did a nice job by just launching their products. Even TVS XL 50 had no gender discrimination.

Do you remember the beautiful Sportif? Peugeot design. That was so much more stylish and desirable than the TVS 50! Again, there was no gender typing on the Sportif's part.

Then the truly beautiful little Zundapp-Enfield Twins. The Explorer and the SilverPlus. Of these, the Explorer was clearly a boy's toy and the SilverPlus was aimed at the working girl.

As an aside, I wonder if one can buy an old explorer anywhere.
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Old 14th January 2014, 23:12   #8
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Default Re: Scooters targeted at Men / Women. Marketing Gimmicks?

This is nothing but product promotion with catch lines framed in such a way that they hit the exact target audience. All of us would recall that there was a gearless scooter by the name of Bajaj Sunny. Some of us may say that it was a moped. Now come to think of the target audience, it was ladies who drive light scooters to work and college going students.

It was hit in the market and now has vanished without leaving a trace behind. There is a vacuum now and any new product can still be positioned in the same category but no manufacturer is willing to come up with that kind of a light vehicle.

Advertisements are made with an idea of hitting the right target which an advertiser want. Take the case of Normal toothpaste that we use at home. The target audience for the brand "Pepsodent" is small children, while "Close up" has college going students and so on. The difference in the product may not be too much, but children do manage to turn the buying preference of parents as they would like to use what they have seen in the advertisement. When they grow up preference changes to close-up and this way the same company is able to retain a customer at all levels.
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Old 14th January 2014, 23:31   #9
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Default Re: Scooters targeted at Men / Women. Marketing Gimmicks?

When we can have separate soaps, body lotions & shampoos for men and women, then why not scooters?

Women have smaller build & muscle power, have a different color preference, tend to be less interested in power and more into luxury/features, prefer less aggressive designs etc etc

All of these requirements combined, make a strong business case to warrant a unique model targeted towards the fairer sex.

Now that doesn't mean that a particular company claiming to sell a ladies specific model is truly taking this into account. They might offer a flowery sticker,= and call it a women specific scooter, in which case its nothing but a gimmick

It also doesn't preclude a certain % of men from preferring these types of scooters..



Quote:
How true in terms of practicality is it when a model is targeted towards a particular sex or whether it is just a marketing gimmic to get those sections interested.

The reason for this is that we see on road a lot of times people of both sexes driving these scooters irrespective of how it is targetted such as Pleasure or the Ray used by men as well and viceversa for the Maestro by women etc.

Would like to know what others think on this?

Last edited by Mpower : 17th January 2014 at 18:44.
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Old 15th January 2014, 00:12   #10
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Default Re: Scooters targeted at Men / Women. Marketing Gimmicks?

I don't think marketing GS (gearless scooters) gender wise as a gimmick, but a well thought of strategy by the 2 wheeler manufacturers and practically correct.

We have a general notion as a fellow BHPian mentioned below that Gearless scooters were mainly introduced with the female audience in mind since there were already bikes for the male population. and probably meaning that bikes are macho and gearless scooters are girly.

In my opinion women do not ride M/Cycles much since
1. their dress ware (such as a saree or salwar kameez) hinders riding it.
2. straddling is still a recent phenomenon ( less than a decade or so) earlier women used to sit pillion with both legs on same side.
Having said that there are many women who ride M/Cycles like a bullet or a HD. that is more of an exception than a common phenomenon.

So the gearless scooters was a boon to the women. without hassles of manual gear operation, ease of mounting, luggage carrying ability endeared the gearless scooters to the women folks.

But then there is a class of men who are uncomfortable with M/Cycles. I know lot of friends who cannot ride a M/cycle but own a gearless scooter. They are petrified with the gear and brake at the feet but comfortable with the gearless scooter systems. Elderly people too prefer a gearless scooter over a M/cycle. and the present city stop and go traffic is a stressful ride for a M/Cyclist with constant gear change and again a gearless scooter is a boon and not the mention the luggage one can keep in front ( I have seen LPG cylinder/25 Kg rice bag/monthly grocery/computer/table fan and what not transported in a gearless scooter)

Then a gearless scooter is easy to clean / maintain over a M/Cycle, can be used by multiple members of the family which lures some people to them

The reason I am mentioning all the above is to say that both Men and Women ride a gearless scooter for the obvious benefit it has over a M/Cycle. So the scooter manufacturers have their customers already. Now it is a matter to only increase their footprints in the market in all possible ways. Now as some one mentioned below the way HH Maestro and Pleasure is targeted to men and women respectively with specific design changes / aesthetics / to cater to men and women.

I also think in the gearless scooter segment the manufacturers are left to play with a limited option such as aesthetic / design changes etc where as in the M/cycle segment we have say commuter segment / premium segment/ performance bikes / super bikes etc and not gender wise. and it is perfectly alright and practical to target a particular gender or segment and cater to them with gender specific or segment specific 2 wheeler.
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Old 15th January 2014, 09:40   #11
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Default Re: Scooters targeted at Men / Women. Marketing Gimmicks?

Of the products sold in India, I think it's just a marketing gimmick. Except for cosmetic features to differentiate the products, there are no functional differences. For example, Yamaha Ray - Rayz.

Men are taller, larger, heavier and use the scooter in different ways than women. But the design of scooters targeted at men do not have taller handlebars or wider seats or any other ergonomic differences.

We don't even have gender-specific helmets in this country so expecting gender-specific scooters is unrealistic.
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Old 15th January 2014, 11:26   #12
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Default Re: Scooters targeted at Men / Women. Marketing Gimmicks?

Pure marketing gimmick. I see more women riding the Maestros and the Ray-Zs of this world than their supposed target audience.
I think most scooter purchases dont factor the male/female thing at all. Most are done on the basis of budget/availability.

PS : Happy owner of a 5 year old "girly" HH Pleasure.
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Old 15th January 2014, 12:24   #13
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Default Re: Scooters targeted at Men / Women. Marketing Gimmicks?

Scooters, as compared to motorcycles, were meant for the fairer sex, IMO. You will find some models which have been tailored for the physical attributes of the fairer sex, however for all other operational purposes there isn't any particular distinctive feature or mark which could set them apart.
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Old 15th January 2014, 13:30   #14
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Default Re: Scooters targeted at Men / Women. Marketing Gimmicks?

Absolute marketing gimmick looking at current range of gearless scooters. Honda never projected Activa for a specific gender nor had male audience in mind for their geared scooter Eterno.

I guess Hero honda started it when they launched Pleasure in order to differentiate Pleasure's small build compared to Activa. Both had same engine, so someone in HH marketing team might have thought of catching female audience.

In earlier days, when with both geared & gearless scooters used to exist in market, I don't recall any gender specific marketing for any scooter.

I feel thread title needs to include 'Gearless' but it might be irrelevant in current context when we don't have any geared scooter for sale in market (across India).
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Old 15th January 2014, 15:19   #15
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Default Re: Scooters targeted at Men / Women. Marketing Gimmicks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
Scooters, as compared to motorcycles, were meant for the fairer sex, IMO.
Well, I am sure almost 2 generations of males who rode the Bajaj Chetak/Super will have a rather different opinion! Not to mention the venerable Lambretta, Vijai, Allwyn Pushpak or Phantabullet.

The modern gearless scooters, especially the smaller ones (scooterettes?) have certainly brought in a lot more female riders onto our roads though.
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