Risk relievers and customer brand preference in the purchase of cars
The customer perceives some degree of risk in making a purchase decision because the outcomes of the decision are uncertain. This perceived risk is the uncertainty that consumers face when they cannot foresee the consequences of their purchase decision. Hence buyers rely on risk-relieving actions that lower their perceived risk and enable them to make a purchase decision. Seventeen risk-relievers were found to be suitable in purchase of cars. The study purported to find out the more influencing risk reducers among the chosen seventeen risk relievers in purchase of cars. Secondly the study tries to find out the impact of risk relievers based on brand choice. Seven brands namely Maruti, Tata, Hyundai, Mahindra, Ford, Toyota and Chevrolet were considered for the study. Profile analysis was carried out to find whether the influence of risk-relievers differ by brand. Risk reducers like consumer ratings, extended free service and social observation were found to influence the car purchase process only to a moderate extent. The car manufacturers should identify the risk-relievers and work on the different risk-relievers so as to make the prospective customers look for their brand of cars. Further research can be carried out on a pan India basis since the choice of brand and perception of risk can vary across the country.
Key Words: perceived risk, Risk reliever, Car purchase behaviour, Brand choice