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Cautious Incremental Consumption: A Neglected Consumer Risk Reduction Strategy

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 1 July 1991



A counterweight is offered to models of consumer choice which assume products as homogeneous and regard choice as the outcome of cognitive processes of information search. Having shown that the purchase of experiential products is inherently risky, findings from a study of the holiday travel choices of 328 Gulf Arab consumers are adduced to show that consumption behaviour, rather than information search and deliberation, may be the principal means adopted to reduce risk. Behaviour is explained by the concept of “cautious incremental consumption”, which refers to the way in which the risks and benefits of novel and familiar experiential products are traded off incrementally over time through consumption behaviours. The concept is used to develop a more general model of consumer choice with respect to experiential products, and the predictions, implications and possible applications of this model are discussed.



Hales, C. and Shams, H. (1991), "Cautious Incremental Consumption: A Neglected Consumer Risk Reduction Strategy", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 25 No. 7, pp. 7-21.




Copyright © 1991, MCB UP Limited

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