Channel surfing, brand loyalty and risk propensity: A segmentation approach to modelling consumer switching behaviours in the USA

Victor J. Massad, Elizabethtown College
James Reardon, University of Tennessee


This study explores North Americans' propensity for change in the context of consumer switching behaviours: Channel surfing, brand loyalty and political loyalty. A proposed framework based on an adoption/diffusion explanation suggests that there is an inverse relationship between age and risk propensity, a positive relationship between males and risk propensity, and a positive relationship between risk propensity and the three switching behaviours mentioned above. A structural equation test of the adoption/diffusion model indicates that the framework is an acceptable basis for understanding the dynamics of demographics, risk and switching behaviours. A subsequent cluster analysis suggested that consumers may be categorized into four segments which we label Hotdoggers, Clamdiggers, Ho-Daddies and Gremlins. A surprising finding was that young women appear to exhibit greater risk propensity and less brand loyalty than young males, though males tend to channel surf more. Several implications for marketers are discussed. © 1996 Advertising Association.