Potency and Status needs higher among younger buyers
According to the findings of the 2004 4-wheeler brand health & need segmentation study
released today by leading market information provider, TNS, emotive needs such as
potency, prestige, and status account for over 50% of the car buyers in India.
Representing the responses of more than two thousand new car buyers
providing over 8,000 evaluations, this study conducted by TNS
specialist division, TNS Automotive, is a “first of its kind”
initiative to understand the hidden motivations behind car purchase and
customer perceptions of all available brands in India. Unlike
traditional brand research studies where customers are questioned
directly about their purchase reason, this study utilizes a proven
psychological framework to uncover the motives that drive brand
The study identifies the following six need segments in the Indian automotive market:
?“Contrary to the belief that prestige and status needs are pre-dominantly among
buyers of higher-end vehicles, the study clearly reveals that needs exist across vehicle
segments,” said Rajeev Lochan, General Manager (Asia Pacific) of TNS Automotive. “While
prestige and potency related needs are the key motivators for entry luxury buyers, these
needs exist across segments, including the cheaper small cars” he added.
The key drivers for the six need segments in India are summarized below:
Potency buyers are motivated by a need to attract opposite sex and feel powerful;
brand image of trendy and innovative appeals to this group.
Utility buyers seek a need for basic transportation and care for family; Value for money
and cost of ownership are the benefits that these buyers associate with.
Prestige buyers are motivated by a need for prestige, indulge self, and exclusivity;
They are least price sensitive and desirous of latest/ futuristic features in cars
Adventure buyers seek fun & adventure and to increase popularity; SUV finds
preference for these buyers who relate to their cars as “lover”.
Status buyers want to show-off success and attract attention; Superior craftsmanship
and best technology are imagery issues that this group relates to.
Liberation is the smallest of the six need segments – these buyers seek increased
freedom and latest technology; safety consciousness is relatively higher among them.
“It is apparent from the need segment drivers that a majority of motives are about what
a consumer desires to communicate to the outside world based on the car he/ she uses,”
comments Lochan. “Therefore, it is vital to understand these underlying drivers for consumer
behavior and position brands accordingly instead of solely focusing on rational elements of
purchase such as fuel economy and engine power.”
While brands cut across different need segments due to a similar identity, the varying
degrees of “fit” is determined by its soul or persona. Needs such as adventure and liberation
are more expressive, while status need is more subdued. Similarly, potency need is about
self-assertion and more individual oriented, whereas prestige is more about affiliation and
family oriented. The two examples below further illustrate the essence of these differences.
- Hyundai and Maruti: At a rational-level, both these makes finds
similarities on some of the rational brand drivers such as good fuel
economy, easy to maintain, practical cars, and good after-sales service
coverage. However, Hyundai’s persona is more expressive, while Maruti’s
is more protective. For example, increase popularity and show-off
success are stronger motivations for Hyundai, while basic
transportation and fit-in socially is higher for Maruti. Consequently,
Hyundai finds a relatively better “fit” with adventure and potency as
compared to utility and status for Maruti.
- Honda and Toyota: Superior craftsmanship is a key similarity for
both these brands at a rational-level. However, Honda’s positioning is
closer to the individual oriented zone of self-assertion – reflected in
one of its key motive of “feel powerful”. Toyota, in comparison, falls
more on the expressive and affiliative side with motives like “feel
young” and “for adventure and fun”.
Charts and graphs extracted from this press release must be accompanied by a statement identifying
TNS Automotive as the publisher and TNS Automotive 2004 India 4-Wheeler Brand Health & Need
Segmentation Study as the source.
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