Why You Should Be Using Conjoint Analysis
If you crave a deep understanding of why your customers choose one product, concept, or message over another, you might be thinking that deep-dive qualitative research is best. Possibly it is, but you should also be considering a research method at the opposite end of the spectrum: conjoint analysis.
Conjoint analysis is one of the techniques we use that comes closest to pure mathematical models of human behavior, and it can lend amazing insight. With conjoint techniques, we create working models of customer preferences for different types of products.
It works by presenting scenarios that are more like the real-life trade-offs people always make. Instead of asking people to rate what they like or dislike, we ask them to choose which products they like best in various configurations.
Then, after they have made a series of choices, instead of just knowing that price is important, we can calculate the specific value of price relative to other important attributes. With values thus assigned, we can then model how preferences change as we modify each attribute.
Conjoint is a powerful tool because it helps us understand not only which configuration of product features is optimal, but also why. It shows us how each component is being valued to drive overall preference, and ultimately market share.
Consider using conjoint if you want to understand:
- The tradeoffs that people make when evaluating their options
- How to bundle features to optimize your product or offering
- Needs-based segments among the people you are targeting
- Drivers of behavior that people themselves may be unaware of
- How your new product may affect product choices and market share
While conjoint analysis relies on a complicated set of mathematical algorithms, its beauty is that it ultimately tells a compelling story about humans, how they behave, and why they behave.
It is a quantitative method, but one that helps you turn data into stories. The results are deeply intuitive and insightful, and your internal clients will love you for it!
—Joe Hopper, Ph.D.
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