Conjoint analysis case studies

Conjoint analysis is an area of expertise for This includes all forms of conjoint analysis and versions of analysis that we carry out using our own in-house tools and using off-the-shelf industry standard conjoint software.

This section contains a selection of case studies. Rather than reveal the clients, some of whom would be happy for us to say who they are and others who would prefer confidentiality, we have decided not to reveal any names.

Margin versus service

In business markets, intermediary resellers, dealers and distributors all take a margin from selling the product to the end-user. In the face of downwards pressure on prices for products being sold to consumers, the question was whether providing additional business services could enable the business to trim the channel margin. Conjoint analysis was used to test the value of different services against margin in terms of likelihood to recommend, providing the business with a tool to understand both what services were needed, but also the potential margin saving they could make.

Clinical trial design - pharmaceuticals

For pharmaceutical companies, the cost and investment needed for clinical trials can run into millions of pounds, but the trials need to focus on a particular treatment. The choice of that treatment depends on the balance of dosage, efficacy and potential adverse reactions. In broad terms a higher dosage can give a more efficacious drug, but with a resultant higher chance of adverse effects. For aggressive diseases efficacy can be important to doctors and physicians, while for less threatening conditions, safety will take priority. Understanding treatment preferences using conjoint analysis helps the pharmaceutical company determine which dosage and treatment method to take into widespread clinical trials.

Employee benefit research

In large multinationals and in US corporations, HR has the responsibilty for designing salary and benefit packages that will best recruit and retain the best workers in the business. With businesses where employee numbers run into thousands, making such decisions need to be made based on information about what employees want and prefer. Conjoint analysis can be used to see what employees would choose if they could design their own package from benefits like share options, medical insurance, company perks and general salary.

Software design

In technology markets, it is important to understand what the key areas are for development and what will give the best competitive return on development. Conjoint analysis was used to understand what the key design features were in a new version of a well-established software product. It helps determine the value of proposed add-on products and services and so keep development focused on the key elements the customers wanted, rather than just the ideas of the internal development team.

Life-change decisions

A TV company was investigating life-change decisions and had the novel idea of using conjoint analysis to explore the preferences of a family looking to move away from the city and into the country. Though more for entertainment purposes, the use of conjoint helped illuminate and shed light on the family's key priorities and in itself helped develop and crystallise discussions about what the family wanted to do.

Healthcare treatments

In healthcare markets, all treatments and medicines bring with them a measure of relief, but also side-effects and procedural complications. To understand the market for a new treatment, conjoint analysis was conducted with sufferers via an online panel. This enabled the healthcare provider to identify the trade-offs in time, money and inconvenience against procedural efficacy to help to take decisions about which areas and businesses to invest in.

Product design

Product design is the classic conjoint problem. What mix of features should go into a new product at what price, so the value in monetary terms could be established for each of the features and likely profitability assessed. The conjoint was complicated by being in a business market with high levels of both repeat and repertoire purchasing (buying more than one type of product at a time because of multiple needs). Using our proprietary conjoint software we were able to show the value and potential profitability of the different features which could be used as a purchasing tool to focus on supply chain and build costs.

Delivery services

With the advent of the Internet, public use and perceptions of delivery services has changed. A retailer wanted to know how it's delivery service was comparing with new Internet entrants and whether there was potential for additional premium level deliveries, such as same day delivery. Using a combined telephone, postal choice based conjoint approach price elasticities and service value could be assessed to understand different types of retail customer.

Medical market price positioning

With highly complex medical devices the client had a question over price and value positioning for high value products targeted at surgeons. We produced a five country conjoint analysis among surgeons to understand their product needs and preferences allowing the client to determine the value equivalence points versus competitors and so help determining the pricing strategy.

Newspaper structure and pricing

Newspaper markets are changing because of increased use of the internet. The question was how pricing and newspaper design contribute to choices and likelihood to purchase. Conjoint analysis was used to understand how these product features related to price and what level of price sensitivity was in the market.

Motoring services

A leading motor service company wanted to understand how it could encourage more people to make more regular use of its breakdown and warranty services. Using conjoint analysis we were able to identify the value of different elements of the breakdown service and establish prices that customers would be willing to pay. The effect was an overhaul of the service design and a rethink on pricing.

Conjoint design

Conjoint flavours

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