Market Research basics: Conjoint Research
types of conjoint research

Market Research basics: Conjoint Research

Conjoint Research: which one fits my needs?

A closer look at different types of Conjoint Research 

At SPARC, we’re currently seeing an increasing demand for Conjoint Research. Enough reason for us to give you some background and guidance into which Conjoint Analysis is ‘fit-for-purpose’. Meaning suitable for your situation or your intended Market Research. This will hopefully help you decide what works best for your Market Research or Conjoint Research related question.

What is Conjoint Research?

Conjoint analysis is a research-based statistical technique. It helps companies get to the heart of their current and potential customers’ decision-making processes. At its core, conjoint is about breaking a product or service down into its component parts. Each individual element is valued to inform strategic decisions about product/service design, advertising, pricing, etc. Knowing what customers value, you’re in a good position to focus your resources appropriately and define your marketing strategy.

In terms of data-gathering, a conjoint marketing research requires respondents to make a series of trade-off choices. The trade offs are between products or services with varying configurations of attributes. These trade-offs reveal the underlying preferences and priorities of each respondent. This can then be aggregated and analyzed across the entire population. Our business consulting approach is tailored to support you in this decision process. Getting the attributes and levels right is often the most important but also daunting step here.

Three most used types of Conjoint Research

Several discrete methodologies fall under the conjoint umbrella, each with its own set of use cases, pros, and cons. At SPARC, we primarily rely on three methods that cover most clients’ needs:

  1. Choice-Based Conjoint
  2. Adaptive Choice-Based Conjoint
  3. Menu-Based Choice

Here’s a quick overview on which might be most appropriate for the particular questions you’re trying to answer.

  1. Choice-Based Conjoint Research (CBC)

    The most commonly used conjoint method. In this methodology, respondents are asked to choose between multiple products with varying attribute configurations. This exercise is repeated numerous times (typically 8-12) with differing product configurations. CBC is a great option for products that have a limited number of attributes and levels within attributes. CBC requires the shortest amount of survey time of any of the most commonly used conjoint methods. It is often possible to research additional complex topics outside of the conjoint exercise when CBC is employed.

  2. Adaptive Choice-Based Conjoint Research (ACBC)

    A more advanced conjoint method that is well-suited for complex decision-making tasks. As opposed to CBC, ACBC begins with a broader funnel. In some ways this is a better simulation of real world decision-making. The respondent is asked to help formulate a consideration set. First o all they rule out “non-starter” configurations and identify attributes that do and don’t influence their decision. Then they perform a trade-off exercise similar to CBC, that as a result has been honed to be more relevant to their responses. Because ACBC starts with a broad funnel, it can accommodate more attributes levels versus CBC. Additionally, because so much more information is gathered about individual respondents completing all phases of the ACBC, relatively smaller sample sizes can be used while still yielding satisfactory margins of error. The main downside to ACBC is that the survey length typically leaves no room for additional  topics.

  3. Menu-Based Choice Research (MBC)

    A specialized form of discrete choice modelling, that is applicable in situations where respondents face the option of choosing between bundled products and a la carte features. The simplest example would be a fast food restaurant drive-thru where you are making choices between burgers and chicken sandwiches with fries and drinks of different sizes. They are all available as standalone items but also as bundled meals. These types of choices occur in many industries. Think about bundled or a la carte telco services and also all the options you’re presented when buying a new car. In conclusion, MBC is not always relevant, but when it is, there is no better substitute for the analyses it enables.

Conjoint Research – an effective Market Research tool

If you have any questions about Conjoint Research don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re happy to help you with your Business Consulting, Market Research and Marketing Analysis questions. Whether it requires a Conjoint Analysis type of approach or not…

Thanking S. Nuner for his contributions to the article