Advil or Excedrin? New model helps predict product choices

May 30, 2008

In today's world, consumers face a dizzying array of product choices. Most often, there's not just one ideal product; it depends on the individual and the context. A beer might be perfect for relaxing after work; a sports beverage after jogging. And a teenager's ideal beverage isn't the same as a business executive's.

A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that multiple ideals can be accurately discovered and then used to predict the preferences of various segments of the population. The authors, Wayne S. DeSarbo (Pennsylvania State University), A. Selin Atalay (Bilkent University, Turkey), David LeBaron, and Simon J. Blanchard (both Pennsylvania State University), developed a model that locates the ideal product in a given situation on a graph.

This new approach has been sorely needed to understand the complexity of how products meet consumers' needs. According to the authors, "Consumers can have more than one ideal product in a given product category. It is therefore essential to understand this aspect of consumer preferences because it can affect how products are promoted to consumers, how new products are designed, and how products are priced and bundled."

The authors used their model to graph the ideal over-the-counter pain reliever—a $2.1 billion industry with 11 major brands. They identified three groupings of people—"price-conscious consumers," "the athletic segment," and "the anti-medication segment." They collected consumers' judgments on the painkillers' effectiveness in various contexts, such as backaches or flu. Using a survey, the model divided up the market into the various segments and showed significant differences among the different consumer types and situations.

Source: University of Chicago

Explore further: Tokyo auto show to highlight 'smart' green cars

Related Stories

Tokyo auto show to highlight 'smart' green cars

October 8, 2015

The Tokyo Motor Show, opening to the public Oct. 30 at Tokyo Big Sight convention hall, will be packed with futuristic eye-catching vehicles that drive themselves, offer online information in dazzling ways and are so green ...

NREL seeks to optimize individual comfort in buildings

October 8, 2015

On a typical early fall morning in Golden, Colorado, the temperature outside was about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Tucked inside a unique structure at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), two volunteers ...

Recommended for you

The culinary habits of the Stonehenge builders

October 13, 2015

A team of archaeologists at the University of York have revealed new insights into cuisine choices and eating habits at Durrington Walls – a Late Neolithic monument and settlement site thought to be the residence for the ...

Ancient genome from Africa sequenced for the first time

October 8, 2015

The first ancient human genome from Africa to be sequenced has revealed that a wave of migration back into Africa from Western Eurasia around 3,000 years ago was up to twice as significant as previously thought, and affected ...

Mexican site yields new details of sacrifice of Spaniards

October 9, 2015

It was one of the worst defeats in one of history's most dramatic conquests: Only a year after Hernan Cortes landed in Mexico, hundreds of people in a Spanish-led convey were captured, sacrificed and apparently eaten.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.