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What Is Conjoint Analysis and How Can You Use It?

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What is conjoint analysis?

Conjoint analysis is a type of audience surveying aimed at finding out which product features people prioritize. It’s where you survey people in your potential audience to figure out which features of your products they care for the most — and least.

Imagine that your business sells laptops. As you develop the newest model, you decide to remove the touchscreen feature that existed in your previous models. Except, it turns out that the touchscreen was users’ favorite feature. So, when you remove it, your sales plummet.

You easily could avoid that scenario by taking the time to get feedback from your customers. A conjoint analysis can help you identify what features your audiences likes best, which is exactly what we’re covering on this page! 

Here’s a quick through of everything we’ll dive into:

Let’s get started! 

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What is conjoint analysis?

Conjoint analysis is a type of audience surveying aimed at finding out which product features people prioritize. It’s where you survey people in your potential audience to figure out which features of your products they care for the most — and least.

How does conjoint analysis work?

So, how does conjoint analysis work, exactly? We can break this process down into a few steps:

  1. Break products down by features and attributes: The whole point of doing a conjoint survey is to determine which product features your audience likes the most. Break these product features down to begin your survey. For example, if you sell cars, you can break car components down by engine, brand, price, and more.
  2. Invite your audience to complete the survey: Use a survey tool or platform, or create your own survey, to craft the survey and send it out to your audience.
  3. Analyze the survey results: Once you’ve received the responses, it’s time to analyze them. If you’ve received enough responses, you’ll be able to spot trends and insights into which product features your audience appreciates the most.

Conjoint analysis survey results

Why use conjoint analysis?

The biggest benefit of conjoint analysis is that it can help you gather crucial feedback from your audience. This feedback enables you to make smarter business decisions relating to your products, including its pricing, features, branding, marketing messaging, and more.

When you improve these aspects of your products, you can implement valuable improvements that will help you sell more of your products in the future.

Types of conjoint analysis

There’s more than one way to format a conjoint survey. In fact, there are too many potential options to include in this blog post. That said, here are four of the most common conjoint analysis types: 

  1. Adaptive conjoint analysis (ACA)
  2. Choice-based conjoint (CBC) analysis
  3. Full-profile conjoint analysis
  4. MaxDiff conjoint analysis

1. Adaptive conjoint analysis (ACA)

In an adaptive conjoint analysis (ACA), the survey presents users with several features at once, packaging them together in bundles for each question. This isn’t unique to ACA, as many survey types do this. The standout feature of ACA is that it’s adaptive.

That means it alters its questions based on user responses. So, if users demonstrate a particular interest in some of the features (but not others), the later questions will adapt to only ask about the features users like.

This saves time by not asking users repeatedly about features they don’t like.

2. Choice-based conjoint (CBC) analysis

Choice-based conjoint (CBC) analysis is the most widely used type of conjoint questionnaire. It works similarly to ACA surveys in that it presents features in packages and has users choose from among them.

More specifically, though, CBC aims to simulate an actual purchase environment. Essentially, it presents users with several different hypothetical products and asks, “If you saw all of these in a store, which one would you most likely buy?” Doing it that way helps produce extremely realistic results that reflect what actual buyers will do.

Choice-based conjoint analysis example

These surveys reveal patterns of which features users most consistently prioritized or rejected.

3. Full-profile conjoint analysis

Full-profile conjoint analysis is a type of conjoint survey that prioritizes detail over quantity. That is, where other survey types will show users a short description of many potential products, full-profile surveys show only a few options. But they provide loads of information about each of those options.

The idea of this type of survey is that users receive a full supply of detailed information about the products so they can make informed decisions. This ensures that they fully understand what each feature is and what benefits it offers.

In some cases, companies will even go beyond the hypothetical stage and manufacture actual test products for users to interact with, guaranteeing that their eventual responses are as informed as possible.

4. MaxDiff conjoint analysis

The final major type of conjoint analysis is the max-diff analysis structure. In this type of analysis, users look at a list of options and identify both their highest and lowest preference.

The advantage of this type of analysis is that it lets people indicate not only what their top preference is, but also what they like. Sometimes there might be a product feature that is extremely undesirable, and by giving users the chance to identify that feature, you can know what not to include.

What is conjoint analysis used for?

Conjoint surveys are an excellent way to learn more about your audience and figure out how to optimize your products. Ultimately, they can help you gain more revenue. But how does that work?

Well, after choosing an online survey tool to use, you can use conjoint questionnaires to help your company:

1. To determine product pricing

One of the most effective uses of conjoint analysis is for figuring out how to price your products. Let’s say you offer two different products. The two products are similar but prioritize different features.

If you do a survey and find that most people prefer the features in Product A, you’ll want to price Product A higher than Product B since it’s in higher demand.

Likewise, if you offer some form of software, you may want to provide lesser-valued features for a lower price (or for free) while keeping the most valued features behind a paywall or only including them in the premium version.

2. To allocate your budget

Another reason to use conjoint questionnaires is to help you allocate your budget effectively. Often, you’ll find yourself creating a product on a limited budget. There may be a hundred different features you’d love to include in the product, but you can’t afford all of them.

In that case, you’ll want to survey users to find out which features they want the most. Since you can’t afford to include every feature on your wish list, you’ll have to cut some — but it’s best to cut the ones that matter least to users.

That means that when you assemble the final product, it will be the version of that product that’s the most highly valued by users.

3. To develop an advertising strategy

Finally, conjoint analysis can help you figure out how to market your products or services. When you conduct a survey, users will indicate which features they want the most. You can benefit from making those features the most prominent ones in your advertising.

So, for instance, if you’re selling a printer, users might indicate that one of their highest preferences is for it to include scanning capabilities. So, when you market that printer, you would focus heavily on the scanning feature, since that’s the one most likely to attract buyers.

Learn how we increased traffic by over 40%, and conversions by over 100% for an ecommerce client.

Read the Case Study arrow right
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WebFX can help you optimize your conjoint analysis strategy

Want help learning about — and marketing to — your target audience? You could use a partner, and there’s no better partner than a professional marketing agency like WebFX. We have more than 28 years of marketing experience, so we know exactly what it takes to reoptimize campaigns.

With our digital marketing services, you can reach users through many different types of campaigns and boost your revenue significantly. To get started with us, just call 888-601-5359 or contact us online today!

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