Determining the Importance of Criteria Used by Consumers

Once the evaluative criteria are known a second measure is placed by the marketer on these criteria. A direct method for researching this could involve the use of rating scale, method whereby consumers would be asked to evaluate each criterion on a six point scale ranging from perhaps unimportant to important. Another approach would be to use a semantic differential with pairs of adjectives characterizing the criteria, such as high price, and low price. A third approach involves what is known as a constant sum scale, in which respondents typically allocate 100 points across the evaluative criteria according to their judgment of each one’s importance. For example, a buyer of a ceiling fan might make the allocation shown in Table below. According to this perceived importance of each attribute. For the consumer style is perceived as being most important followed by ability to circulate air, quietness of motor, length of warranty and price (tied) and rate electricity consumptions.

Table below

Attribute Importance for a Ceiling fan

Evaluative criteria Importance
(In points)

Motor quietness 20
Electricity consumptions 5
Cubic feet per minute of air
Moves at high speed 25
Style 30
Price 10
Warranty period 10

Total 100

Merely asking consumers which attributes are important in choosing a product may not be sufficiently meaningful to allow the focus to be narrowed to attributes which truly determines consumers’ behavior. Thus, a dual questioning approach may be much more useful. In this approach consumers are first asked what factors they consider important in a purchasing decision. Next they are asked how they perceive these factors as differing among the various brands. This approach is illustrated in table, (A, B and C) which was developed from a survey of new depositors in a small metropolitan area, relative to attitudes toward banks

The results illustrate that while some items (such as hours of operation) rank high in importance (part A) they are not thought to differ much among the various banks (part B). Therefore, these attributes are not the most determinant (part C) even though they are rated as being among the most important. Conversely, some elements differ greatly among the various banks (such as overdraft privileges on checking accounts) but have relatively little influence in determining the choice of a bank. Additionally some attributes are viewed as being very important and large percentage of those responding said that there is a big difference (and a small percentage saying there is no difference) between banks. Thus, such features as friendly attitude of personnel and availability of credit may be relatively determinant attributes.

Conjoint analysis is another technique that offers marketers the opportunity to determine the importance of consumers’ evaluative criteria. Conjoint measurement starts with the consumer’s overall judgments (expressed as preference or likelihood of purchase orderings or as any other explicit judgmental criterion) about a set of complex alternatives (perhaps expressed as combination of various potential attributes such as alternative package designs prices and brand names), and then proceeds to decompose these original evaluations into separate utility scales by which the original global judgments can be constituted. Computation of the utility scales of each attribute which determines how important each is in consumer’s evaluations are accomplished by various computer programs. Such an approach can provide managers with valuable information about the relative importance of various attributes of a product as well as the value of various levels of a single attribute.

Determining consumers’ evaluations of brand Criteria Performance:

In this case, the marketer is seeking judgments by consumers relating to performance on various evaluative criteria by the brand. For instance sample of respondents using a semantic differential might rate the performance of various evaluative criteria found to be important for a particular brand of stereo receiver. A summary of the individual respondents ratings could then be compiled such information allows the marketer allows to judge the strengths and weaknesses of a brand on dimensions of importance to consumer.

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