Product Configurator as an Alternative When Conjoint Isn’t the Right Fit

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Rajan Sambandam, Chief Research Officer at TRC Market Research is an author of a white paper article titled Product Configurator. The article deals with a choice-based technique used when product and service concepts grow so complex that it’s difficult to test them realistically with a traditional conjoint format. Or when marketers are interested in the way and the reasons consumers make certain product choices.

Sometimes product offerings become so complex that respondents cannot evaluate them in a 'market-realistic' way.

In his white paper article titled Product Configurator, Rajan Sambandam, Chief Research Officer at TRC Market Research (], explains a market research technique called product configurator. It is an alternative choice method to traditional discrete choice conjoint. The author affirms that discrete-choice conjoint remains a powerful tool for understanding how consumers make choices, however, sometimes product offerings become so complex that respondents cannot evaluate them in a ‘market realistic’ way. Other times business objectives are less about simulating take-rates and mapping price-demand curves, but more about gaining insight into how and why people make their decisions.

That’s when the product configurator method becomes a useful alternative. It uses “build your own product” interface similar to a website of a computer manufacturer. There, respondents are asked to make selections of product features and offers in a more digestible way. “The respondents choose the options they like and assemble a product that best meets their needs. Studying the choices they make allows us to understand what’s important to them. Often a price constraint is included along with each option so that respondents do not automatically select the best option in each case”, Rajan Sambandam explains.

TRC has successfully completed studies using the configurator methodology for new product development and market segmentation. The configurators can employ simulators and can offer very useful information to guide future product and marketing strategies. In addition, explaining the results to senior management is easier than in the case of a conjoint analysis.

The article can be found at TRC White Paper Library with many other choice-research related white papers.

About TRC Market Research, a market research and analytics firm
TRC Market Research is a research and analytics firm that pairs customized solutions with senior-level attention to help solve business problems. TRC provides expertise in designing and implementing successful choice-related research, such as product configurators, discrete-choice conjoints and others.

Philadelphia-based TRC Market Research is affiliated with the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO) and the American Marketing Association.
For more information, contact Lenka Kolar at lkolar(at)trchome(dot)com or 215.641.2225.

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Lenka Kolar
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