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conjoint analysisa MARKETING RESEARCH technique which involves potential buyers in assigning ordinal rankings to attributes possessed by varieties of a particular product.
In assessing television sets, for instance, conjoint analysis would rate particular BRANDS on the characteristics of sound quality, picture quality and layout of controls (see Fig. 24). A ‘conjunctive buyer’ would distinguish between the alternative brands by requiring minimum performance standards for every attribute, rejecting brands which fail to meet these standards. For example, a consumer might set minimum standards of 5 for picture and sound quality and 3 for layout of controls, in which case brands A and C would be rejected in favour of brand B.
By contrast, a ‘disjunctive buyer’ would select a brand by setting minimum attribute levels for only certain highly-regarded characteristics and would be indifferent about other attributes.
Conjoint analysis is used to develop product brands which contain combinations of attributes in proportions which appeal to the mass of consumers or to particular MARKET SEGMENTS.