Conjoint Analysis: Examples, Challenges, & Survey

Conjoint analysis can be an invaluable tool for businesses to improve their products or services. By understanding what customers value most, businesses can make changes that will lead to more satisfied customers and higher sales.

In its simplest form, conjoint analysis involves presenting respondents with hypothetical choices and asking them to choose the option they prefer. While conjoint analysis was originally developed for marketing applications, its use has since expanded to a wide variety of fields including medicine, transportation planning, and political science.

If you’re interested in learning more about conjoint analysis and its range of applications, we’ve got you covered. In the following article, we will define conjoint analysis, share examples of applications, surveys, and attributes, and investigate some of the challenges the methodology is known to incur.

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What Is Conjoint Analysis?

What is conjoint analysis, you ask? The conjoint analysis definition is a statistical technique to determine how people value different features of a product or service. In other words, it allows businesses to understand what factors are most important to customers when they are making a purchase decision.

Conjoint analysis is often used in market research. Out of the many ways to conduct the analysis, one common method is to ask respondents to rate different products on a scale from 1 to 10. The ratings are then analyzed to see which features have the biggest impact on customer satisfaction. Another method is to ask respondents to choose between two items that have different features and attributes.

Conjoint Analysis Example

A conjoint analysis example could involve asking respondents to choose between two different laptops, each with different attributes such as price, screen size, and processor speed. By analyzing the responses, the researcher can understand which attributes are most important to respondents and how changes in those attributes would affect their choices.

Another application might be to ask customers to choose between two different products, such as two different brands of toothpaste. The products can be identical except for one key feature, such as price or scent. By looking at which product people choose more often, businesses can understand which factor is most important to customers.

Conjoint Analysis Healthcare

Conjoint analysis healthcare uses pertain to the assessment of patient desires and needs with the goal of improving the quality of the medical attention they receive. From micro level services such as patient consultations to macro level processes like healthcare service development, conjoint analysis has been advocated for as an effective means of ensuring that patient values are represented in all facets of the healthcare paradigm.

Conjoint Analysis Economics

Conjoint analysis economics uses are relevant in a diverse array of contexts. Generally speaking, businesses leverage this tool to make informed economic decisions with regard to sales and marketing, product development, pricing, and more. Often, conjoint analysis can be used to understand what a consumer is most willing to pay for by various associated “offers” with prices. A business can then begin to optimize what type of product or service to offer, what to charge for it, and how much profit will be made as a result.

Conjoint Analysis First Choice Rule

One of the primary summary metrics that typically accompanies conjoint analysis is referred to as “First Choice.” The conjoint analysis first choice rule, also known as the maximum utility rule, reflects the percentage of consumers that perceived the greatest degree of utility within each option listed in a survey and predicts entire purchases based on products measured to have the highest utility. The challenge with this kind of model is that it can sometimes overestimate the predictive power of maximum utility. In other words, other factors besides utility might influence consumers’ purchasing decisions.

Conjoint Analysis Survey

Consumer preferences are identified through conjoint analysis surveys. These specialized surveys require consumers to rank a variety of different features to determine the value of each one. An example of a conjoint analysis survey can be found here.

Conjoint Analysis Attributes

Conjoint analysis attributes are the specific elements and features being measured. Examples of conjoint analysis attributes for smartphones include brand, screen size, color, price, etc.

Problems With Conjoint Analysis

The problems with conjoint analysis pertain to the myriad challenges that arise when handling survey data. Survey questions may include implicit bias that influences the respondent’s attitudes, thereby obscuring their true preferences. When faced with new features they hadn’t previously considered, respondents might also have difficulty immediately articulating their attitudes. Even if survey questions involve minimal bias and easily processed information, the complexity of conjoint analysis studies can make it difficult to identify a clear predictive pattern. Poorly designed surveys are also known to either underestimate or overestimate the importance of particular variables, resulting in misleading data.


Conjoint analysis is a powerful marketing tool that can help reveal the preferences of consumers. By understanding what factors are most important to customers, businesses can make more informed decisions about product development, pricing, and promotion. While conjoint analysis can be complex, the results can be very valuable for any business that wants to better understand the needs of its customers. We hope this article helped deepen your understanding of the power of conjoint analysis!


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