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November 2024 Program

Difference Testing & Drivers of Liking®
& Their Roles in New Product Innovation

November 5 - 8, 2024

The Greenbrier Resort | White Sulphur Springs, WV, US

Attendance Fee (in-person or virtual)


A 10% discount will be applied to each additional registration when registered at the same time, from the same company. We offer reduced fees (50%) for non-profit entities, academics, and government employees. Contact us to register with reduced fees.



Celebrating 30 years in business, The Institute for Perception is offering FREE ATTENDANCE to the first 10 in-person registrants! Contact us or register below to be included. 

* Limit 2 free registrants per company


Course Summary

Generational products that spawn new categories often originate in technical changes that provide new consumer– perceived benefits. Before these benefits can be established, two requirements need to be met. The first is that a change will be perceived by a consumer and the second is that the change will be consumer-relevant. Detecting product changes requires appropriately powered sensory methodology and determining consumer relevance requires a link between sensory testing and measures of consumer response. Inherent in the idea of consumer relevance is that the technical change carries with it a novel benefit often not previously identified by the consumer until they experience the change. Following the articulation of a consumer benefit, research moves into product development and optimization. Finally, the benefit is skillfully articulated in advertising claims that are based on sound advertising claim substantiation with defensible methodology.


  • Course manual

  • Digital downloads of our latest books

  • In-person attendees will also receive food/beverage break refreshments, buffet lunches Tuesday - Thursday, and a group dinner on Tuesday - Thursday evenings during the course.

The instructors for this course will be:


The Institute for Perception


The Institute for Perception

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The Institute for Perception

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Molson Coors Beverage Co.


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National Advertising Division

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Loeb & Loeb

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Amin Wasserman Gurnani

Tuesday, November 5  |  8am - 4pm ET


  • The Invention-Innovation Paradigm

  • Consumer-perceived benefits

  • Innovation in the beer industry: Historical perspectives

  • Maximizing input quality to support INVENTION (technical changes)

    • A conundrum: Consumer preference without a sensory difference

    • Thurstonian models for discrimination testing: Variability, decision rules, and d' values

    • Detailed account of common difference testing methods: 2-AFC, duo-trio, triangle, tetrad

    • Proportion detectors in the population and its invalidity

    • Equivalence testing

    • Consumer relevance research

Cases (IFPrograms exercises)

  • Ingredient supplier change: Performance variability measuring cookie texture using 2-AFC and triangle

  • Apple-flavored beverages:

  • A consumer preference without a sensory difference and

  • its resolution

  • Variability in proportion detector estimates

Wednesday, November 6  |  8am - 4pm ET


  • Why the tetrad is superior to the triangle and duo-trio methods

  • Which sample size do I need for my research?

  • Consumer-relevant action standards and how to create them

  • Same-different vs. paired preference for consumer relevance

  • Risk and sample size when switching to the tetrad method

  • Building a successful internal sensory program



Cases (IFPrograms® exercises)

  • Specifying panel sample sizes as a function of power, α, and size of the difference

  • Same-different method to establish consumer relevance (δR)

  • Linking internal panel and consumer sensitivities

  • Switching from the triangle to the tetrad method



Claims Substantiation

  • Overview of the NAD and the NARB in self-regulation

  • Designs for claims support and review of the ASTM guide

  • Febreze®: How an odor elimination claim was successfully challenged at the NAD and the NARB

  • Support for the “more taste” Miller Lite® claim over Bud Light®

  • Multiplicative claims: “Twice as good as” and “4 out of 5”

  • Samsung vs. LG 3-D TVs

  • Preference and equivalence claims

  • Design of consumer perception (ad takeaway) surveys

Thursday, November 7  |  8am - 4pm ET


  • Maximizing input quality to support INNOVATION (product development)

  • Why link consumer and sensory data?

  • The sensory space in contrast to the Drivers of Liking space

  • How to plan a category appraisal (IFPrograms® exercises)

    • Product selection using graph theory

    • Optimizing sample presentation orders (positions, sequences, sequence spread)<

    • Multiple day effect, complete vs. incomplete block designs

  • First mapping option for ingredient change project

    • Factor analysis

    • Assumptions and potential limitations of the approach

  • Introduction to Landscape Segmentation Analysis® (LSA): Liking as a form of similarity (IFPrograms® exercises)

    • Successive analytical steps

    • Unfolding - Combining models from Thurstone and Coombs

  • Applications of LSA principles to an ingredient substitution project

    • Creating the product and consumer ideal point space

    • Studying consumer segmentation

    • Regressing sensory information to uncover the drivers of liking

  • Contrasting LSA with internal and external preference mapping while outlining their respective strengths and weaknesses

    • Mapping technique comparison using 27 real-world category appraisals

Friday, November 8  |  8am - 12pm ET


  • Using the Drivers of Liking space (IFPrograms® exercises)

    • Maximizing consumer satisfaction

    • Creating optimal product portfolios and generating optima sensory profiles

    • Maximizing first choice against competition

    • Using machine learning to characterize uncovered consumer subgroups

  • Extending the use of an LSA space: Predicting new product performance

    • Determine the performance of new products using their sensory and analytical profiles

    • LSA as a computer-aided design tool: Predict consumer acceptability using ideal points without new consumer testing

  • Novel applications of LSA in the real world

  • Course conclusions


Please enter your information below to register for this course. Those registering 2 or more attendees from the same company are eligible for a 10% discount on the 2nd registration. We offer reduced fees (50%) for non-profit entities, academics, and government employees. Please contact us before registering if you are eligible for a discounted rate. 

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