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Identifying Latent Segments

Ennis, D. M. and Anderson, J. L. (2003). IFPress, 6(1) 2-3.



The success of an effort to introduce a new product or to reposition an existing one depends on knowledge of features of products that consumers want. One way of thinking about individual liking and preference differences is to assume that consumers agree that a set of product attributes are important to them, but that they may disagree about their preferred level of these attributes. For instance, although consumers may agree that sweetness in a beverage is an influential attribute, some may prefer a sweet beverage and others may dislike sweetness. In typical market research projects, consumers provide information on many product characteristics. Through expert descriptive and analytical research, other attributes of products can be provided. This information can be used to discover the attributes of products that affect consumer liking.


Figure 1: Contour plot of ideal point densities with 10 products and 4 segments (labeled 1-4.) The arrows indicate sensory scale directions.

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