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A Brief History of Conjoint Interviewing

Conjoint AnalysisIf you know any market researchers who love to talk about their work, then you probably already know what conjoint interviewing is. The field of market research uses conjoint analysis to find out what consumers think of a product’s or service’s various features.  What you may not know, however, is that the origins of conjoint interviewing date back to the middle of last century.

As early as the 1960s and 1970s, marketing experts were exploring conjoint measurement theories, looking at how conjoint analysis could help solve problems in academia and industry. By 1975, “Harvard Business Review” was explaining the concept of conjoint interviewing to the wider world of business. It was in the 1980s that prominent strategy consultants started to use conjoint analysis. In the same decade, the economics field created choice-based conjoint (CBC) analysis.

By the end of the 1990s, adaptive conjoint analysis had been created and was commonly used, before being overtaken in popularity by CBC. Today, adaptive and other conjoint techniques are much cheaper than in the past, thanks to the rise of online research.

Individuals from a range of academic and professional backgrounds have contributed to making conjoint interviewing what it is today. One such key figure is Paul Green, who, as of 2002, has written nearly 100 articles and books on conjoint analysis and is responsible for a number of innovations in the field.

Other people of note include Jordan Louviere, who helped lead the way in the development of CBC, and Rich Johnson, an important player in the history and success of conjoint-analysis software-company Sawtooth Software.

Although it’s always hard to predict the future, the future of conjoint analysis looks bright if its past is anything to go by. As consumer power continues to be more and more of a factor in the commercial realm, it’s a safe bet that conjoint interviewing will continue to play a major part in the area of market research.

About The Author

Jasper Lim

Jasper Lim is the CEO of Merlien Institute. He frequently reviews the state-of-art of the marketing research industry. Apart from his daily work, Jasper serves as an Editorial Board Member for the International Journal of Work Innovation. He is also an accomplished qualitative researcher with several peer-reviewed academic publications to his name.

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