Conjoint analysis is a popular quantitative marketing research method which is mostly used in new product development, pricing, and market segmentation. In this method, the product is considered as set of attributes, each coming in different levels. Imagine that you want to buy a cell phone. Brand, screen size, camera resolutions, and the operating system are its attributes. Apple, Samsung, and Sony are different levels of the brand attribute. Screen size can be small, medium, or large, camera resolution can be 8, 10, or 12 mega pixels and the operating system could be iOS, android, or Windows.
The aim of conjoint analysis is to determine the value of each attribute level to the customers. This value is called utility and the influence of each attribute in the overall choice is the attribute importance.
In this method, a set of product variations is shown to the respondents. Each product variation contains a different set of product attribute levels. Respondents are then asked to choose their favorite product variation, or rate or rank each variation. In fact, instead of asking the respondents directly which product attributes are important to them, or that which attribute level is desirable for them, they are asked to evaluate multiple product variations.
In this method, data analysis is normally done with the help of software and advanced regression technique. The analysis results in calculating the utility of each attribute level. The utility of each attribute level demonstrates how much it compels the respondent to make a choice compared to other attribute and attribute levels.