Effects of Product Properties on Consumer Preferences and Behaviours: A Study of the Automobile Market in Turkey

Article excerpt

In this research we used Conjoint Analysis to investigate the factors which affect a consumer's decision to buy a car. For our research, we used an internet-based poll which was embedded in the server side software and then implemented Conjoint Analysis to evaluate joint effect of attributes on consumer decision making process. We then identified the part worth of each of these attributes such as fuel type, price, EuroNCAP security, fuel consumption level, automobile style and subsequently discovered how proportional they were to each other. Finally, we stored each subject's results, computed by Adaptive Conjoint Analysis, in a database in order to investigate possible correlations between results and demographical information. The researchers administer a survey to 206 respondents, it appeared respondents were nearly equal to each other in value; but upon deeper analysis of the subsets of them, we discovered relationships between their demographic properties and the levels of the attributes being analyzed. The results suggest that fuel type had the most important effect on a respondent's car selection. Managerial implications are also discussed.

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Introduction

Today's marketing managers' face various difficult tasks which include forecasting profit margins, making sales and marketing the shares of an improved or a newly developed product. The value of a product is the sum of all the values of its components or its parts in the customer's eyes. Therefore, the answer to the question of which of these parts has the most weight is crucial to all marketing managers' strategy. Conjoint Analysis involves the measurement of psychological judgments (such as consumer preferences or acceptability) or perceived similarities or differences between choice alternatives. The name "Conjoint Analysis" implies the study of joint effects. Marketing applications study the joint effects of multiple product attributes on product choice.

The automobile market has recently seen a rise in competition as compared to other markets. Because of this increase, there has been a great deal of research into what are the factors that most affect a person's decision to buy a car. The desire to find these key factors confirms the need for marketing strategies based on the information.

Consumer buying behavior and its processes have long been appealing research topics in the field of marketing; this is especially true in the Post- World War II era because consumer-oriented marketing has become very important for success in business. Today's marketing managers' face various difficult tasks which include forecasting profit margins, making sales, as well as marketing the shares of an improved or a newly developed product. Understanding the insight into consumer buying behavior has great significance for the marketing strategies of every firm (Louviere, Hensher and Swait 2000). Atkin, Garcia and Lockshin performed conjoint analysis in their study to clarify customer buying attitude for different types of product (2006).

At the beginning of 1970's Paul Green noticed the article of Luce and Turkey's (1971) - "Conjoint Measurement" was published in the journal which was not in the marketing branch. Green suggest that this study can be used to define customer purchase decision, product attributes affect on customer preferences, and forecast customer future buying behaviors. Because ofthat fact; by Green and Rao (1971), as well as by Johnson (1974); conjoint analysis is introduced into marketing literature. Today conjoint analysis is an established technique for investigating customer preferences. It can usually be the perfect tool for identifying customer needs (Orme, 1996).

The value of a product is the sum of all the values of its components or its parts in the customer's eyes. Therefore, the answer to the question of which of these parts of the product has the most weight is crucial to every marketing manager's strategy. …