A product's changing place in society
There are two main approaches to measuring a product's changing place in society, those that begin by monitoring social values and those based on measuring changing attitudes to the product itself. The differences in approach stem from concern with different levels of consumer decision making and associated levels of marketing strategy. Approaches based on product attitudes are the most helpful in determining brand strategy, and social trend monitoring and value groups are most useful for strategy at the broader category level and also for communication strategy. The techniques of consumer choice modelling lead us to the meeting point of these two approaches. To reconcile the approaches it is necessary to equate the measures of attribute importance and attribute ideals provided by choice modelling to the monitored social trends and values, but the data are not yet available for this task. For a complete market understanding, both approaches are necessary. It is likely that the validated techniques and the predictive discipline of choice modelling will be increasingly adapted to consumer decision making at the category and social levels.
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