MaxDiff (Maximum Difference or Best-Worst Scaling) is an approach for obtaining preference scores for multiple items (concepts, attributes, benefit statements, names, product features, advertising claims, etc.). Although MaxDiff shares much in common with conjoint analysis, it is easier to use and applicable to a wider variety of research situations. The result is a clear view of market preferences, allowing clients to set priorities based on what the market values.
We used MaxDiff to help an insurance client define its value proposition for selected industries.
- Advantages of MaxDiff
- An efficient method of establishing relative importance/attractiveness of an item against a set of other items.
- Produces highly discriminating scores, unlike rating scales.
- Can be administered easily by phone, online or any other methodology.
- Disadvantages of MaxDiff
- Does not test levels within attributes.
- This provides a RELATIVE not an ABSOLUTE measure of the importance of the options.
- MaxDiff Design
- Respondents complete a series of exercises (number depends on number of items tested).
- In each exercise they are presented with 3 – 6 items and asked to choose which are the most important and the least important to them.
- Exercises rotated to balance pairs of items.
- MaxDiff Results
- The output from MaxDiff are indices. Results are put onto a scale where the average item scores 100 – so anything with a score of more than 100 is more important than average, and those scoring lower are less important than average.