Introduction to Driver Analysis

Posted by  Derek Jones

POSTED ON  December 15, 2021

CATEGORIES  Learn

What is a driver analysis?

Driver analysis, also known as importance analysis, is a term that is used frequently in marketing and research circles that refers to the discovery, classification and quantification of elements that influence crucial outcomes such as brand choice, satisfaction or loyalty.

In practice, it describes a number of related techniques that can be daunting if not black box-like in both their comprehension and execution. There are many different approaches, each with their pros and cons and each with varying levels of difficulty and cost. But fear not, for in reality all of these techniques are easily accessible and achievable once you understand what it is that you are really trying to do.

Why do driver analysis?

After 25+ years in the industry, we believe that the single best way to improve the understanding of driver analysis is to reframe it by thinking of it not as driver analysis but as how we choose.

Let us explain. Fundamentally, what we actually do as market researchers is help brand or product custodians understand how different customers make decisions about which product or brand to choose in any particular category or, as we like to say, understand how choosers choose by measuring the relative importance of attributes (drivers) in making choice.

In doing so, we not only discover, classify and size the influences on how consumers make brand decisions in any given category, but we also measure their and competitor performance against these to look for competitive strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats – effectively informing strategy.

To us, this is the fundamental question that is contained in every brief. Although we call this driver analysis in market research, it really is so much more than that – it is a strategic blueprint for doing business. Think about it. If you know what really drives consumer decisions and how you and your competitors perform against these, then you can play to your strengths, improve your weaknesses, pivot to a better positioning or take advantage of unoccupied fertile ground.

In our next blog post, we’ll have a look at how we do driver analysis and how to determine which drivers to include in a study. Stay tuned!

For a detailed guide to the methods used in driver analysis – and the pros and cons of each – download our FREE printable Driver Analysis Guide by completing the form below!

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