Maximum difference scaling for a more refined insight in consumer preferences – an example from the automotive industry

Frank Berkers
SKIM Software, Netherlands

Maureen Bannink
SKIM Analytical, Netherlands


In the past couple of years, maxdiff or best/worst scaling suddenly appeared in conferences and in magazines as the new and promising method. It is supposed to be better than classical ranking methods and is even proclaimed to be a 'poor man's conjoint', easy to use and interpret. However, can it live up to these promises, or is it actually just another method?

The aim of this research is to confront different methodologies in their usability for studying preference and choice behaviour, especially optional features.

The methods applied in the study and which we will confront are stated preference, ranking, choice based conjoint and maxdiff.