Migrating Consumer Research to Public policy

Beyond Attitudinal Surveys to Conjoint Measurement for Sensitive Social and Personal Issues

Ira Teich
Lander College for Men, Touro College, United States

Howard R. Moskowitz
Moskowitz Jacobs Inc., United States

Hollis Ashman
The Understanding & Insight Group, United States

INTRODUCTION: TODAY'S ANXIETY – CAUSES, IMPORTANCE

These first few years of what we had hoped to be a promising new millennium, from 2001 through 2003, have been fraught with anxiety provoking events, especially for Americans. These years have been deluged with a litany of problems ranging from war to health to economics. The list of anxiety provoking issues begins to numb the mind. We begin first with the dramatic – the declaration of two wars (Afghanistan and Iraq), the inevitable ensuing backlash worldwide, the US military mired in prosecuting them, governments (the US, UK, etc) caught in strong electoral based backlashes. We continue with the merely terrifying – continued focus on worldwide terrorism; SARS and Bird Flu impacting consumers globally (Asia especially); North Korea announcing it has a nuclear bomb; suicide bombers becoming routine in country after country. We finish with economics; Wall Street and corporate troubles such that pensions are gone, futures are destroyed and a lack of trust in corporate governance; huge deficits by the US government; job layoffs and outsourcing of US jobs to other lower cost labor countries (not just blue collar, but also white collar jobs) thus defining the birth of a new economy that does not seem to follow the rules of Adam Smith and Capitalism. All of these produce anxiety and social upheaval, grist for the mill of consumer research methods.