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MaxDiff (Best-Worst Scaling)

What is it?

A simple and efficient form of conjoint analysis to measure buyer/consumer preference toward a list of items/features/ benefits

  • Forces item tradeoffs through simple choice tasks

  • Allows better discrimination between items

  • Provides hierarchy of item preference

How does it work?

  • A list of items to be tested is created.

  • Respondents are shown 4-6 items at a time and asked to indicate the one that is their TOP pick and the one that is their BOTTOM pick.

  • This task is repeated many times, showing a different set of items in each task.

  • Based on the respondents' evaluations of the items, we figure out how much unique value (utility) each item commands.

Common Applications

MaxDiff applies to any situation that requires prioritization of items.


  • Copy/claims development

  • Prioritizing items for product development

  • Input for TURF (for portfolio optimization)

  • Uncovering distinct market segments

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