Decoding consumer perceptions of premium products with rule‐developing experimentation

Alex Gofman (Moskowitz Jacobs Inc., White Plains, New York, New York, USA)
Howard R. Moskowitz (Moskowitz Jacobs Inc., White Plains, New York, New York, USA)
Marco Bevolo (Eindhoven, The Netherlands)
Tõnis Mets (Centre for Entrepreneurship, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Publication date: 3 August 2010



This paper aims to summarize the results of an empirical project to understand the perceptions of consumers of the future high end products in the USA. This project was a precursor of a larger global project on the topic.


The approach utilizes the consumer insights‐driven process, rule‐developing experimentation (RDE), introduced by the senior authors and developed in cooperation with Wharton School of Business (University of Pennsylvania). The empirical part was conducted with qualified US consumers (middle‐ and upper‐middle class respondents). Based on a series of in‐depth qualitative interviews with global leaders of luxury and premium companies, star designers and thought leaders, five dimensions of high end offering were identified, with each dimension having a unique set of four factors (elements). The second part included a quantitative survey based on RDE (modified conjoint analysis) conducted in the USA with 373 qualified middle‐ and upper‐middle class respondents to discover the driving forces behind their perceptions of high end.


There are four distinct consumer mindsets towards future high end products. The segmentation is based on a disciplined experimentation afforded by RDE and produces a more targeted understanding of the consumer mind.

Practical implications

The paper provides insights of what might drive the consumer perception of high end products in the near future. The pattern‐based consumer mind‐set segmentation creates actionable directions for corporations in answering today's big question “How can brands migrate from being cost‐driven commodities to higher margins and profits?” The answer is in the high end.


The approach offered here could help designers and brand managers to efficiently create better products that consumers like and perceive as high end. This will result in higher margins and help marketers to differentiate their respective products from the competition.



Gofman, A., Moskowitz, H., Bevolo, M. and Mets, T. (2010), "Decoding consumer perceptions of premium products with rule‐developing experimentation", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 27 No. 5, pp. 425-436.

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Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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