April 2-3, 2019

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The Peaks and Pitfalls of MaxDiff at Procter & Gamble

Room 3 | 10:45-11:15 | Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Hitch a ride as we explore the maximum difference scaling landscape at P&G. This easy yet powerful research method is just the ticket for product benefit/claim screening and package designs in the CPG industry. See how we use MaxDiff in sensory testing and demo development. When we’ve got to measure a large number of concepts, adaptive methods get us where we need to go. At the end of the journey, segmentation and portfolio optimization let us discover a line-up we can call our own. Along the road, we’ll try to avoid picking up bad panelists, missing out on a good view of the stimuli or letting heavy “anchors” weigh us down. Hop in!


  • Benefit/claims testing
  • Package/design shots
  • Sniff testing
  • Product demo videos
  • Adaptive surveys
  • Perceptual mapping to visualize market segments
  • Segmentation analysis
  • Portfolio optimization


  • Dealing with detailed graphics
  • Relativity vs. absolute judgments
  • Flagging bad panelists

The a-ha! moment: We wrap up with an intuitive example of how MaxDiff works using simple math everybody learned by the 5th grade (counting and taking averages). No proprietary software necessary! What are your preferences for ice cream flavors? We’ll take a two-minute survey together (that could be programmed using just about any software platform) on our mobile devices, get real-time personal results and see that MaxDiff gets us more than the standard five-point rating scale. Are you a bad respondent? Answer randomly or straightline in the MaxDiff questions and you’ll get caught with a bad consistency score.

Presentation type:

  • Case Study Presentation

Subjects covered:

  • Data visualization
  • Predictive analytics
  • New techniques – qualitative and quantitative


  1. How P&G is actively using MaxDiff (best-worst scaling) to make decisions regarding new product development in CPG, packaging design, product claims, market segmentation and portfolio optimization.
  2. MaxDiff (best-worst scaling) gets you more than traditional rating scales.
  3. A practical understanding of how MaxDiff works so that it could be implemented using a variety of commercial or open-source software tools.


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