Laws of Choice – The label and fable

The ‘label’ is the packaging, look, colour, etc. of the product; the ‘fable’ is the feeling that is conveys to the purchaser

(1) THE LAW OF CONGRUENCE: Congruent choice situations have congruent choice vectors. (Think of a Œchoice vector¹ as simply the probabilities of choosing various brands within the competitive frame – that is, the set of all brands being considered.)

(2) THE LAW OF PRIMACY: An individual for whom, at the moment of choice, n brands are tied for first place in brand strength, chooses each of these brand with probability 1/n.

(3) THE LAW OF PERSISTENCE: The effect produced by a message is made up of two components: a transient effect and an intrinsic effect. The transient effect decays rapidly. The intrinsic effect lasts indefinitely.

Based upon these three laws, Marder has designed three specific market research techniques which enable the researcher to determine choice accurately

STEP (Strategy Evaluation Program) – used to determine how the likely market share of a product may differ under alternative branding strategies

VEST (Volume Estimation Test) – method for estimating the likely market penetration of new or repositioned products based upon the ownership of items in other product categories that are not substitutable for one another

SUMM (Single Unit Marketing Model) -a procedure to estimate the attractiveness of various product attributes, and their contribution to overall brand choice on the part of an individual. A set of mutually exclusive product attributes (that are meaningful when considering the type of product being assessed) are listed, with various categories within each identified.

On the average, a price increase of 10 percent will produce a share decrease of around nine percent, but there is a great deal of variability in this result. One time in five the loss will be much larger, and one time in five there will be no loss at all.
A name is worth money. For durables, a good name may permit charging as much as twenty percent more for the brand, on the average; in some cases, as much as fifty percent more. It can also be of comparable value for consumables, but only rarely.
A brand’s future is built on its past. It is easier to give a brand the right image in the first place than to change a wrong image once it has taken hold

The Laws of Choice – Predicting Customer Behavior by Eric Marder The Free Press,