Vera is currently completing her Master of Science in Business Administration with major in Marketing at the University of Muenster, Germany. At the moment, she is working on her Master's thesis "Measuring Willingness to Pay for Innovations – Which Method Should Be Used in Which Context?" under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Manfred Krafft of the Institute of Marketing in Muenster.
The large majority of innovations flops as pricing is oftentimes considered too late in the product development process. It is crucial for companies to get more (accurate) insights into willingness to pay (WTP) of customers. To measure WTP, one can apply either direct or indirect WTP estimation methods. There is an ongoing dispute about which of these methods comes closest to customers’ true WTP: Whereas researchers prefer indirect methods such as CBC, practitioners most commonly apply direct methods. As research results vary, some researchers assume that contextual factors influence the accuracy of WTP estimation methods.
The goal of Vera’s research project is to identify and validate contextual factors that influence which method a company should apply to determine the price of a new product. By surveying customers’ hypothetical WTP for an innovative sleeping mask in four ways, Vera examines which WTP estimation method predicts real WTP best. Real WTP is measured by conducting an auction in which the winner is obliged to buy the product.