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Brand attribute dependent on regions - Best way to approach it?


I'm putting together a CBC exercise with SSI Web v8.4.8 regarding grocery stores. The client wants the list of brands to change based on a respondent's region, since some grocery store brands are not available across the country. There are a total of 4 regions in which the set of brands would differ.

My plan was to set up 4 different CBC exercises (there will be a minimum of n=250 per region), one for each of the different regions. For the analysis, I would then run the HB separately for the four regions.

In regards to the simulator, I would then change the values associated for the brand levels so that they're unique across the 4 hbu files, and combine the 4 hbu files into one before uploading into the simulator.

Could I get a confirmation that this would be a correct way of implementing it? If not, what should I do differently?

Searching on the forum has yielded this answer: https://www.sawtoothsoftware.com/forum/8895/add-brands-in-one-region-but-keep-list-alphabetized?show=8896#a8896

Should I do something like that instead?
asked Feb 8, 2018 by Phil (145 points)
edited Feb 8, 2018 by Phil

1 Answer

0 votes
When modifying the .HBU to combine them, you'll need to change the global header section to inform the software that you have more brands than before.  Also, in the .HBU file the few initial fields for each respondent, prior to their part-worth utilities, will need to be adjusted to reflect the additional brand levels.  Then, of course, you'll need to arrange the part-worth utilities for brand for each respondent to insert the "missing" brands with invented utilities (see last paragraph below).

You'll use our stand-alone version of our Choice Simulator to read in the modified .HBU file and create a new simulation project.

You'll want a way to communicate to the simulator that brands not available to respondents will have a zero likelihood of choice.  With our new simulator, you can do that with either the "awareness" or "store shopping" advanced areas.

But, if using older simulators (or even our new one), a brute-force trick is to modify the .HBU file to set the utility for the extra brands you inserted that were not available for a respondent to a very low raw utility, such as -30.
answered Feb 8, 2018 by Bryan Orme Platinum Sawtooth Software, Inc. (161,960 points)
Thanks Bryan. Regarding this note: With our new simulator, you can do that with either the "awareness" or "store shopping" advanced areas.

I'll be using the online simulator. Does it have this feature?
Sorry, I should have been more precise about what I meant by the "new simulator"...I didn't mean the online simulator; I was referring to the desktop software.  So, you'll want to pay more attention to my other suggestions about modifying the .HBU file to slot in the not seen brands per respondent.