Building Trust

Experience Curve

When Marketers describe Customers as moving up the Learning Curve or moving along the Experience Curve, they typically are concerned about the fear surrounding a new Product or Category recently introduced into the Market.

This Market Simulation models how Customers overcome their mistrust of Products. As the Category itself becomes more mature, Customers become more familiar with its Brands and Features and grow steadily less fearful of it. After a Customer purchases a Product and tries it for themselves, the fear of similar Products — either same-Brand Products or same-Feature Products — also diminishes. Eventually mistrust evaporates and all that is left is the Customer’s innate Willingness To Pay (WTP) for the Products.

This Case Study provides a high-level overview of the workflow without detailed explanation. It assumes you are already somewhat familiar with KNIME and Market Simulation. If not, start by reviewing the Building Blocks and Community Nodes.

Competitive Story

This Market Simulation is designed to model Customers being introduced to a new Category of headache medicine (based on Acetaminophen). At first, Customers deeply mistrust all of the Products and Brands in the Category – especially the “Ultra Strength” Products. But over time their familiarity with the Category grows and their mistrust dissipates. If they buy a Brand then their trust of all the Products in that Brand increases. If they buy Regular Strength then their willingness to try the Ultra Strength also increases.

All the headache medicine Products within this Market are made with Acetaminophen – only the Brand and dosage (Ultra vs. Regular) differ.

Headache Medicine

There are 1,000 Customers in this Market and 6 types of headache medicine:

  1. Tylenol Regular,
  2. Tylenol Ultra,
  3. Paracetamol Regular,
  4. Paracetamol Ultra,
  5. Panadol Regular, and
  6. Panadol Ultra.

Each Product is made up of a mix of positive and negative Features. The Features include:

  • Regular Strength
  • Ultra Strength
  • Acetaminophen Mistrust
  • Regular Strength Mistrust
  • Ultra Strength Mistrust
  • Tylenol
  • Paracetamol
  • Panadol
  • Tylenol Mistrust
  • Paracetamol Mistrust
  • Panadol Mistrust

All Regular Strength medicine is Priced at $3.00 while Ultra Strength is Priced at $9.00.

The Customers make 20 purchase decisions. As their trust in the Products increase, Customers may switch to Products better suited to their requirements.

Product Array

The 6 Products in the Market are made up from Features.

Feature Array

There are both positive and negative Features within the Category.

WTP Matrix

The WTP Matrix tracks each Customer’s increasing trust.

Reduce Mistrust

If the Customer purchased a Headache Medicine Product then reduce their mistrust of related Products – that is, same-Brand Products and same-Family Products. At the same time, steadily decrease the mistrust of all Products across the entire Category.

Same Brand

Shift the mistrust of same-Brand Products by 20% towards zero.

Mistrust Feature

Shift the negative value in the ‘Mistrust’ Feature column.

Final Results

After the Feature WTP Matrix has been updated, and all of the values in the negative ‘Mistrust’ columns have been reduced, loop the Feature WTP Matrix back to the Product Generator node and generate the Product WTP Matrix. Continue looping for 20 iterations then group the final results.

Most Customers will move up the Learning Curve and overcome their fear of the Headache Medicine Category. Soon these Customers will be buying their most preferred Product.

But some Customers make several leaps along their Learning Curve journey. These Customers will overcome their initial fear by buying a Regular Strength Product. After a while, these Customers will then start buying the Ultra Strength Product.

For example, Customer C0202’s purchase journey (highlighted below) proceeds like this:

  1. Initially makes no purchase but selects the ‘No Sale’ Product, then
  2. Starts purchasing the ‘Tylenol Regular’ Product, and
  3. Finally switches to the ‘Tylenol Ultra’ Product.

Product WTP

Customer values in the WTP Matrix will trend towards steady-state.

WTP Trends

The steady-state WTP values eliminate all Feature mistrust.

Purchases Evolve

Over time, Customer purchase decisions will evolve.