Reynolds Brand Strategy Header

Strategy Axioms

  1. Utilizing a decision-based methodology to optimize strategy requires a fully integrated understanding of all the components of the research process.
  2. Determining an optimal strategy based upon understanding decision-based equities and disequities requires matching the key competitive sub-samples to maximize the key output contrasts.
  3. Understanding and implementing the problem framing process (answering four key questions) permits the required critical integration of sample selection, research design and analysis. [Noteworthy is the realization that the truest form of market segmentation is decision based.]
  4. Modeling of decision making should be framed
    in terms of equities & disequities — optimal  strategy leverages equities & supplants disequities — that underlie choice and ultimately brand loyalty.
  5. Brand equity (existing and potential) can be identified by three types of distinctions< used as the basis of laddering (decision network): preference (existing), gold standard (potential) & top-of-mind (latent).
  6. Framing the marketing problem is akin to a geo-engineer deciding where to drill for oil — assumptions underlying the research & analysis framework determines where the best potential opportunity lies.
  7. Underlying the decision model is a general framework of choice, which is triparte — grounded in valence, across distinction types, yielding means-end chains (MECs) obtained from the laddering methodology.
  8. Coordinating marketplace background in terms of trends and promotional programs (with an emphasis on a historical, strategic analysis of communications) is critical to optimizing the problem framing process.
  9. Knowledge of the competitive space, in terms of all key marketing variables, requires first answering: What would be the most harmful strategy the competition could follow?.... to optimize one’s own strategy.
  10. Specification of brand positioning strategy should not be in marketing-ese; it should be in consumer-ese, because this is the only true reality in the marketplace and is the basis of how assessment is framed.

The purpose of this site is to organize the core academic articles authored by Thomas J. Reynolds. Dr. Reynolds pioneered the special case of neural network models (Means-End) that underlie decision making and the research methodologies to uncover (laddering), quantify (decision segmentation) and assess these activated networks of meaning (strata).

This unique melding of theory and research methods has been applied by Dr. Reynolds in over 300 strategy development projects across 27 countries ranging from consumer goods (brand strategy) to alternative distribution channels (direct selling recruiting and motivation) to the political messaging domain (candidates and parties).

The organization of this site is by topic area. Under each topic is a set of articles, with abstract, as well as a few additional background references. In many cases, access to the pdf of the article is available. These articles have been cited 7,450 times in the academic literature.

Contact: prof.reynolds@alumni.nd.edu

Means-End Theory: Linking Personal Values to Cognitive Structures
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1. How does one conduct laddering research, including interviewing and analysis methods?
Reynolds, T.J. and Gutman, J. (1988) “Laddering Theory, Method, Analysis and Interpretation.”  Journal of Advertising Research, 28, 11-31.  

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Focuses on the specifics of the in depth interviewing and analysis methodology called laddering, representing linkage between product and perceptual process of consumers. Explanation of laddering with examples; Interview environment required for laddering; Methods of laddering; Content analysis, and implication matrix; Application in segmentation, product and advertising assessment and strategy.


2. How can advertising strategy be specified in a model that is isomorphic to a means-end decision framework?

3. How should the quantitative assessment of laddering data to highlight equities be framed?
Reynolds, T.J. and Craddock, A. (1988) “The Application of the MECCAS Model to the Development and Assessment of Advertising Strategy:  A Case Study.”  Journal of Advertising Research, 28, 43-54.

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Explains the use of the MECCAS model (see record 1984-21993-001) to specify advertising strategy (AS) by discussing an empirical application of the method to strategy development in the overnight delivery service market. Topics discussed include theoretical literature and the conceptual framework pertaining to the research methodologies. The integration process by which the understanding of both the consumer and competitive advertising can lead to specification of a new AS is demonstrated, using the example of Federal Express advertising contrasted on a pre/post basis. Issues of perceptual orientation and communication perspectives are also addressed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

Reynolds, T.J., Dethloff, C., and Westberg, S. (2001) "Advancements in Laddering." In “Understanding Consumer Decision-Making:  The Means-End Approach to Marketing and Advertising Strategy,” (eds.).

4. What are the limitations of traditional questionnaire value research methods?
Reynolds, T.J. (1985) “Implications for Value Research: A Macro vs. Micro Perspective.”  Psychology & Marketing, 2, 297-305.

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The relation between macro approaches to research on consumer values, such as VALS, and micro approaches, such as the Means‐End Model, is discussed. The relevances of the Means‐End Model, represented by the attribute—consequence—value hierarchy, to judgment tasks of psychological distance and preference evaluation are reviewed. Specifics of the research methods and analysis procedures required to investigate the relative contribution of means‐end theory to explaining the underlying processes of these two judgment tasks are detailed


General References

Reynolds, T.J., Rochon, J., and Westberg, S. (2001) "A Means-End Chain Approach to Motivating the Sales Force:  The Mary Kay Strategy." In “Understanding Consumer Decision-Making:  The Means-End Approach to Marketing and Advertising Strategy,” (eds.) T. J. Reynolds, and J. C. Olson, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

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A direct selling case study of how to implement strategic problem framing grounded in understanding customer decision making resulting in a corporate turnaround (from $240 million to over a billion dollars in sales). The fundamental decisions to understand are: Why did you join? Why do you stay? And, Why did you quit? Combining this understanding of these three decisions leads to a sustainable recruiting strategy that also served to minimize terminations.

Reynolds, T.J. and Jolly, J. (1980) “Measuring Personal Values: A Comparison of Alternative Methods.”  Journal of Marketing Research, 17, 531-536.

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Three methods of gathering and evaluating value profiles for use in market segmentation are compared. Different reliability estimates are found to produce different conclusions as to the relative test-retest reliability of the three methods. However, the most appropriate statistical measure, Kendall's tauB, reveals that Likert rating scales are significantly less reliable than either rank ordering or paired comparison procedures. No differences in subject interest are found among the methods, but Likert scales and rank ordering require less response time than do paired comparisons. Implications for method choice and future research are discussed.

Norton, J. and Reynolds, T.J. (2001) "Applications of the Means-End Approach to Industrial Marketing Problems.” In “Understanding Consumer Decision-Making:  The Means-End Approach to Marketing and Advertising Strategy,” (eds.) T. J. Reynolds, and J. C. Olson, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

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A business-to-business example of how to use means-end research to discover non-price sales positioning opportunities for commodity products.

Reynolds, T.J. and Gutman, J.  (1984) “Laddering:  Extending the Repertory Grid Methodology to Construct Attribute - Consequence - Value Hierarchies.”  In Personal Values and Consumer Psychology (Vol. II), (eds.) R. Pitts and A. Woodside, Lexington Books.

Gutman, J. and Reynolds, T.J. (1978) "A Pilot Test of a logical Model for Investigating Attitude Structure." In Moving Ahead with Attitude Research, (eds.) Y. Wind and M. Greenberg, Chicago:  American Marketing Association

Gutman, J. and Reynolds, T.J. (1978) “An Investigation at the Levels of Cognitive Abstraction Utilized by Consumers in Product Differentiation.”  In Attitude Research Under the Sun, (ed.) J. Eighmey, Chicago: American Marketing Association.


Decision-based Laddering Methodological and Analytic Developmentsclick to open/close


    1. How does the means-end perspective solve the What and Why questions to optimize market segmentation?

    2. How can decision segmentation help in prioritization of the strategy development process?
    Reynolds, T.J. (2006) “Methodological and Strategy Development Implications of Decision Segmentation.” Journal of Advertising Research, 46, 445-461.

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    Purpose - Adopts a means end research methodology to help explain customer decision-making.

    Design/methodology/approach - Outlines how the purpose of market segmentation strategy is to identify homogeneous customer segments in the marketplace that will respond in a consistent, predictable way to variations in the marketing mix. Draws attention to how traditional market research techniques have used inferential methods to define customer segments; suggests that these fail to provide a clearly specified model and to determine the why and how in customer decision making. Presents the alternative means-end theory as a conceptual framework; traces the evolution of means-end research from the original cognitive orientation to the present decision-based extension. Suggests how by using traditional laddering techniques insights can be gained into consumer decision-making and identifies the advantages that it provides in terms of strategy development. Provides a new analysis model - the Decision Segmentation Analysis that was tested on laddering data gathered as part of a larger study conducted prior to the 2004 US Presidential election.

    Research limitations/implications - None stated.

    Originality/value - Contributes to the literature on market segmentation.

    Phillips, J and Reynolds, T.J. and Reynolds, K. (2010) "Decision-based voter segmentation: an application for campaign message development", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 44 Iss: 3/4, pp.310 – 330.

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    Purpose – The purpose of this study was to demonstrate how the segmentation of voters based on decision-making processes, using means-end laddering research innovations and real-time interactive online interviewing, can aid in the formation of political communications strategy, including theme and message development.

    Design/methodology/approach – To demonstrate the application of these innovations in a political context, the paper uses data from a sample of 114 voters who were interviewed during the 2004 US presidential election campaign. The paper draws on three recent innovations to the means-end laddering methodology: elicitation questioning techniques that allow for a decision equity analysis between targeted groups; decision segmentation analysis; and real-time interactive online interviewing; and applies them to an electoral context. It provides an interpretation of the identified decision segments and an exposition of how these common networks of meaning can serve as the basis for targeted theme and message development.

    Findings – These three innovations, in concert, were found to provide an efficient set of methods to serve as the foundation for the campaign message development process.

    Originality/value – This paper provides deterministic research techniques for campaign strategists who want to understand voter decision making and demonstrates a combination of methodological and technological innovations that addresses the time, cost, and geographic limitations often associated with conducting voter decision making research.


    3. How successful is on-line laddering (with graphics) compared to face-to-face interviews, and what are the statistical measures to assess reliability and validity of laddering solutions?
    Reynolds, T.J. and Phillips, J.  (2010) “A Review and Comparative Analysis of Laddering Research Methods: Recommendations for Quality Metrics.”  In Review of Marketing Research, (ed.) N. Malhotra.

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    Laddering has been used extensively within marketing to uncover the drivers of consumer decision making. Obstacles confronting laddering researchers include the time and costs of this qualitative technique as well as the lack of standard statistical measures to assess data and solution quality. In this chapter we assess the laddering research practices of both professional and academic researchers, propose a set of quality metrics, and demonstrate the use of these measures to empirically compare the traditional face-to-face interviewing method to an online one-on-one interviewing approach.


    4. How valid is "hard laddering" where respondents construct their own ladders in a forced choice format?
    Phillips. J. and Reynolds, T.J. (2009) “On the Hierarchical Structure of Means-end Theory: A Hard Look at Hard Laddering.” Qualitative Marketing Research – An International Journal, 12, 83-99.

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    Purpose – This paper aims to outline the fundamental assumptions regarding the laddering methodology (Reynolds and Gutman), examine how some “hard” laddering approaches meet or violate these assumptions, provide a review and comparison of a series of studies using “soft” and “hard” laddering approaches to examine the hierarchical structure of means-end theory, and assess if the discrepant conclusions from this series of studies may be attributed to violations of the fundamental assumptions of the laddering methodology.

    Design/methodology/approach – A series of published empirical works using “hard” and “soft” laddering approaches, which aim to examine the hierarchical structure of means-end theory (Gutman), are reviewed and compared to integrate research findings and to examine discrepancies. Discrepant conclusions, which appear to be attributable to violations of the assumptions underlying the laddering methodology, are explored through a reanalysis and reclassification of the content codes.

    Findings – The paper validates the case for laddering and the care needed to gauge how conclusions can be affected when violations of fundamental assumptions of the laddering methodology occur.

    Research limitations/implications – Means-end chain research and, more specifically, the laddering methodology are in need of investigations that assess the importance of its underlying assumptions. Additional work validating both the “hard” and “soft” laddering approaches is also needed.

    Practical implications – Results of means-end research are more interpretable and less ambiguous when the fundamental assumptions of the laddering methodology are met. In practice, means-end theory benefits managers by providing a useful structure to aid in the interpretation of laddering data.

    Originality/value – This paper outlines the fundamental assumptions regarding the laddering methodology to provide methodological guidelines for laddering researchers. This paper also reviews the academic literature examining the hierarchical structure of means-end theory and explores how violations of the fundamental assumptions of the laddering methodology may impact research findings.

    5. How can brand equity be assessed using a Quality x Price (as a barrier) framework?
    Reynolds, T.J. and Phillips, C.B.  (2005) "In Search of True Brand Equity Metrics :  All Market Share Ain’t Created Equal."   Journal of Advertising Research, 45, 171-186.

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    The elusive notion of brand equity is operationalized in a “share tiering” framework with a combination of multiple constructs: (1) relative barrier or brand price, (2) brand quality perceptions, (3) brand purchase loyalty, and (4) self-report future brand purchase trend. This general measurement framework for “true” brand equity when applied longitudinally permits the evaluation of marketing ROI. Recommended measures for the “share tiering” approach to brand equity measurement are illustrated using the cola category as an example.


    General References

    Reynolds, T.J. and Rochon, J.  (2001) "Consumer Segmentation Based on Cognitive Orientations:  The ChemLawn Case.” In “Understanding Consumer Decision-Making: The Means-End Approach to Marketing and Advertising Strategy,” (eds.) T. J. Reynolds, and J. C. Olson, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates

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    A service industry case study illustrating how to use means-end frameworks derived from laddering research to identify key “decision” segments in the marketplace. These “decision” segments provide the basis to analyze and evaluate the potential sales opportunities in the marketplace, along with specific examples of how to  translate “decision understanding” as a basis to optimize positioning communications.
    Reynolds, T.J. (2010) Determining Strategies for Increasing Loyalty of a Population to an Entity. United States Patent Nos. 7,769,626 and 8,301,482 (Decision Research Methodology and Decision Analysis Program and Algorithms, respectively)

Advertising Strategy Specification and Assessmentclick to open/close


    1. How does copy testing differ from what should be done for assessing ad strategy?
    Reynolds, T.J. and Rochon, J. (1991) “Strategy-Based Advertising Research: Copy Testing is not Strategy Assessment.”  Journal of Business Research, 22, 131-142

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    This paper applies a means-end methodology to the development of advertising strategy.  A procedure including message elements, consumer benefits and driving force (Meccas), and the use of leverage points developed for the means-end analysis to activate values through advertising is presented.  Examples of the use of Meccas methodology are discussed.  Results are presented for the analysis of an advertisement  for Miller Lite beer, using a sample of 42 subjects.


    2. How well does the strategic assessment of animatics correspond to the finished ads?
    Reynolds, T.J. and Gengler, C. (1991) “The Strategic Assessment of Advertising:  The Animatic Versus Finished Issue.” Journal of Advertising Research, 31, 61-71

    3. What are the best practices of bridge laddering research to the creative process?
    Gengler, C. and Reynolds, T.J. (1995) "Consumer Understanding and Advertising Strategy, Analysis, and Strategic Translation of Laddering Data."  Journal of Advertising Research, 35, 19-33

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    Discusses the analysis and strategic implementation of laddering data by describing means-end theory and laddering, improvements in laddering analysis, and the use of laddering results to develop potent creative copy. A new interactive software tool expedites the analysis of laddering data through the 4 stages of specifying elements of a means-end chain, performing content analysis of means-end data, defining connections between content codes, and drawing the hierarchical value map. Responses from 67 laddering interviews regarding consumers' choice of dog food illustrate this process. Strategies derived from laddering data can be used as a source of ideas for creative staff, who must translate the product's tangible features into customers' key benefits or into personally relevant feelings and ideas. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)


    4. What are the six fundamental strategy development rules for translating laddering data?
    Reynolds, T.J. and Whitlark, D.B. (1995) “Applying Laddering Data to Communication Strategy and Advertising Practice." Journal of Advertising Research, 35, 9-17.

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    Summarizes personal observations, practical experience, and discussions with leading professionals in the field of advertising and communications regarding how to identify a communications strategy expressed in a means-end framework and how to use the framework to develop advertising copy. The article represents a set of school-yard lessons in applying laddering research to real communications problems. Laddering refers to an interviewing technique used to elicit means-and-end connections and attribute-consequence-value networks people use when making various consumer decisions. Information is organized around 6 thinking tools, named reinforce, refocus, redefine, reframe, redirect, and remove, for developing a communications strategy and advertising copy. Examples are drawn from contemporary advertising campaigns. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)


    5. Does advertising differentially affect loyal vs. competitive brand users? Strategic implication?

    6. How can an understanding of decision segments be used to optimize positioning strategy?
    Reynolds, T.J., Gengler, C., and Howard, D. (1995) "A Means-End Analysis of Brand Persuasion through Advertising.” International Journal of Research in Marketing, 12, 257-266..

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    This study examines the explanation of brand persuasion through communicating means-end levels on information (attributes, consequences and values) in commercials. It is argued that consumers perceive the personal relevance and desirability of product attributes in terms of their association with personal consequences of product usage. Similarly, the relevance and desirability of personal consequences are derived from their association with a consumer's personal values. It is predicted and supported that the strength of association between means-end information communicated by an ad will contribute to the explanation of brand persuasion. Support is also obtained for the prediction that the effect on brand persuasion of communicating means-end associations will be stronger for those who are not loyal users of the brand, since those persons have more to learn about the personal relevance and desirability of the means-end information provided by the associations between levels

    Phillips, J and Reynolds, T.J. and Reynolds, K. (2010) "Decision-based voter segmentation: an application for campaign message development, European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 44 Iss: 3/4, pp.310 – 330.

    View/Close Abstract

    Purpose – The purpose of this study was to demonstrate how the segmentation of voters based on decision-making processes, using means-end laddering research innovations and real-time interactive online interviewing, can aid in the formation of political communications strategy, including theme and message development.

    Design/methodology/approach – To demonstrate the application of these innovations in a political context, the paper uses data from a sample of 114 voters who were interviewed during the 2004 US presidential election campaign. The paper draws on three recent innovations to the means-end laddering methodology: elicitation questioning techniques that allow for a decision equity analysis between targeted groups; decision segmentation analysis; and real-time interactive online interviewing; and applies them to an electoral context. It provides an interpretation of the identified decision segments and an exposition of how these common networks of meaning can serve as the basis for targeted theme and message development.

    Findings – These three innovations, in concert, were found to provide an efficient set of methods to serve as the foundation for the campaign message development process.

    Originality/value – This paper provides deterministic research techniques for campaign strategists who want to understand voter decision making and demonstrates a combination of methodological and technological innovations that addresses the time, cost, and geographic limitations often associated with conducting voter decision making research.


    General References

    Reynolds, T. J. and Olson, J. (eds.) (2001) "Understanding Consumer Decision Making:  The Means-End Approach to Marketing and Advertising Strategy", Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    Reynolds, T.J., Westberg, S.J., and Olson, J.C. (1997)  “A Strategic Framework for Developing and Assessing Political, Social Issue and Corporate Image Advertising.”  In Values, Lifestyles and Psychographics, (eds.) L. Kahle and L. Chiagouris, Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Reynolds, T.J., Olson, J., and Rochon, J. (1996) "A Strategic Approach to Measuring Advertising Effectiveness.”  In Advertising and Consumer Psychology, (ed.) W. Wells, Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Reynolds, T.J. and Gengler, C. (1993) “A Structural Model of Advertising Effects.”  In Advertising Exposure, Memory, and Choice, (ed.) A. Mitchell, Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Reynolds, T.J., Cockle, B. and Rochon, J. (1990)  “The Strategic Imperatives of Advertising: Implications of Means-End Theory and Research Findings.”  Canadian Journal of Marketing Research, 9, 3-13.

    Reynolds, T.J. and Trivedi, M. (1989) “An Investigation of the Relationship Between the MECCAS Model and Advertising Affect.”  In Advertising and Consumer Psychology, (eds.) A. Tybout and P. Cafferata, Lexington Books.

    Gutman, J. and Reynolds, T.J. (1987)  “Advertising Strategy Development and Assessment:  A MECCAS Model.” In Advertising and Consumer Psychology  (Vol. III), (eds.)  J.C. Olson and K. Sentis, Praeger

    Reynolds, T.J. and Gutman, J. (1984) “Advertising is Image Management.”  Journal of Advertising Research, 24, 27-36.

    Reynolds, T.J. and Jamieson, L. (1984) “Image Representations: An Analytical Framework.” In Perceived Quality of Products, Services, and Stores, (eds.) J. Jacoby and J. C. Olson, Lexington Books.

    Olson, J.C. and Reynolds, T.J. (1983) “Understanding Consumers’ Cognitive Structures: Implications for Advertising Strategy.” In Advertising and Consumer Psychology, (eds.) L. Percy and A. Woodside, Lexington Books


Means-End Decision Model and Validity Research Frameworksclick to open/close


    1. How can means-end theory serve as a basis for a model of decision making upon which positioning strategy research can be grounded?
    Reynolds, T.J. (2005) "LifeGoals: The Development of a Decision-Making Curriculum for Education." Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, 24 (1), 75-81.

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    After more than two decades of academic and professional work focusing on the development of psychological theory, research methods, and decision modeling techniques in marketing, the author applies his knowledge to solve what he believes is the single greatest challenge facing the United States—the development of a curriculum and corresponding pedagogy to teach decision-making skills to at-risk children. The initial targets were elementary schoolchildren, but during the developmental process, the author expanded the curriculum to include at-risk young adults and, more recently, MBA students. This chapter began after he retired as professor emeritus (1995) from a school of management and embarked on this new journey into the field of education.

    Patent: Reynolds, T.J. (2005) "Interactive Method and System for Teaching Decision Making", United States Patent No. 6,971,881. (Decision Theory)


    2. What means-end levels of abstraction (in a ladder) are underlying judgment types?

    Reynolds, T.J., Gutman, J., and Fiedler, J. (1984) “Understanding Consumers’ Cognitive Structures: The Relationship of Levels of Abstraction to Judgements of Psychological Distance and Preference.”  In Psychological Processes of Advertising Effects: Theory, Research, and Application, (eds.) A. Mitchell and L. Alwitt, Erlbaum.


    3. How can understanding of evaluation processes be gained from laddering research?
    Jolly, J.P., Reynolds, T.J., and Slocum, J.W.  (1988) “Application of the Means-End Theoretic for Understanding the Cognitive Bases of Performance Appraisal.”  Organization Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 41, 153-179.

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    Tested the applicability of means–end theory to the area of performance appraisal in 22 female nurse supervisors. Individual interviews were conducted that employed triadic sorting and laddering procedures to identify cognitive concept most salient to performance rating. These concepts were classified according to level of abstraction (attribute, consequence, or value). This classification served as the basis for construction of a summary cognitive map of the performance appraisal process for this sample. Cognitive differentiation analysis revealed that, on average, value concepts accounted for significant variance in performance judgments over and above that which was accounted for by attributes and consequences. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

    Reynolds, T.J. and Jamieson, L. (1984) “Image Representations: An Analytical Framework.” In Perceived Quality of Products, Services, and Stores, (eds.) J. Jacoby and J. C. Olson, Lexington Books.

    4. How does Cognitive Differentiation Analysis provide the ability to assess the validity of ladders?
    Perkins, W. S. and Reynolds, T.J. (1995) “Interpreting Multidimensional Data with Cognitive Differentiation Analysis.”  Psychology & Marketing, 12, 481-499.

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    Examined the usefulness of cognitive differentiation analysis (CDA) in interpreting multidimensional data in consumer research, using simulated data sets and a benefit segmentation study. In Study 1, 300 simulations were generated in 3 series, for 9 stimuli on 2–4 dimensions. Study 2 studied benefit segments for 9 fast-food restaurants, on 6 attributes. 125 marketing undergraduates rated each restaurant on a 7-point scale, and completed a graded preference task to obtain a pairwise comparison. CDA regression was applied to both data sets. Results show that CDA improved the interpretability of individual-level multidimensional data by estimating a multi-regression equation relating pair-wise product judgments to product attributes. In Study 1, CDA performed well statistically. CDA correlations and rho values in Study 2 converged. CDA-generated segments successfully predicted unidimensional preferences, while rho values did not. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

    Reynolds, T.J. and Sutrick, K.H.  (1986) “Assessing the Correspondence of a Vector(s) to a Symmetric Matrix Using Ordinal Regression.”  Psychometrika, 51, 101-112.  

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    Cognitive Differentiation Analysis (CDA) represents a method to measure the correspondence of an individual vector or a composite vector of descriptor ratings to a matrix of pair-wise dissimilarity judgments where both sets of judgments are assumed to be ordinal. The zero intercept regression extension of CDA is described. (TJH)


    General References

    Reynolds, T.J. Reynolds, P. and Reynolds, K. (2010) "Teaching LifeGoals Critical Thinking Skills: Decision-Based Curriculum for Grades 1-6". LifeGoals Press.

    Reynolds, T.J.  (2009) "Want to Change America?  The Education Solution to Increasing our Society’s Decision IQ".  LifeGoals Press. (Preface by Senator Bill Bradley)

    Gutman, J., Reynolds, T.J., and Fiedler, J. (1984) “The Value Structure Map:  A New Analytic Framework for Family Decision-Making.” In The Changing Household; Its Nature and Consequences, (eds.)  M.L. Roberts and L. Woertsel, Ballinger Publishing 


Research Methodology and General Applicationclick to open/closes

Statistics
T.J., Weeks, D., and Perkins, W.S. (1987) “CDASCAL:  An Algorithm for Assessing the Correspondence of One or More Vectors to a Symmetric Matrix Using Ordinal Regression.”  Psychometrika, 52, 93-301

Reynolds, T.J. and Cliff, N. (1984) “An Interactive Ordering Model and Its Monte Carlo Evaluation.”  Psychometrika, 47, 247-255.

Reynolds, T.J. and Jackofsky, E. (1981) “Interpreting Canonical Analysis:  The Use of Orthogonal Transformation.” Educational and Psychological Measurement, 41, 661-672.

Reynolds, T.J. (1981) “ERGO:  A New Approach to Multidimensional Item Analysis.” Educational and Psychological Measurement, 41, 643-660

Krus, D., Reynolds, T.J., and Krus, P. (1976) “Rotation and Canonical Correlation.”  Educational and Psychological Measurement, 36, 725-730.

Reynolds, T.J., Lepman, R.T., and Andrews, R.L. (1977) “TOMS: A Series of APL/CRMS Programs to Facilitate the Teaching of Multivariate Methods and Scaling.”  Journal of Marketing Research, 14, 559-561.

Kehoe, J. and Reynolds, T.J. (1977) “Interactive Multidimensional Scaling of Cognitive Structure Underlying Person Perception.”  Applied Psychological Measurement, 1, No. 2, 115-169.


Philanthropy

Norvell, J. and Reynolds, T.J. (2004)  "The Art and Science of Philanthropic Fund Raising", Quantum Press.

Reynolds, T.J.  (2003) “Leadership of the Nonprofit Strategy Development Process. In Improving Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations, (eds.) R Riggio and S.S. Orr, Jossey-Bass..

Reynolds, T.J. and Norvell, J. (2001) "Fund-Raising Strategy:  Tapping into Philanthropic Value Orientations.” In “Understanding Consumer Decision-Making: The Means-End Approach to Marketing and Advertising Strategy,” (eds.) T. J. Reynolds, and J. C. Olson, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.


Education/Decision-based Ethics

Reynolds, T.J. Reynolds, P. and Reynolds, K. (2010) "Teaching LifeGoals Critical Thinking Skills: Decision-Based Curriculum for Grades 1-6". LifeGoals Press.

Reynolds, T.J.  (2009) "Want to Change America?  The Education Solution to Increasing our Society’s Decision IQ".  LifeGoals Press. (Preface by Senator Bill Bradley)

Urbany, J., Reynolds, T.J. and Phillips, J(2008) “How to Make Values Count in Everyday Decisions”  Sloan MIT/Sloan Management Review, 49, 75-8

View/Close Abstract

Much lip service is given today to "values-based decision making," with the implication that the underlying values are "good" values, occupying high moral ground. But the fact is that all decisions -- whether highly ethical, grossly unethical or anywhere in between -- are values-based. That is, a decision necessarily involves an implicit or explicit trade-off of values. The values represented in a particular decision are not always easy to identify and evaluate, however, and the shortcuts that people often take in decision making can make deeper analysis of values all the more difficult. This article presents a framework designed to explore the values implicit in decisions. Moving systematically from concrete consequences to higher-ordered values, the framework, embodied in a decision-mapping technique, helps the decision maker think through what is gained and what is given up as a result of a decision. It also encourages an expansion of choice options, motivates a more balanced view of positive and negative consequences, and provides insight into the dynamics of decision making. When good people at times say yes to bad -- unethical or illegal -- actions, there are four possible reasons: (a) the organization's values are fuzzy to them, leading them to resort to undeveloped intuition and expedient criteria, (b) they may not be clear on their own values, (c) their interpretation of probability conveniently favors their a priori preferred option, or (d) they see no other options (they believe their hands are tied). Each of these possibilities reflects issues that senior managers need to account for directly in addressing ethical decision making in their organizations. Illustrating the framework through a case study based on actual events, the article aims to help managers build a culture that better integrates the organization's values into staff members' decisions.

Reynolds, T.J. (2005) "Charting a Course for Ethical Decisions." ValueRich, (Summer) 99-101. (non-peer review)
Reynolds, T.J. (2005) "LifeGoals: The Development of a Decision-Making Curriculum for Education."   Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, 24 (1), 75-81.

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After more than two decades of academic and professional work focusing on the development of psychological theory, research methods, and decision modeling techniques in marketing, the author applies his knowledge to solve what he believes is the single greatest challenge facing the United States—the development of a curriculum and corresponding pedagogy to teach decision-making skills to at-risk children. The initial targets were elementary schoolchildren, but during the developmental process, the author expanded the curriculum to include at-risk young adults and, more recently, MBA students. This chapter began after he retired as professor emeritus (1995) from a school of management and embarked on this new journey into the field of education.

Urbany, J., Reynolds, T.J. and Phillips, J.  (2008) “How to Make Values Count in Everyday Decisions

Cunningham, Lawrence (2011) “Spreading Ethics” 


Political
Phillips, J and Reynolds, T.J. and Reynolds, K. (2010) "Decision-based voter segmentation: an application for campaign message development", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 44 Iss: 3/4, pp.310 – 330.

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Purpose – The purpose of this study was to demonstrate how the segmentation of voters based on decision-making processes, using means-end laddering research innovations and real-time interactive online interviewing, can aid in the formation of political communications strategy, including theme and message development.

Design/methodology/approach – To demonstrate the application of these innovations in a political context, the paper uses data from a sample of 114 voters who were interviewed during the 2004 US presidential election campaign. The paper draws on three recent innovations to the means-end laddering methodology: elicitation questioning techniques that allow for a decision equity analysis between targeted groups; decision segmentation analysis; and real-time interactive online interviewing; and applies them to an electoral context. It provides an interpretation of the identified decision segments and an exposition of how these common networks of meaning can serve as the basis for targeted theme and message development.

Findings – These three innovations, in concert, were found to provide an efficient set of methods to serve as the foundation for the campaign message development process.

Originality/value – This paper provides deterministic research techniques for campaign strategists who want to understand voter decision making and demonstrates a combination of methodological and technological innovations that addresses the time, cost, and geographic limitations often associated with conducting voter decision making research.

Urbany, J., Reynolds, T.J. and Phillips, J.  (2008) "Confirmation and the Effects of Valenced Political Advertising:  A Field Experiment" Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 34, No. 6 (April 2008), pp. 794-806

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There are ongoing questions in the literature and in the field about why, in spite of voter dislike, negative advertising continues to get widespread usage in politics.  In a field experiment that assessed responses to actual ads shortly before the 2004 U.S. presidential election, we found that negative advertising produced more critical responses than positive advertising even for the voters’ favored candidate.  Yet, our findings suggest that the effects of negative advertising are multidimensional;  four different effects—reinforcement, backlash, defensive reactance, and position change—were identified. We discuss the costs and potential returns from these effects and the limitations of this study, and we propose directions for future research.


Strategic Equity

Reynolds, T.J. and Westberg, S. (2001) “Beyond Financial Engineering: A Taxonomy of Strategic Equity.” In “Understanding Consumer Decision-Making:  The Means-End Approach to Marketing and Advertising Strategy,” (eds.) T. J. Reynolds, and J. C. Olson, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

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A taxonomy of strategic equity is developed and defined with three distinct areas (distribution, brand and resource), each of which having sub-components. Brand equity contains six sub-type definitions. A strategic leverage concept is suggested that involves combining the respective sub-components across the major areas. It is further suggested that all strategic options be assessed as to their respective impact on each of the sub-component strategic equities.


Sports

Reynolds, T.J. (2010) “Assessing the Existential Validity of the Bowl Championship Series Rankings.” In Consumer Behavior Knowledge for Effective Sports Marketing. (eds.) L Kahle and A. Close, Taylor and Francis.


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Recent Developments

1. Brand Positioning Strategy Seminar

Case study seminar (two days) for experienced marketing professionals focusing on problem framing in terms of customer decision making, bridging into research methodology options with corresponding analysis frameworks, leading to strategic interpretation with respect to advertising development, execution and assessment.

2. Advertising Strategy: Validation of Neural-Model of Persuasion

A meta-analysis of the strata analyses (Means-End based) of 240 ads from 7 countries at different levels of finish (animatics included) assessing the explanatory contribution of connection with respect to purchase intent. This assessment of decision model validity includes comparisons relative to both ad affect (liking) across different product categories.

3. A General Research Methodology Model underlying Brand Strategy Optimization

Understanding customer decision making between and across key target groups in the marketplace serves as the basis of optimizing brand positioning strategy. A series of research methods including question framing and data analysis formats are outlined that yield a decision-based brand equity/disequity “game board” for evaluating strategic options.

4. Optimizing a Multi-Level Network Sales Model leveraging Retail Brand Equity

Direct sales of consumer products has a myriad of barriers to recruiting (the key to future company success) and “active” retention, including the growth of “direct” purchasing over the Internet. A new sales network model that leverages retail brand equity is developed, including potential sales projections based upon specific category and product offerings.


Direct Sales Positioning Strategy Decision-Based
‘Game Board’

Pizza Positioning Strategy Decision-Based
‘Game Board’

Political Positioning Strategy Voter Decision
‘Game Board’

Consumer Beer Decision
‘Game Board’