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Abstract

This article discusses a research tool for marketing strategies–Consumer Preference Structure Analysis–as an illustration of how direct marketers can benefit from an understanding of the patterns in consumer choice behavior. From purchasing histories and product attribute ratings, this innovative strategic marketing tool defines a hierarchy of buyer preferences and market competition. An analysis of findings from a mail survey of 565 women apparel buyers indicates that switching patterns between catalogs and catalog attribute ratings define a hierarchy of directly and indirectly competitive apparel catalogs. This leads to an explanation for consumer priorities in the women's apparel catalog market and, more generally, to an appreciation of how buyer behavior patterns and attribute ratings can be analyzed.