Chicago Booth's partnership with research giant The Nielsen Company paves the way for a new generation of academic research on consumer purchasing.
Booth and New York-based Nielsen in April announced an agreement to make several of the company's datasets available to tenure-track faculty members and PhD students from accredited US colleges and universities. Nielsen is a global leader in tracking consumer media viewing and product purchasing.
Data from a consumer panel—40,000 to 60,000 representative households that report on their purchases to Nielsen—already are available. Booth expects to make available later this year the Nielsen retail scanner data, which report weekly product purchase and pricing information from more than 30,000 grocery stories, drugstores, and mass merchants, according to Art Middlebrooks, clinical professor of marketing and executive director of the Kilts Center for Marketing.
These extensive datasets will enable researchers to investigate topics that previously couldn't be studied. "This will start a revolution in terms of the research we do as marketers and the insight we gain into consumer behavior," said Sanjay Dhar, James H. Lorie Professor of Marketing and director of the Kilts Center.
One area of interest to Booth professors is the question of first mover advantage—whether brands that are first to the market have a long-term competitive advantage. Booth professors also are interested in how the recession has influenced spending—whether, for example, consumers are purchasing more private-label goods and which product categories shift the most from branded to private label. —Judith Crown
This article appears in the Fall 2012 issue of Chicago Booth Magazine