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The Dirichlet model in marketing
Journal of Consumer Behaviour  (IF3.28),  Pub Date : 2021-07-22, DOI: 10.1002/cb.1975
Carl Driesener, Cam Rungie

We present a review of Gerald Goodhardt's most famous contribution to marketing science—the NBD-Dirichlet model. This provides a powerful illustration of the complex pathway and useful associated discoveries that over 25 years lead to the specification and application of a key marketing model. We identify the process that started with the negative binomial distribution (NBD) applied to purchase incidence, examined alternatives such as the logarithmic series distribution (LSD) and the beta binomial distribution (BBD), and along the way developed conditional trend analysis (CTA). We then explore the development of brand choice beginning with duplication of purchase as a method for understanding the underlying patterns, before moving into various approaches to modelling choice including a multivariate NBD, and eventually a multivariate BBD—the Dirichlet multinomial distribution (DMD). We discuss key events in modelling consumer behaviour and outline the model's implications for how marketers should think about consumers, or more specifically the Dirichlet consumer. Finally, we provide a survey of the model's applications uncovering a rich recent history and bright future for Goodhardt's legacy.