The recent release of Halo 5 spurred a conversation with fellow gapper and avid video-gamer, Mike Broome, about power indexes and player-ranking systems in video games. This gave us the idea of creating a power index for brands and products similar to ones utilized by gamers. In the world of video games, the purpose of a power index is to provide a single-number player-ranking system based on a number of variables such as shots missed, enemies destroyed, hits taken, etc.

Halo 5

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Power Indexing Refrigerator Data

For us data professionals at gap intelligence, this translates to products, placements, pricing, and promos. Lucky for me, I work at a data analytics company with a development team that has been willing to help me learn little bit of programming on the side – thanks César and Caitlin! With my new skills and a passion for data, I’ve created a refrigerator index based on consumer rating data, a data point that has always fascinated me.

Kenmore fridge

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With my new skills and a passion for data, I’ve created a refrigerator index based on consumer rating data, a data point that has always fascinated me.

The index I've developed is my initial attempt to predict expected success for stainless steel French-door refrigerators within the national home improvement chains (Home Depot and Lowes). By combining a set of weighted variables attached to each product, I’m able to calculate a single-number ranking system. These variables include customer ratings, net pricing, and placements. With shoppers placing more importance on product reviews, and the ability to price-compare a product at one store while shopping at another, customer ratings and net pricing likely play even greater roles in consumer decisions these days. The inclusion of additional variables in future iterations could help better predict sales in the aforementioned market. The tables below represent the results from this index, utilizing data from Q3 2015.

Refrigerators with the Highest Expected Sales by Capacity Range

Power index table

Power index table

Power index table

What the Power Index Reveals

In the tables above, Whirlpool leads all other brands in expected success at Home Depot and Lowes, accounting for 5 of 12 refrigerators in the top 90th percentile of all capacity ranges. The remaining refrigerators are made up of various Samsung, LG, and GE refrigerators. Notable exclusions, such as Electrolux, Frigidaire, KitchenAid, and Maytag, could find opportunity by gaining additional placements at the national home improvement chains for their more highly-rated units.

An interesting point to note is that, despite leading all refrigerator brands in overall customer ratings, LG is outranked within the index by similar Whirlpool and Samsung models due to the brands' slightly stronger price differentials and additional retail placements (especially at Lowes).

Future Iterations

Though this refrigerator power index is comprised of variables that I believe to be most essential, my first iteration might prove to be an over-simplified representation of consumer decision-making when it comes to refrigerator purchases. Future iterations can be made of a more complex ranking system that would account for additional product features, similarly-placed competitive models, and advertisements. Without sell-through data, though, my most difficult task will be to prove the validity of these indexes.

So on my weekends, instead of binging Top Chef on Hulu, I’ll probably be working on the second iteration of this refrigerator index … or playing Halo 5.