Daily Mirror: Oxford University scientist discovers mathematical formula to get a bargain

The article text is copied below. You can read the original article on the Mirror website here.

Dr Tom Crawford revealed the secret to good value (V) is down to a mix of quality (Q), ease-of-use (E), brand trust (B) and price (P). But the vital ingredient to the formula is joy (J).

Photo credit: Michael Leckie/PA Wire

A top professor at Oxford University has created the world’s first formula for good value.

Boffin Dr Tom Crawford made the unique equation as part of a campaign from Yorkshire-based communications provider Plusnet to celebrate Yorkshire Day and the county’s love for a great deal.

It comes as new research from Yorkshire-based Plusnet reveals a third of cash-strapped Brits are not confident in getting value for money.

Dr Tom, mathematician at the University of Oxford, said: “To work out value, a product is scored from one to three against the five variables: quality, ease-of-use, brand trust, price, and joy.

“Each of these scores are put into the formula which calculates a figure between 0-1. A higher score indicates good value. For example, an item scoring 0.8 would represent better value than a score of 0.4.

“I tested the formula out on Plusnet’s Yorkshire Day deal, scoring quality: two, ease-of-use: three, brand trust: three, joy: three and price: one (representing a low price). When you put these numbers into the formula it calculates a score of 0.8, which equals good value.”

All variables are scored on a scale from 1-3, with a higher value indicating a higher score (or a higher price).

Using data from 2,000 UK adults on what value means to them, Dr Tom Crawford revealed the secret to good value (V) is down to a mix of quality (Q), ease-of-use (E), brand trust (B) and price (P).

But – proving that Brits need to feel the buzz of getting a bargain – the vital ingredient to the formula is joy (J).

Joanna Carman, Marketing Director at Plusnet, breaks the formula down in the simplest way.

She said: “Good value adds up to simple, reliable products that just work and great customer service you can count on. Which is everything Plusnet believes in and stands by.

Given that our customers already get good value, we want the rest of the UK to join in and learn a thing or two this Yorkshire Day.

“As a national brand that’s proud of its Yorkshire roots, we’re celebrating the region’s love for a great value, with a deal too good to miss that’ll last the long run.”

Dr Crawford – a maths fellow at St Edmund Hall, Oxford – home to some of the world’s leading mathematicians – added: “We’re pleased to be able to help Brits across the UK find a formula for good value this Yorkshire Day – at a time everyone is looking for great deals.

“Our formula shows it’s not just about going for the cheapest option, it’s about quality items that last and make your life easier. Good value is also about how a product or services makes you feel. And if it doesn’t bring joy to you, then it may not the best option.”

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