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United States Patent [w]
Anderson et al.
US005974396A [ii] Patent Number:  Date of Patent:
 METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR GATHERING AND ANALYZING CONSUMER PURCHASING INFORMATION BASED ON PRODUCT AND CONSUMER CLUSTERING RELATIONSHIPS
 Inventors: Michael W. Anderson, West Seneca;
David Hargreaves, North Tonawanda;
Susan M. Hoellig, Boston, all of N.Y.;
Drew S. Johnson, Wexford, Pa.; Blaine
D. Mischel, Buffalo, N.Y.
 Assignee: Moore Business Forms, Inc., Grand
 Appl. No.: 08/683,906  Filed: Jul. 19, 1996
Related U.S. Application Data
 Continuation of application No. 08/021,105, Feb. 23, 1993, abandoned.
 Int. CI. G06F 17/60
 U.S. CI 705/10; 705/14
 Field of Search 705/14, 1, 7, 10,
705/16; 235/375, 383, 380, 381; 186/35,
52, 59, 61
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U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS 4,355,372 10/1982 Johnson et al. .
4,752,675 6/1988 Zetmeir 235/375
4,872,113 10/1989 Dinerstein .
4,908,761 3/1990 Tai 364/402
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Primary Examiner—Robert A. Weinhardt
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Nixon & Vanderhye PC.
A method and system for gathering and analyzing customer and purchasing information permits a retailer or retail chain to process transactional information involving large numbers of consumers and consumer products. Product information is gathered that uniquely identifies a specific product by type and manufacturer and grouped into generic product clusters. Consumers are similarly grouped into consumer clusters based on common consumer demographics and other characteristics. Consumer retail transactions are analyzed in terms of product and/or consumer clusters to determine relationships between the consumers and the products. Product, consumer, and transactional data are maintained in a relational database. Targeting of specific consumers with marketing and other promotional literature is based on consumer buying habits, needs, demographics, etc. A retailer queries the database using selected criteria, accumulates data from the database in response to that query, and makes prudent business and marketing decisions based on that response. Queried information from the database may be communicated to a printing subsystem for printing promotional literature directed to particular customers based on cluster information stored in the database.
42 Claims, 15 Drawing Sheets
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