Many players have asked for more details on how Customer Research should be interpreted, and how Markup works specifically. Let's start with explaining Markup:
What is Markup?
Markup is the price per unit that you sell your beer at, divided by the cost per unit. So, in the below example:
The markup is 14 / 8.73, which equals approximately 1.60.
Why is Markup important?
When shopping at a Marketplace, customers will judge each beer in the Marketplace based on its Quality, Markup, and whether it matches their preferred Style, and pick the best one for them. To be competitive, if your Quality is lower than a competitor's beer, then you can make up for that by having a lower Markup than they have, for instance.
Once your Quality is higher than theirs, you can raise your Markup in order to earn more profit. Customers will rate you more negatively than if your Markup were lower, but if you have the Quality advantage to weather that negative rating, then you can afford to do it.
Why do customers know my Markup? Shouldn't they just care about final Price instead?
Realistically, a customer would not care about Markup, but about Price instead, but the Markup instead of Price formula is an unfortunate necessity in the design of the game. Read here for more info.
How should I interpret the numbers shown in Customer Research?
Imagine customer research as a survey that you poll X people with. The survey asks:
1) How much money can you spend? (Budget)
2) How many beers do you want to buy? (Thirst)
3) What's your favorite Style of beer? (Preferred Style)
The info displayed in the Customers tab (pictured above) shows the results of the survey.
The amount listed under the "Low" heading is the lowest amount any of the respondents said for that question. Conversely, the number listed beneath the "High" heading is the highest amount any of the respondents said for that question. You can use those numbers to establish the range of values a customer might have for Budget or Thirst. Finally, the amount listed under the "Average" heading is just that, the sum value of all the responses of the survey, divided by the number of respondents. It's what you can typically expect a patron there to be like.
In this example, we can tell that Customers at Eddy's Bodega carry between 10 and 20 coins on their person when they shop, and that the average customer has 15 coins.
What does Thirst mean?
Thirst indicates how many beers the customer is wanting to buy at a time. A customer will buy one unit of beer at a time as long as:
1) His/her thirst is >= 1
2) His/her budget is >= price per unit of your Batch.
As an example, if you sell your batch at a price of 30 coins per Unit, and a customer with a budget of 60 and a thirst of 2 comes along, they'll buy 2 units at 30 coins each.
So if you see a marketplace where customers have high budgets, that doesn't always mean you should just charge that high amount for your beer (you'll get negatively rated on markup if you do). Instead, you should see if those customers have high thirst as well, and if they do, you can sell multiple units to a single customer instead of just trying to sell 1 unit to each customer.
Example: Average customer has a budget of 50 coins, and a thirst of 2.
If you price your beer at 35 coins, most customers can only afford to buy 1. But if you price your beer at 25 coins, most customers can afford to buy 2 at once (and they're willing to, due to their thirst value of 2), and your beer will sell faster (and avoid the negative rating from having a higher markup).
How Does Preferred Style Affect Customer Behavior?
Given 2 beers of different Styles, but exact same Quality and Markup, a customer will always select their Preferred Style. In fact, customers will select their preferred Style of beer even if it is lower Quality and higher Markup than another beer of a non preferred Style. How much Quality and Price a customer is willing to sacrifice for preferred Style is variant from customer to customer, and marketplace to marketplace. Experiment with sales to find out!