In understanding consumer preferences, conjoint analysis has been the dominant force for many years. Conjoint analysis is decompositional in nature in that people (usually) evaluate entire products and the component importance is derived from those evaluations.
In a self-explicated method, people provide the evaluations component by component and the attractiveness of the whole product is built from that. Self-explicated methods have several advantages and have been shown to be as good as conjoint analysis in understanding preferences.
For more details about Self-Explicated Method, read Conjoint Analysis vs. Self-Explicated Method: A Comparison in our White Paper Library.