Do you think consumers have changed? Are they no longer buying the way they used to? Is it something that affects the entire category or your brand in particular? If you have any of these doubts, you may need a U&A study to help you make informed decisions. Let us tell you how to do one!
What is a U&A study?
A U&A study (or usage and attitudes study) is a market research study that gathers essential information about buying habits, consumption habits, consumer attitudes, and everything that is important to know for making any type of decision with a complete understanding of the market.
The U&A study is also sometimes called a baseline study because the collected information can be applied to a multitude of strategic and tactical decisions. Unlike other studies, such as a concept test or advertising pre-test, which are done to make a very specific decision, U&A studies are useful for consultation throughout the organization regularly. Insights from a U&A study will influence many brand decisions in various fields over time.
How often should I conduct a U&A study?
U&A studies have experienced a resurgence in recent years. Today, they are conducted more frequently mainly for two reasons:
- Rapid Changes: traditionally, it was considered that habits and attitudes changed slowly. This perception was shattered with the arrival of COVID-19. All consumers radically changed their habits overnight and adapted them based on the evolution of the pandemic. Just when we were returning to normal, decades of unknown inflation rates disrupted buying habits once again. All these disruptions increased the need for more U&A studies.
- Increased Efficiency and Research Agility: previously, the cost of conducting a study was high, so efforts were made to gather as much information as possible in that study, making them large and expensive. Fortunately, market research automation has reduced the setup costs of studies, making it possible to conduct smaller, more frequent studies that help many companies research what interests them more agilely at any given time.
Every market is different and has its own pace of change, but if you suspect that you are making important decisions with outdated data, it’s probably time to conduct one. Resolving your doubts with a usage and attitudes study will allow you to make confident and accurate decisions.
Questionnaire for a U&A Study
The U&A study is very flexible and allows for different sections in the questionnaire. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Buying Habits. Who buys the category, how much they buy, and how often. Generally, questions related to the purchased brands or varieties and the online or offline stores where they were purchased are also included.
- Usage Habits. What the product is used for, when, and who the end user is if it was purchased for the home. Also, if it is used in connection with other products (e.g., in cosmetic products) or how it is prepared (food).
- General Attitudes and Category-Specific Attitudes. Generally, it combines general belief and feeling questions – for example, what is valued and what is important in choosing household food – with others more related to the category under study.
- Brands. A fundamental chapter of U&A studies is to know brand awareness levels in the category, as well as the repertoires of brands purchased or used, reasons for choice, and levels of satisfaction and intention to purchase in the future.
- Exposure to Media. There is a lot of public information available on media consumption by the general population, but when very specific populations are studied, it is often interesting to know how they get information about category news – for example, how video game buyers get informed about releases.
To create the questionnaire, it is important to review whether U&A studies have been conducted in the past. Formulating questions in the same way will provide a way to obtain evolving data that not only provides a current snapshot but also indicates the direction and speed of trends.
U&A Study. How to Conduct One?
If you suspect that you are making decisions with outdated information, it is time to renew your U&A study. To start, you can make a list of all the things you need updated data on to make informed decisions. If you are unsure what to include, our team of research experts can help you create the list and turn it into questions for the questionnaire.
Through the We are Testers platform, you can quickly go to the field and get results very soon.
Contact us, and we will help you through the process of creating your own U&A study!Update date 22 December, 2023