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What is Attitudes & Usage research?

Attitudes & Usage research, or A&U research, is a form of market research that focuses on understanding consumer behavior, usage patterns, and attitudes towards products, brands, or services.

Kyle Gollins VP, Americas 23 October 2023

Attitudes & Usage research, or A&U research, is a form of market research that focuses on understanding consumer behavior, usage patterns, and attitudes towards products, brands, or services. Findings from this research provide valuable insights to inform marketing strategies, product development, and overall business decision-making. It helps to identify market opportunities, evaluate brand positioning, segment the target market, assess the competition, and develop effective marketing and communication strategies.

What are the objectives of A&U research?
A&U research is used in many industries, including consumer goods, retail, healthcare, and technology. The main objective of A&U research is to gain a deeper insight into how consumers interact with a specific product or service, and their perceptions. Other goals include gaining a better understanding of consumer needs and preferences, staying updated on market trends, identifying areas for improvement, enhancing customer satisfaction, growing loyalty, and boosting performance.

How do you conduct user and attitude research?
A&U research involves collecting data through a variety of methods, which will differ depending on the objectives of the research. This includes:

  • Surveys
  • Interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Observation methods.

Through this, marketing professionals can gather information, such as:

  1. Purchasing habits
  2. Brand awareness
  3. Attitudes
  4. Motivations
  5. Satisfaction levels.

The research may cover a wide range of topics such as product usage frequency, reasons for usage or non-usage, brand awareness and perception, factors influencing purchase decisions, customer satisfaction, and loyalty.

How does attitude affect consumer decision making?
Attitudes play a significant role in the consumer decision-making process – they serve as a bridge between consumer perceptions and actual buying behavior. Here’s how attitude plays a key role in purchasing decisions:

  1. Evaluation of alternatives: Attitudes shape how we evaluate alternatives when making a purchase. If you have a positive attitude towards a brand, you’re more likely to choose it over others. Conversely, negative attitudes can deter you. We seek to understand how attitudes influence the perceived benefits, quality, and value of products or services through thorough A&U research.
  2. Brand loyalty: How loyal are consumers to a brand? And what influences repeat purchases? If a consumer has a positive attitude to a brand and is an advocate, then brand loyalty results. Attitudes can be shaped by past experiences, perceived quality, brand image, and alignment with personal values.
  3. Purchase intention: favorable attitudes towards a product or brand increase the likelihood of purchase intention. On the other hand, negative attitudes may stop consumers from making a purchase, even if they are aware of the product’s availability or benefits.
  4. Decision-making heuristics: these are cognitive shortcuts that consumers use to streamline their decisions. They are efficient because they involve conscious or unconscious processing, which ignores part of the information. Attitudes serve as mental filters that help consumers make choices by relying on pre-existing positive or negative evaluations – especially influential in low-involvement or routine purchase decisions.

Summary: why is usage and attitude (A&U) research important?
Conducting user and audience research is important to ensure products, services, and marketing messages resonate with target users. It provides insights into demographics, psychographics, behaviors, attitudes, pain points, and motivations. Without proper research, marketing teams risk making incorrect assumptions that lead to ineffective decision-making.

Effective A&U research leads to greater adoption, engagement, and satisfaction – it’s the foundation that enables teams to build solutions that solve real user needs, transforms assumptions into facts, and drives success.

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