4 Research Questions You Should Answer with Agile A&U

Nov 15, 2016

Attitudes and Usage (A&U) studies have been our industry’s bread and butter when it comes to exploratory market research for some time now: which means it’s probably time for an update. Most useful in the stages well before concept development and refinement, an A&U study is an exploratory quantitative analysis that offers better understanding of target consumers so you can shape products, experiences, and campaigns that connect with them. Traditionally, A&U research consists of 50+ questions, takes about six weeks from recruit to results, and is conducted every few years—mostly because it will set you back over $75k on average. For these reasons, we decided that the classic A&U was in need of an agile upgrade.

Things Are Changing Faster, Including Your Audience

A&U studies require more agility because the speed of information and technology is accelerating product lifecycles. The timeline of introduction, growth, maturity, and decline has been significantly compressed: take, for instance, the once humble telephone. What used to be a chunky landline you replaced when it broke is now a pocket-sized super computer you readily update every couple years (or less, if Apple has it their way). Not only are we constantly upgrading the things we use everyday, but we also have a lot more to choose from, thanks to increasing fragmentation within categories. For example, it’s hard to imagine now a world without hundreds of craft breweries, where your beer choices were limited to the likes of Budweiser and Coors. The augmented speed of our technology has infiltrated almost all aspects of life, and digesting it all has led to consumer behaviors and perceptions that are shifting faster than ever.

Enter Agile A&U™

So how can you get to know your target audience better, faster, and more frequently while still leveraging the robust insight of quantitative research into the early stages of exploration? Our agile version of an A&U is purpose built for speed, capable of delivering findings in as little as two weeks for one-third the cost of a traditional study, allowing for more affordable frequency and up-to-date consumer insights. A few instances that are perfectly suited to an Agile A&U include

1. Assessing Attitudes & Usage of a Product/Category

Asking how a product or category fits into respondents’ daily lives leads to better understanding of what’s going on in the current landscape and how consumers feel about it. Questions should focus on topics like frequency of consumption, usage occasions, and must-haves for potential new products.

2. Developing Consumer Profiles

When developing a new offering, you want to be confident about the customer for whom you are developing. Gaining insights into pain points, needs, and desires will help paint a picture of who that customer is, what they like, and what they do.

3. Understanding Shopping & Purchasing Behaviors

It’s crucial to understand how shoppers view a category before launching within it. Asking consumers about what stores they visit, barriers & triggers to purchase, what they consider at the shelf, and if they’re loyal to any brands will give you a better feel for their habits, behaviors, and likely reaction to your product or service.

4. Assessing the Competitive Landscape

If you’re entering a new category—or even just expanding your presence—it’s helpful to know the unmet needs, pain points, and opportunities to innovate that exist therein. The resulting insights will be critical to communicating your brand’s differences from and advantages over the competition.

The exploratory benefits of an Agile A&U will become obvious once you start down the path of concept refinement and product development, as it lays a solid informational foundation from which you can build relevant, responsive solutions that are aligned with the current consumer landscape. And to gain further insight into consumer attitudes surrounding those ever increasing craft beer choices, check out the full research results below.

Written By

Amelia Erickson

Amelia Erickson

Demand Generation Manager

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