Usage and attitude studies or U&A studies are considered to be one of the most important components of strategic research. It gives us essential information about the usage of services or products and customer attitude towards a brand. It can be both quantitative and qualitative.
In strategic research U&A studies broadly cover three issues related to the brand:
Awareness: How many people can instantly recognise the brand when they see it? How many think of the brand without external hints?
Attitudes: How do people view the brand? How do they see it via-a-vis the competition?
Usage: Here research tracks the brand usage. Where do people find information on the brand? Where do they buy it? What is its market share?
U&A study on brands is not a very frequently undertaken research. This is because people’s attitude and behaviour towards a brand changes over time. A quantitative study gives us the all important figures, a way to measure these changes and usages. A qualitative study, on the other hand, gives us a more detailed insight into the consumer mind and behaviour.
Periodic strategic research tells us about changing perceptions over a certain time period — whether it has increased in stature over the years, what changes have given it high popularity and what negatively affects its perception. In the process, it gives us valuable insight into several important areas, such as:
— Deciding the core principle of the brand, its usage and customer base.
— Establishing the brand’s and the product’s/service’s USP.
— The brand’s market share and the impact of the competition.
— Determining factors that make successful marketing and ad campaigns.
— Determining product or service improvement.
— Factors that can negatively impact the brand image.
— Distribution channels and their efficiency.
— Understanding consumer behaviour.
Although, U&A strategic research only seems to focus on brands, in reality, it gives a deeper insight into the market mechanics and consumer behaviour.