A Marketer’s Guide to Understanding and Designing a Strong A&U

How do people view your category in the marketplace?

What are their purchase motivations?

How do consumers shop for these products?

What are the top purchase barriers in your category?

What is the preferred purchase channel for your brand?

If you don’t have answers to these questions based on robust, reliable data, you may want to consider adding an A&U study to your 2021 fall budget.

Attitude and Usage Studies, sometimes called an A&U or AAU (Attitudes, Awareness, Usage), help brands understand how consumers interact with goods and services by profiling current and potential customers’ habits, attitudes, needs, values, and motivations.

If you’re new to marketing research, A&U studies are a great way to understand the benefits of primary research and can support internal clients across your organization, from innovation and sales to marketing and merchandising.

However, not all A&U studies are alike. Without a custom questionnaire, generic results may undermine actionable insights that drive understanding, trial, loyalty, and most importantly, market share.

As such, A&U studies are typically conducted for specific products rather than brands. This research offers more than a kitchen sink survey approach by focusing on learning and identifying opportunities.  

At W5, our team of in-house statisticians builds each survey from the ground up based on our clients’ KPIs and category. For example, a custom A&U might include questions around:

  • Purchase funnel – Overall awareness (aided and unaided); consideration, purchase intent, have purchased, repeat purchasing; usage levels
  • Brand awareness and trial – Gauging awareness and usage of current major players or disruptive brands in the category  
  • Barriers to trial and/or usage – Hesitations, concerns for non-users; current pain points and frustrations for users
  • Purchase channels – Where it is currently purchased; where consumers want to purchase it; preference for dedicated in-store or aisle placement; online purchasing behaviors
  • Demographics and psychographics – Profile demographics (e.g. age, gender, race, and location) as well as opinions, attitudes, beliefs, and values impacting purchasing behaviors

How do you know if you have a strong A&U Study? Check out the graphic below featuring the three traits that make for a solid A&U.

Interested in learning more? Feel free to reach out to us at or give us a call at (919) 932-1117.

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