An U&A study is a valuable tool to understand the current marketplace in regards to existing products’ appeal and if there are opportunities for sales within specific types of consumers. Its implementation is particularly useful when assessing the current habits of a market, reviewing how brands are positioned in relation to one another according to consumers’ perceptions, and seeking gaps between what is offered by current products and what consumers look for. U&A studies typically collect the following types of information:
The information derived from U&A studies can be particularly useful to create market segmentation, as it helps create consumer profiles based on their needs and attitudes. It is also used to create “perceptual maps” such as the one presented below. Perceptual maps present how brands are positioned in relation to another and to the measured features. In the example below, Brands 1 and 2 share similar characteristics and are both closely associated on many features, while brands 3, 4 and 5 can be described as “niche” products that are strongly associated on a few features. Yet feature 7, the most important feature as shown by its opacity, is not strongly associated with any particular brand. Any brand who wishes to build market share should therefore strive to improve the strength of its association with that feature.