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Usage & Attitude Research: Packaging development not only for, but with the consumer!

Usage & Attitude Research: Packaging development not only for, but with the consumer!

Whether it’s a new brand, a new product or new packaging, it doesn’t matter what we develop and design – at the end of the day, we want to convince consumers. The decisive factor is that consumers are satisfied with the result or, even better, absolutely thrilled with it. So it makes sense to involve the target group(s) in the development process.

By means of Usage & Attitude Research, we can gather the information we need to implement brands, products and packaging in such a way that they meet the functional and aesthetic demands of consumers. In the following, we go into more detail about U&A studies and give an insight into how we work with them in practice.

Usage & Attitude Research – what is it actually?

Usage & Attitude Research is basically nothing more than a consumer survey. U&A studies supplement the pure purchase data that results from a consumer or retail panel. They are intended to comprehensively determine how consumers use certain brands, products and packaging and what motives lie behind the respective usage behavior.

The main areas of application of Usage&Attitude studies at a glance:

– Market analysis
– Market segmentation
– Identification of so-called “white spots”, i.e. market segments that have been served rather poorly to date

Carefully conducted U&A studies address the following questions:

– How are specific products used?
– Why are these products used in this way?
– What needs and interests underlie the use of these products?
– How are these products and their brands perceived?

By combining all this information, conclusions can be drawn about how products, packaging and brands can better or best meet the requirements and wishes of their target groups.

Why U&A studies are so significant for our innovation process

U&A studies are a fundamental part of our development process because they help us to understand how our target groups and potential new customers (want to) use certain products and packaging and what their attitudes are towards them.

In addition, Usage&Attitude studies help us to better identify potential market niches, develop new products or marketing strategies, and get a more accurate picture of how similar products are used by competitors.

U&A studies reveal

– why consumers use certain products,
– how they actually use them,
– how often they use the products, and
– Why they prefer one specific product over another.

The information and insights gained via the survey are then incorporated into our development process. They help us to design and implement brands, products and packaging that meet the needs and preferences of consumers in all relevant target groups.

The central goals of Usage & Attitude Research

Depending on what we want to find out in each individual case, the specific goals of the U&A survey may vary. However, there are some points that are always enormously important to us:

– We want to understand consumer usage patterns and attitudes toward a brand or product.

– We want to know on which occasions a brand or product is used or consumed: on the road, in the office, at school, during sports or at home on the sofa?

– We want to find out in detail how consumers handle products and packaging: How do they open them? And how do they close them again afterwards? Where do they store the products? Do they put them on the table or in a cupboard? Do they share them with friends? Do they give them to their children to take to school? And so on.

– We want to comprehensively determine how consumers feel about different product and packaging features and what relevance the aspects have for them.

– We would like to test and question our assumptions regarding the market situation and consumer behavior on the basis of the data obtained through the studies.

– We want to gather information that we can then use in the development of new products and packaging, and in devising innovative brand strategies.

– We would like to identify growth opportunities and barriers.

– We want to track potential changes in usage behavior and attitudes toward a product and/or packaging over time. Example: evaluating the sustainability of packaging materials.

Overall, the goal of U&A surveys is to gain a deeper understanding of consumers and their needs, preferences and behaviors.

How we conduct U&A studies

Depending on the project, we conduct Usage&Attitude studies

– online,
– by telephone
– as a face-to-face interview or
– a combination of several of the above methods.

methods. In doing so, we usually survey the current target group on the one hand and a potential new target group on the other.

After the survey, we analyze and interpret the quantitative results to better understand consumers’ usage patterns and attitudes towards a specific brand or product, and then apply this understanding practically in brand, product or packaging development.

Speaking of practical application: Examples from our agency

Finally, we present two examples for illustration. They show how we incorporate the knowledge gained from U&A studies into the development of the packagings.

Example 1: Ready meal for children

We conducted the Usage&Attitude study before we started developing new packaging for a ready meal for children.

As part of the study, we found out, among other things, that the majority of consumers wanted a specific portion size, such as three pieces per package.

We applied this finding to the development of the packaging. We created a multi-chamber pack in a child-friendly design language with two separable chambers and the portion size desired by most consumers.

Example 2: Sausages

Again, we conducted the U&A study before packaging development began.

The survey showed that consumers often repackaged the sausage before putting the product on the table. The reason was that they felt the packaging was not aesthetically pleasing enough, not beautiful enough.

Consequently, we developed a classy, table-ready packaging that saved consumers the hassle of repackaging.

About Berndt+Partner Creality
As a global agency for brand and packaging design and innovation for food, non-food and OTC products in the fast moving consumer goods sector, we present the latest trends, news and insights from the packaging industry. Our interdisciplinary team with an experience of more than 1,000 projects in over 20 years keeps you up to date.
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