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Ever look at a brilliant move from a brand and think: how did they nail that so seemingly effortlessly?
The answer often involved customer research.
At its core, consumer research is the gathering and analysis of information about target markets, consumers, and potential customers. It’s not just about numbers and graphs—though they have their place—it’s about understanding people. And with understanding people, you’ll get to understand what tactics and campaigns will win for your brand.
Your research can shape products, influence marketing strategies, and even drive innovation. Whether it’s understanding how customers feel, what they think, or how they behave, consumer research offers a blueprint for brands to build deeper, more meaningful connections with their audience.
There are countless tools at your disposal to crush your customer research. From the ever-popular to the more niche, here are some of the key research methods brand like yours use:
Consumer research is used by businesses to understand their audience more deeply, and to adapt their strategies accordingly—minimizing risks and maximizing revenue. It provides valuable data and insights that influence decisions at every level—from product development to marketing strategies. By digging into the why and how of consumer behavior, brands can make informed choices that truly resonate with their audience, without having to fear they’ll completely miss the mark.
When diving into consumer research, a brand might have several goals in mind, such as:
Bloom & Wild, a direct-to-door flower company from London, wanted to shake things up—but not without doing their due diligence with market research first. They were over the red roses game on Valentine’s Day and wanted to see if their customers were too. Let’s just say, things got bloomin’ interesting.
What’s the best consumer research software
Picking the right consumer insights software for your needs is super important – here’s our list of the top providers so you can see what each has to offer…
Little Moons, those yummy Japanese mochi ice cream bites, went big on TikTok. But they didn’t just want to be a 15-second sensation; they wanted to scoop up the long game. Let’s unpack how they didn’t just melt away after the TikTok frenzy, thanks to the coolest customer research.
Penfold, the fresh face in digital pensions, saw huge growth in a short time. But growth can be a double-edged sword. With all these new customers, they wondered: “Who are we really connecting with?” They didn’t have any past metrics to compare to, and customer research with brand tracking seemed the way to go. They just needed a tool that was both budget-friendly and user-friendly.
psLondon, a seasoned creative and brand consultancy, faced a challenge. Many universities seemed to echo similar messages. And they didn’t resonate. They needed fresh insights, especially from the Gen Z perspective, to help each university carve its distinct identity. Their customer research with Attest helped them formulate stellar campaigns.
Evive Nutrition, after having garnered immense success in Canada with its innovative frozen smoothie cubes, took a bold leap into the US market last year. Consumer research played a key role in this expansion journey.
Organic Valley knows a thing or two about great breakfast snacks, but working together with their target audience really elevated their game. Their approach underscores the importance of customer insights not just in product development but even in nuanced elements like naming.
Ever faced a hiccup at the online checkout? GoCardless sure noticed. Intent on understanding the very essence of these hiccups, they delved into their customers’ payment woes to make their sales and marketing efforts truly resonate.
DRY Soda Co. didn’t let themselves be stopped by restrictions people faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. With their traditional launch methods now inaccessible, they harnessed the power of consumer research through Attest and saw big wins.
Always doing the same in a market where things change rapidly is a recipe for disaster. Consumers drive trends and changes in every industry, and brands should be following them—it’ll rarely work the other way around.
So, gaining insights from consumer research is crucial for brands aiming to understand, adapt, and evolve. Depending on the specific goals and questions a brand has, they may opt for quantitative or qualitative customer research methods, each with its own unique advantages.
Definition: Quantitative research involves collecting numerical data to understand patterns, frequencies, and trends. Quantitative consumer research often employs structured surveys to gather data from a larger sample size for primary research, but secondary sources can be used too.
Definition: Qualitative market research delves deep into consumer behaviors, emotions and reasons behind certain choices. Qualitative consumer research often involves primary research methods like focus groups or video interviews to gain more detailed insights.
By understanding the strengths of both quantitative and qualitative customer research, brands can select the right approach for their specific needs, ensuring they obtain insights that are both broad in scope and deep in understanding.
Consumer research can be a game-changer for brands, but to truly harness its power, it’s crucial to approach it with the right strategies. Here are some expert-recommended best practices to ensure you get the most out of your research efforts:
Conducting market research at scale and with depth is best done using consumer research tools. They can significantly streamline the process and provide more accurate results. These tools offer a structured way to gather, analyze, and interpret data, making the entire process more efficient and effective.
Before you conduct market research of any type, it’s essential to define clear objectives. What are you trying to achieve with this research? Whether it’s understanding consumer preferences, identifying market gaps, or measuring brand perception, having a clear goal ensures your efforts are directed effectively.
While it’s essential to have clear objectives, it’s equally important to be open to unexpected insights. Sometimes, the most valuable information comes from unplanned findings. By being receptive to these, you can uncover new opportunities or areas of improvement.
It’s crucial to ensure that your sample represents a diverse set of consumers. This helps in capturing a wider range of perspectives, leading to richer insights. Make sure that your participants vary in age, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and other demographic factors relevant to your study. The right consumer insights software helps you diversify your samples, but makes sure to check.
Once you’ve gathered your initial insights, it’s always a good practice to validate them with your entire consumer insight team. This could mean conducting a follow-up study, re-testing your hypotheses, or analyzing the data through another lens, making sure all teams are aligned. This ensures that the insights are robust and not just a one-off anomaly.
If you’re looking to conduct customer research and really want to dig deep—and not just scratch the surface of customer satisfaction numbers or basic personas—try Attest.
Our research platform help you get a deeper understanding of what moves your target consumers, leaving you with all the data you need to inform your strategies. You’ll get a dedicated research expert to support you along the way, and it’s an easy start from our templates.
Ready to get to know your customers?
Consumer research is the process of gathering, analyzing and interpreting information about a company’s target audience. This research helps brands understand consumer needs, preferences, behaviors, and motivations, allowing them to make informed decisions about product development, marketing strategies, and other business areas.
It’s always customer research ‘o clock somewhere. Consumer research should be conducted at various stages of a product or service lifecycle. This includes before a product launch (to understand market needs), post-launch (to gather feedback and refine), and periodically thereafter (to stay updated with changing consumer behaviors). It’s also crucial during brand repositioning, entering new markets, or when addressing specific challenges in the market.
It does depend on your specific goals and the tools you will use, but there is a general framework that you can draw inspiration from. Different consumer insight companies will follow slightly different processes, but the best consumer research process involves a series of structured steps:1. Defining clear research objectives.2. Selecting the appropriate research method (quantitative, qualitative, or a mix).3. Designing the research tool (e.g., survey or focus group).4. Collecting data from a representative sample (both qualitative data and quantitative data)5. Analyzing and interpreting the data.6. Presenting the findings in a comprehensible manner to stakeholders.
The specific questions in consumer research will vary based on objectives. However, some common questions include:– What factors influence your purchase decision?– How satisfied are you with our product?– What improvements would you like to see?– How does our brand compare to competitors?It’s essential to ask open-ended questions to capture comprehensive insights and ensure questions are unbiased to get genuine response
Consumer research provides brands with insights into their target audience’s needs, behaviors, and preferences, which is the guiding light for any successful brand. It enables them to create products and services that resonate with their audience, craft effective marketing strategies, identify market opportunities, and address challenges proactively.
Customer Research Principal
Elliot joined Attest in 2019 and has dedicated his career to working with brands carrying out market research. At Attest Elliot takes a leading role in the Customer Research Team, to support customers as they uncover insights and new areas for growth.
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