DIY Market Research Done Right: C+R’s Journey To Build The Industry’s First Automated DIY A&U Tool

Filed Under: Attitude & Usage


Robbin Jaklin

Former President, C+R Alum

I’ve been at C+R Research for most of my professional career, and it’s hard to believe how many changes I’ve seen over the years — for us as a company, as well as the entire research industry. To be honest, I marvel at the way that C+R always remains nimble and how we keep pace with meeting our clients’ needs through innovation. I remember like it was yesterday when we launched our very first computerized (not online because it didn’t exist) survey – one of the first, if not the first, companies to do so – because we recognized that computerized surveys had great efficiency benefits (both cost and time) over phone and in-person methodologies. 

Roughly ten years ago, we created our online immersion group – again, one of the first, if not the first, companies to do so. As a company that conducts a lot of qualitative research, we were anxious to offer ways to utilize qualitative methods online – we were just waiting for the technology to be at a place that made it possible. To date, it has been one of our most successful and fastest growing divisions at C+R. 

In more recent years, the DIY segment of our industry has exploded. However, this is an area where we’ve been intentionally slow to enter the market.  The reason? We don’t jump into something until it fits with our three pillars:  Great Research, Deep Perspective, and Committed Client Service.  In other words, we were not going to launch a DIY offering until we knew it would meet our high-quality standards, provide clients with deep and thoughtful insights, and be user-friendly. Plus, whatever we introduced needed to align with the types of work we are known for. 

Fast-forward to today: I’m proud to announce that we have found our entry into the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) research market with an agile/DIY platform for Attitude & Usage studies with a product we’ve named A+U NOW®

Our vision for A+U NOW® began to form in 2019. We thought about the types of projects we do a lot of, like A&Us, industries we do a lot of work in, like the CPG category, and the light bulb went off. We explored the DIY landscape and found that nothing like this existed. So, our team set out to build a DIY market research experience that contained key features.

C+R Research’s DIY Market Research Tool Needed the Following Features:

  • Didn’t require deep research expertise to initiate
  • Had plenty of flexibility and customization — not cookie cutter 
  • Was easy to design and launch in minutes
  • Delivered results in a day
  • Met our data quality standards
  • Provided real results, and data that could be easily filtered/explored
  • Generated presentation-ready charts with a click
  • And… cost much, much less than custom research

Our efforts were successful, and this month C+R is releasing A+U NOW®, the industry’s first and only automated DIY A&U tool for the CPG industry. With this product, we’ve taken great care to design a research platform that’s all at once quick, easy, flexible and intuitive. Best of all, every A+U NOW® study leverages our 60-year heritage and expertise in A&U research.

One of the things I’m most excited about is the level of flexibility that A+U NOW® offers.  C+R Research can’t help itself from being flexible and custom – it’s in our DNA, so of course, our DIY offering needs to provide some customization.  

The A+U NOW® DIY Market Research Tool Allows Custom Consumer Insights for:

  • Category Definition: Based on a selection of up to 5 categories (with over 600 categories to choose from)
  • Sample Composition: General population sample representative to US Census or customize to gender, ethnicity and/or region
  • Perspective: Consumer, shopper or both
  • Brands: Include up to eight brands of interest
  • Attributes: Add three custom to our set of 28 standardized attributes
  • Data Analysis: Flexibility to look at the results through a data portal that can cut the data by gender, generation, ethnicity, region, urbanicity, income, presence of kids and category influence

Another thing we knew that A+U NOW® had to deliver was more than just a download of data. Along with providing demo profiles and traditional A&U metrics, our PPT report includes Stated vs. Derived Feature Importance, Perceptual Maps and Purchase Funnels. Plus, as experts in segmentation research, we’ve added the ability to overlay C+R’s SmartMarketTM segmentation.

And what’s more is that this solution is designed for all types of companies, small to large. It can be used by client insights professionals, marketers, brand managers, consultants, agencies and more.  It’s ideal for…

  • Informing larger established brands, brands in lower incidence categories, low growth brands/categories, and fast-growing brands/categories 
  • Finding opportunity in new product categories under consideration
  • Assessing brands under consideration for acquisition
  • Gauging brand relevance in adjacent categories
  • Discovering white space opportunities for brand position
  • Start-ups looking for information
  • Global brands considering entry into the US

Even though we are officially premiered A+U NOW® at TMRE, we’ve already received great feedback on the product from CPG marketers for whom this product is a perfect solution. In fact, one marketer said they could envision using it as a standard approach across all their brands. 

We are so encouraged by this early positive response that we are already considering what comes next in C+R’s entry into the world of DIY. Adding more available categories in CPG and beyond, expanding the number of data filters, or even looking beyond A&U to build DIY versions for other essential research products are all definitely within sight!   

If A+U NOW® sounds like a good fit for you, we hope you’ll take a closer look here, and for questions, complete the form.

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