A grouping of three types of questions, awareness, trial, and usage, is used in marketing research to determine some of the behavioral characteristics of consumers. Awareness refers to the presence of the product or brand in the consumer's mind. This variable is measured in a variety of ways, ranging from simply asking a survey respondent if he or she is aware of a specific product or brand through asking the respondent to list the types of products or brands that come to mind. The second method is particularly powerful because it elicits the respondents' 'salient,' or top-of-mind, items.
Trial refers to the types of questions that ask the consumer if he or she has ever used the product or brand in the past. Questions may include if respondents have used the product in the past, if they are current users, and if they intend to or would be willing to use the product in the future.
Usage of the product may refer to both the frequency of use as well as the way the product is used. Frequency may be split into categories, such as Light, Medium, or Heavy users, or may be grouped by the number of times a product is used over a set period of time (e.g., number of times per month, per year, or per week). Usage questions should also ask how the respondent uses the product or service. Hospitality applications of usage questions may include the occasion or reason for a visit to a hotel or restaurant and the types of services that are consumed while at the hotel or restaurant.