TURF Analysis

As categories and products mature, a competitive advantage is harder to find. Moreover, many clients are faced with a market they feel may be saturated with both their products and those of rival companies. This often means that any new products or lines cannibalise the existing range, thereby stifling innovation as well as sales.

In such circumstances, we have often used a technique for clients called TURF (Total Unduplicated Reach and Frequency). This helps them establish the new SKUs that are going to increase their footprint.

Let’s explain with an example:

Objective: Client has 5 SKUs in the market (A, B, C, D and E) that are performing well. It wants to identify the next SKU for the market from 3 different options (F, G and H)

Analysis: using the top box scores for Purchase Intent (PI), we can see as follows:

Product                       Top Box PI

    A                                   40%

    B                                   35%

    C                                   30%

    D                                   37%

    E                                    25%

    F                                    32%

    G                                   20%

    H                                   38%

In isolation, this is useful information, and instinctively option H would appear to be the most promising of the three new options. But the key question is over reach.

Deduplicating the results, we obtain the finding that the current reach (A-E) is 60%. Thereafter, when we add on each new SKU individually the following levels of reach are obtained:

        Products                                 Reach

A-E (existing) plus F (new)                67%

A-E (existing) plus G (new)                61%

A-E (existing) plus H (new)                63%


Clearly product G is only adding a small increment and can be discounted as the best additional SKU. However, it is evident that, despite Product H having the best individual top box score, nearly all of its attraction lies with respondents who are already going to buy one of the existing products. Product F, on the other hand, adds the strongest increment and can thereby by said to be bringing the greatest number of new customers to the table.

Extra uses of TURF

We’ve done umpteen TURF studies over the years. One of the things we’re most commonly asked to do is offer a store-based range assessment. That’s to say, it might be that a supermarket can only carry three of a client’s particular range and with this in mind we will need to identify the three most incremental SKUs for the particular supermarket.  This can be done in a very straightforward way, using the techniques outlined above.