What is TURF?

TURF stands for “Total Unduplicated Reach and Frequency”, which is a type of analysis commonly used in product line research. The primary objective of a TURF analysis is to identify the set, or combination, of products that appeals to the widest audience. TURF assumes that the product line should be developed with the goal of providing at least one product for as many consumers as possible.

Important: For a TURF analysis to yield quality results, all respondents must evaluate all available items. The objective of TURF is to understand how to reach the largest portion of a given audience, and thus an evaluation of reach must exist for every item for every individual. For this reason, TURF is not recommended when there are more items than any respondent can reasonably evaluate in a survey environment.


When to use aytm's TURF simulator 

The most common use case is product-related optimization, often called Line Optimization Test(ing) or LOT. Examples include:

  • Identifying the optimal set of flavors for your ice cream line
  • Identifying the best mix of razor products for your shave brand
  • Identifying the best set of colors to offer your mobile phone or laptop in

TURF may also be used in marketing testing such as identifying a set of marketing messages that reaches the largest part of the audience.

Aytm’s TURF output

The TURF Analyses drop-down allows you to select a specific question that holds the reach criteria and export a simulator. This is a common methodology for Line Optimization Tests (LOTs).

There are two main outputs in TURF analysis, as hinted at by the name:

(Unduplicated) Reach: Percent of the audience for which there is at least one item in the set. What defines reach must be specified in a way that ultimately gets to a binary Yes-Reached / No-Not Reached result for each item. This is commonly Top Box or Top 2 Box on a 5-point scale of purchase intent/interest, appeal, or similar metric; less commonly TURF can be used on other interest/appealing-measuring methodologies such as MaxDiff.

Frequency: Average number of items in a set that reach an individual. A common way to think about Frequency is how many items an individual would consider when making a purchase, or number of messages that would resonate with an individual from a marketing campaign. Note: Frequency should not be interpreted as purchase frequency or volumetric purchase interest.

How to access a TURF simulator 

 When you are working on a stats page you can export the TURF simulator for a specific eligible question. Click on the export icon and select the question from the drop-down box. 

Note: the TURF export will show as available for *any* eligible question type, you can select from the drop-down which question fits your TURF analysis.

Once you have selected the question you want to export click on the down arrow icon to export the TURF simulator for the selected question.

Checkbox Q type

Select the question from the TURF drop-down and then click on the down arrow icon to export the simulator.

Matrix, Stars or Smiley Q types

If the question type is a Matrix Slider, Progressive Matrix, Star or Smiley rating you will need to select between Top 1 or Top 2 box before exporting the simulator.  .

The reason there are two sets of Top Box and Top 2 Box options is because people set up grids differently - sometimes the options move from most positive to least positive, others from least positive to most positive. So regardless of how you orient your scale, you can pick the right version of Top Box or Top 2 Box

MaxDiff HB + TURF

Exporting MaxDiff HB + TURF has the same options as before it’s also now located in the Research Analyses section of the Export section.

 Note: if you are looking for MaxDiff utility scores you can export them directly under the question chart.

Checkbox Virtual Questions

When the default question options don’t provide what is needed, turn to the power tool that is Virtual Questions! There may be times where the scale points don’t quite line up with the default options available or most likely that the items to be included in the TURF span multiple questions. In these cases, a checkbox virtual question can be created with an answer option defined as needed for each item to be included.

TURF Simulator Export 

When you export TURF for any question the simulator will be the default tab shown. The simulator provides a clean interface for a you to make custom combinations that  - whether it be they will always include product X regardless of performance because it's a brand standard or they would never introduce both product A and B because they're too similar, or some other reason(s).

 Note: cost and total available budget are not required to use the simulator it's an optional setting.

The top 3 choices will be highlighted in the simulator as shown above. This showcases the top 3 individual performers. Click on the Yes/No in the Include column for each item to switch from Yes/No to include or remove a product from the calculation.

View the percentage of respondents who preferred your choices separately or combined.

Click on the “All Combinations” tab of the Excel simulator to see details on all combinations.


If more than 15 items are being tested and available for TURF simulation, the number of possible combinations that can be explored are limited. This is due to limitations both in computing and Excel file dimensions. This is not a cut-off determined by unreasonable or not recommended combination sizes beyond the given limit.

Note: If you have more than 15 items in your TURF analysis and want to look at more combinations than provided by the simulator export please reach out. Our research and professional services team can consult with you on a custom simulator. 

If you have any additional questions please reach out to support@aytm.com or click the chat bubble at the bottom right to start a conversation. We look forward to hearing from you! 

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