Perceptual Mapping Concept Essay

Perceptual Mapping Perceptual mapping is a graphics technique used by asset marketers that attempts to visually display the perceptions of customers or potential customers. Typically the position of a product, product line, brand, or company is displayed relative to their competition. Creating a Perceptual Map The way to determine a product or service’s current position in the marketplace compared to the competition is with a customer perceptual map. Example: Choose a product or service and identify three companies who manufacture it. For example, you might choose peanut butter as the product you will study.

Then identify three peanut butter manufacturers. Next create two questions about how the peanut butter product is positioned compared to its competitors, the other two brands of peanut butter. Ask six people your questions and plot their answers on your perceptual map. Analyze your results, draw conclusions (such as, do you think the product or service is competing head-on or is avoiding competition? ), and if needed, make recommendations about the positioning of your chosen product. Perceptual maps can have any number of dimensions but the most common is two dimensions.

We will write a custom essay sample on
Perceptual Mapping Concept Essay
or any similar topic only for you
Order now

Any more is a challenge to draw and confusing to interpret. 1) The first perceptual map below shows consumer perceptions of various automobiles on the two dimensions of sportiness/conservative and classy/affordable. This sample of consumers felt Porsche was the sportiest and classiest of the cars in the study (top right corner). They felt Plymouth was most practical and conservative (bottom left corner). Cars that are positioned close to each other are seen as similar on the relevant dimensions by the consumer. For example consumers see Buick, Chrysler, and Oldsmobile as similar.

They are close competitors and form a competitive grouping. A company considering the introduction of a new model will look for an area on the map free from competitors. Some perceptual maps use different size circles to indicate the sales volume or market share of the various competing products. 2) Many perceptual maps also display consumers’ ideal points. These points reflect ideal combinations of the two dimensions as seen by a consumer. The next diagram shows a study of consumers’ ideal points in the alcohol/spirits product space. Each dot represents one respondent’s ideal combination of the two dimensions.

Areas where there is a cluster of ideal points (such as A) indicates a market segment. Areas without ideal points are sometimes referred to as demand voids. A company considering introducing a new product will look for areas with a high density of ideal points. They will also look for areas without competitive rivals. This is best done by placing both the ideal points and the competing products on the same map. 3) Brand positioning As we have argued in our other revision notes on branding, it is the “added value” or augmented elements that determine a brand’s positioning in the market place. Positioning can be defined as follows:

Positioning is how a product appears in relation to other products in the market Brands can be positioned against competing brands on a perceptual map. A perceptual map defines the market in terms of the way buyers perceive key characteristics of competing products. The basic perceptual map that buyers use maps products in terms of their price and quality, as illustrated below: Generally speaking, there are two methods of interpretation of an MDS perceptual map. The first is subjective in nature. For example, we might look at how a group of casino hotels in Las Vegas rate against each other.

Here, one looks at the distance between casinos. The closer the casinos are to each other on the perceptual map, the more they are perceived to be similar. Conversely, the further apart they are, the more dissimilar. We might find that the Station Casinos in Las Vegas are considered most similar to each other. Similarly, properties such as the Las Vegas Hilton, MGM Grand, and Luxor could be perceived to be alike. Perceptual mapping in this instance is used to consider the properties of the casinos occupying extreme positions in the derived space and then to attempt o identify possible attributes that explain the relative positions. Using the Las Vegas casino hotel example, we might find that the casinos appearing at the top of the ‘y’ axis represent properties that are more geared to tourists, while casinos at the bottom of the ‘y’ axis are more geared to the ‘locals’ market. Another interpretation may be casinos on the bottom are more ‘downscale’, while casinos on the top are more ‘upscale’. Again, interpretation of perceptual maps is subjective in nature. The second method of interpretation of perceptual maps is termed ‘property fitting. Continuing with our Las Vegas hotel casino example, the property fitting places the attributes that the respondents used to rate the different casinos in the same perceptual space as the casinos, to aid in interpretation of the casinos’ positioning. The attributes are placed in the same perceptual space using multiple regression techniques. Essentially, the mean, or average, rating of each of the measured attributes is taken individually and regressed on the derived space coordinates (from the algorithm used to generate the perceptual map).

One important by-product of the regressions, besides the R2, which shows how important each variable is in defining the perceptual space, is the beta weights generated by the regression. There is one beta weight generated for each stimulus point. These beta weights are used to calculate the coordinates for the attribute vector. The positioning of the rated casinos along with the vectors derived via property fitting is then often drawn manually on the map. Vectors are simply lines that are drawn through the ‘ideal point’ for a combination of factors under study, from the origin on the map.

The ‘ideal point’ does not always mean that this is a perfect combination of attributes – it only means that this is the overall preference for the group of respondents rating the attributes or products. Each vector is a line that passes through an ideal point and the graph’s origin. Once the ideal points are established, a perpendicular line from the hotel to each vector shows the influence of these attribute vectors on the placement of the hotels. While the vectors are shown pointing only in the positive irection, it is useful to remember that they continue in the negative direction as well. Using our casino example, a casino on the negative side of the line is thought to have less of that particular attribute, while casinos on the positive side of the line are thought to have more of a particular attribute. Once a business manager obtains the perceptual maps and has fitted the properties under study onto the map, the map may be used to determine how far away the current product is from meeting the ideal combination, as specified by the survey respondents.

If the goal of the analysis is to look at repositioning a property or product, the manager would look at the placement of his or her property with relation to each vector to see how far away their property rates from the ideal. The manager might also look at products or properties against which he or she wishes to compete. The manager would determine the types of attributes (or lack of attributes) that the competition has so the property can be redesigned to more closely resemble the desired competitive set.


Hi there, would you like to get such a paper? How about receiving a customized one? Check it out