Perceptual mapping - Marketing Strategy

Mapping consumer perceptions can allow an organization to see where it is currently placed compared with competitors’offerings. A simple perceptual map is based upon two axes representing key attributes in a particular market. These attributes are identified though market research and are determined by consumers’ perceptions of the important factors in a market. This could, for example, be price and quality, or style and performance, or a range of other issues. Products/ companies, or more particularly brands, can then be placed according to their position on these attributes (see Figure below).

In the case of Figure below, in the hotel market the key attributes are deemed to be the price and the facilities. Hotel A on this map is seen as expensive but with a full range of facilities. The Hotel Bis perceived to be inexpensive but with limited facilities. Both of these are reasonably consistent offerings. Hotel C, however, is seen as expensive but with an intermediate level of facilities. This position does not offer any unique aspects. There may, of course, be more than two key attributes in a market. Figure below does’t map out quality – Hotel C may be seen as having high service quality, for instance. To gain a fuller picture, obviously more than one positioning map can be developed. There are also more sophisticated three-dimensional mapping techniques available for marketers to use.

A perceptual map of various hotels

A perceptual map of various hotels

Through the use of perceptual maps marketers can establish the current situation in a particular market. There will then be a number of alternatives from which to choose.

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