What are perceptual maps?
Brand perceptual maps are also referred to as positioning maps or marketing maps.
They are visual representations of how consumers perceive your brand and how competitors are positioned in relation to your business.
They usually appear in the form of a two-dimensional chart with horizontal and vertical axes.
The horizontal and vertical axes represent different attributes that you rate on a scale.
The specific attributes or criteria are essential to the target audience and are used to identify market gaps that might be exploited.
Perceptual maps consist of attributes such as: price, quality, performance, packaging, size, features, safety and reliability.
Besides identifying gaps in the market, the brand perceptual maps helps organizations to understand the thoughts and behaviors of consumers. They also helps them gain insight into their competition and track market trends. That way the companies can create and develop unique brand identity.
Using this powerful visual tool, you can determine a brand’s current and desired position.
In addition, you can predict its marketplace performance and track marketing strategy.
In order to gain meaningful insights in your current business positioning in the market, it is best to create multiple mappings. For example, create one for your brand and the other for the marketplace.
Do that by using different sets of attributes that are important to the target audience.
This way you will be provided with important information such as evaluating your brand, competitors and the marketplace.
Gather the insights from your competitive analysis to create a perceptual map that shows you where your brand stands relative to competitors.
For a start, apply price and quality in constructing your brand perceptual map.
Don’t forget to focus on the primary consumer needs or service benefits along the way. You want to understand and track every possible parameter, which will vary depending on the market.
Make your position map
Make your own position map by following these steps:
- Draw a horizontal line, the X-axis across the middle of a document/ paper.
Then draw a vertical line, the Y-axis, halfway across the horizontal line so you have a box divided into quadrants.
- Think of two attributes important to your customers. If one of the attributes is “Reliability” name your horizontal axis as “Reliable”. The left side of the horizontal line stands for unreliable and the right side stands for reliable.
- Second attribute important to your customers might be ‘’Safety’’. Therefore, the bottom of your vertical line should represent low safety while the top of your vertical line represents high safety.
- Draw a circle to depict each of your competitors on the graph where you think they stand in the minds of the customers.
- Match the relative size of the circle to the brand’s market share- the bigger the circle, the greater the share of the market.
- Finally, put your own brand, company or service where you think it belongs on the graph.
Include the size of the circle to represent your market share relative to the competition.
In conclusion, market positioning strategy is a key element of your brand development and perceptual maps are great part of it.
Consider brand mapping as you seek to surface market insights, communicate brand direction and ensure alignment of your brand strategies.
Work through your company values in order to set a strong foundation to your branding. Afterwards, strive to achieve desired goals for your business.