Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Perceptual Mapping – An attractive tool for Entrepreneurs!

One thing which, almost, each one of us understood from the concept of Perceptual Mapping was its application by various organizations for understanding their customers’ perceptions about various aspects of their services/products. This, in turn, helps them to take future strategic decisions for the growth and sustainability of organization in the larger marketplace.
According to me, it is a kind of feedback system which the organization utilizes to gauge itself among its peers and also within its internal benchmarking systems. This is one of the many applications of perceptual mapping.
Going a step forward, the other application is the use of this tool by Entrepreneurs.
An entrepreneur, who wishes to enter an established marketplace, should use the “market mapping” technique to strategize the exact positioning of the product/service that would be offered in the marketplace with appropriate differentiation. In this globalized environment, where there are product categories that span across all segments, a proper STP is just inevitable for a successful “lift-off”.
The market map illustrates the range of “positions” that a product can take in a market based on two dimensions that are important to customers.
Examples of those dimensions might be:
• High price vs. low price
• Basic quality vs. High quality
• Low volume vs. high volume
• Necessity vs. luxury
• Light vs. heavy
• Simple vs. complex
• Low-tech vs. high-tech
• Young vs. Old
Let’s look at an illustrated example of a market map. The map below shows one possible way in which the chocolate bar market could be mapped against two dimensions – quality and price:

One way is to identify where there are “gaps in the market” – where there are customer needs that are not being met. Entrepreneurs/Organizations analyze this aspect carefully and take subsequent actions.
For example, in the chocolate bar market, Divine Chocolate (a social enterprise) successfully spotted that some consumers were prepared to pay a premium price for very high quality chocolate made from Fairtrade cocoa. Green & Black’s exploited the opportunity to sell premium chocolate made from organic ingredients. Both these brands successfully moved into the high quality / high price quadrant (see above) before too many competitors beat them to it.
But again, the trick with a market map is to ensure that market research confirms whether or not there is actually any demand for a possible “gap in the market”. There may be very good reasons why consumers do not want to buy a product that might, potentially, fill a gap.
So, all you aspiring entrepreneurs out there, make sure you don’t miss out on this useful tool going forward. All the best!

Concept & Author: Yogesh Raisinghani
Inputs from source: http://tutor2u.net/business/marketing/brands_positioning.asp

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