In today’s class we learnt the concept of Perceptual Mapping. A perceptual map is a visual representation of how to target customers views the competing alternatives in the market. Perceptual mapping has been used as a strategic management tool.
It offers a unique ability to communicate the complex relationships between marketplace competitors and the criteria used by buyers in making purchase decisions and recommendations. Its powerful graphic simplicity appeals to senior management and can stimulate discussion and strategic thinking at all levels of all types of organizations.
To gain competitive advantage, a firm must correctly position itself, its products, or services against competitive offerings. It can be used to plot the interrelationships of consumer products, industrial goods, institutions, as well as populations. Virtually any subjects that can be rated on a range of attributes can be mapped to show their relative positions in relation both to other subjects as well as to the evaluative attributes.
It has the following characteristics:
· Pair-wise distances between products: it indicates how close or how far apart the products are in the mind of the customers.
· A vector on the map indicates: it indicates both magnitude and direction.
Determining the attribute importance and mapping the product, we can discover how the brand and competing brands are perceived in the marketplace. Perceptual mapping can provide significant insight into how a market operates.
There are two possible methodologies to collect information on consumer’s perception of products which are as follows:
· Overall similarity-based method.
· Attributes based method
Product mapping shows which products compete in people’s minds and suggests how a product can be positioned to maximize preference and sales.Product mapping produces a map or a picture of a market. The map shows how products are perceived on specific features or attributes like reputation, price quality etc. Product maps are easy to interpret and convey a tremendous amount of information in a single picture.
The uses of perceptual mapping are:
It helps to do customer analysis and competitive analysis. We can understand the competitive market structure as perceived by customer. It represents customer’s perception in a manner that aids communication and discussion within the organization. It also helps in finding the gap in the market to position the product.
Author- Sonija Dhungel