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Perceptual maps

Understanding perceptual maps
A finger pointing at a map
© ULAW Business School


A useful tool for determining the positioning of your competitors so that it is easier to spot gaps in the market, is to construct a perceptual map of the industry. This is a visual representation of consumer perceptions of the competitors in a market their relative position to each other. The key steps for developing a perceptual map are:

  1. Identify a set of competing brands

  2. Identify important attributes that consumers consider when buying

  3. Conduct quantitative research where brands are scored against the attributes

  4. Plot the findings on a two-dimensional map

Below is an example of a perceptual map of the car industry.

An example of a perceptual map of the car industry

Perceptual maps are useful for spotting gaps in markets and planning strategic moves to fill them. These maps are also useful for senior management to assess if their own assessment of their brand is in line with the one of the customers.

© ULAW Business School
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