Study Notes for Perceptual Maps

What is a perceptual map?

A perceptual map is of the visual technique designed to show how the average target market consumer understands the positioning of the competing products in the marketplace.

The following chart is an example of a perceptual map.

example perceptual map using the template


What are the Main Types of Perceptual Maps?

1. Using two determinant attributes only (common in most marketing textbooks). This simply uses two determinant attributes on the graph.

2. Using many product attributes. This shows both multiple attributes and product positions.

3. Joint perceptual maps. This map includes target market preferences as well as brands.

What are determinant attributes?

Determinant attributes are the attributes a consumer uses when they are determining their choice between competitive offerings – they are the most important and are used to distinguish between offerings.

Why use perceptual maps?

  • Check reality of consumer’s perceptions
  • Impact of the firm’s campaigns and marketing mix changes
  • Monitor the positioning of new products
  • Monitor the impact competitive positioning
  • Look for market gaps – for the new product process
  • Understand segments further
  • Track changes in consumer preferences

What are the data sources for perceptual maps?

A suitable market research study
Relying upon management’s experience.

What is meant by “perception is reality”?

This means that the firm needs to consider how consumers actually perceive the positioning of different products, rather than a technical or objective assessment of the product.

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