Perception Map-A visual representation of consumers ' preferences for certain brands

Source: Internet
Author: User

What is a perceptual map?

Perception map is a visual representation of a consumer's perception and preference for a series of products or brands. The aim is to try to express the perception of the consumer or potential consumer with an intuitive, visualized image. In particular, the use of products, product lines, brand positioning, will also be used to describe the relative position of enterprises and competitors.

The perception map shows the difference in the impressions of the brands in the consumer mind.


Axis on behalf of consumers to evaluate the characteristics of the brand, the above points corresponding to the major brands in the market, it is in the position of the map represents the consumer's performance on the key characteristics of the evaluation.

Perceptual graphs can be multidimensional, and the most common scenario is two-dimensional. The most important thing is how to draw and explain. The following brand perception chart shows how consumers perceive different brands of cars through a description of two dimensions (sporty/conservative; upscale, distinctive/practical, affordable). In this case, the consumer feels that Porsche (the top right corner) is the most sporty and superlative of the cars in the study. And they think Plymouth Plymouth (the bottom left corner) is the most practical and most conservative.


The proximity of the brand means that for consumers these brands are similar in related dimensions. As the above example, consumption is considered Buick Buick, Chrysler Chrysler and Oldsmobile are similar. These brands have a close competitive relationship, forming a competitive group. For new models to enter the market, companies usually pick a place where there are no other competitors on the perception map. Some perceptual graphs also use rings of different sizes to represent the sales or market share of different competing products.

[Edit] The perceptual map of the ideal point and the aggregation group

Perception graphs not only show consumers ' perception of the product, but many perceptual graphs can also show the ideal point of consumer demand. These points reflect the consumer's ideal point for these two dimensions. The following figure shows the ideal point for consumers in research on alcohol/alcohol products. Each point represents a consumer's ideal combination of these two dimensions. Places where there are many ideals (such as a), indicating that there is a market segment. And there is no ideal place to say there is a demand vacuum.


For new products to enter the market, companies usually pick a place in the perceptual map of high density gathered a lot of ideal points to enter, but also look for the location without competitors to enter. The best thing to do is to put the ideal point and the competing product on the same perceptual map.

[Edit] A competitive product perception diagram with an ideal vector

Some perceptual graphs use ideal vectors instead of ideal points. As shown in the following diagram, the performance of different aspirin products in the efficacy dimension and the mild dimension of the drug is shown, as well as the two ideal vectors. The slope of the ideal vector points to the preference ratio of the consumers in this subdivision group to these two dimensions. The study points to the existence of a subdivision that cares more about the effects of medicine than on the physical discomfort of the drug, and another group of people who are more concerned about whether the drug is mild or not, and that the effect is in the secondary position.


[Edit] The drawing and interpretation of perceptual graphs

The perception map does not have to go through a detailed study, it can also be intuitive map (also known as the judge chart or public opinion map), the market staff according to their understanding of the industry to draw out. The management staff used their best judgment. But it is doubtful how valuable this type of intuition graph is. Plausible, but often brought into the prejudices of business managers.

When performing detailed market research, the problem of execution methods arises, but at least the information comes directly from the consumer. By using statistical procedures to classify, the original data collected in the survey are converted into perceptual graphs. Preference regression can produce ideal vectors. Multidimensional scale analysis can produce ideal points or competitor positions. Factor analysis, discriminant analysis, cluster analysis and logit analysis are all available. Some technologies are built through the perception of differences between products, while others are built by sensing similarities between products. There are some that are built by the demand price elasticity created by electronic scanning data. Perceptual maps are a useful graphical tool for product positioning in niche markets.

There are several common perceptual mapping methods, including factor analysis (Factor analyses), Multidimensional scale scales (multidimensional scaling), discriminant analysis (discriminant Analytical) and Correspondence analysis (correspondence analyses). In this paper, we will take the factor analysis and correspondence analysis as an example to make some simple comparisons, and briefly explain the method of using tool software to draw perceptual graphs. [1]

  1. Factor analysis (Factor)[1]

In case project, using perceptual graph to compare several Chinese input methods, this paper describes the process of drawing perceptual graph by factor analysis.

Factor analysis is a multivariate statistical method that transforms several measured variables into a few unrelated comprehensive indexes. In practical application, it is an effective method to reduce the variables. As we all know, the cognition of things is often multi-dimensional, such as Chinese input method software, will be in the input speed, accuracy, easy to learn, easy to operate, interface-friendly and so on five different cognitive evaluation. and choose which kind of input method software, often is the result of comprehensive consideration in many aspects. The role of factor analysis is that multiple dimensions can be reduced to a few common factors and interpreted. In the research of the input method software, first adopt the method of 5 level scale, request the interviewee to evaluate several input method software in the above dimension, then, through the SPSS software to analyze the factor, reduce the evaluation of the above five dimensions to two factors, the factor load (Loading) 1 is as follows:

  Rotation Factor Load Matrix

1 2
Easy to learn .160 .913
Simple operation .340 .832
Fast speed .755 .238
Input accuracy .855 .126
Friendly interface .698 .297

Figure 15 Dimension reduction to two-dimensional factor analysis

By analyzing the load on the two factors (principal component) extracted from five original dimensions, it can be found that the load is high, the input is accurate, the interface is friendly on the factor 1, and the load is relatively easy to learn and operate simply on the factor 2. Easy to learn, easy to operate, highlighting the ease of use of the software, and speed, input accuracy and so on highlighted the ease of use of the software, so we can name the Factor 1 "usability", Factor 2 is named "Ease of use."

Save the factor score for each respondent on two factors as a variable, as shown in 2:


Using the two saved factor score variables, you can draw the perceptual graph shown in Figure 3.


Figure 3: Input Method perceptual graph drawn by factor analysis method

  2. Correspondence Analysis (correspondence analyses)[1]

Correspondence analysis is an analytical method for describing the relative relationship between two variables in a low-dimensional space (low-dimensional spaces). The IMS software used by CCTV's product "National Urban Consumer Survey (NCS)" and "National Readership Survey (CNRS)" provides this correspondence analysis capability. In this case, the Excel external plugin xlstat is used. Compared with factor analysis, it is much simpler to draw perceptual graphs by correspondence analysis. Still take the input method study as an example, the drawing process is simply explained.

First, asked respondents in three Chinese input method software, select the "which input method software is the most easy to learn", "which is the fastest" and so on, and then use SPSS to collect the data for cross-analysis (frequency), form a cross-table, and paste into Excel, 4 shows.


Figure 4: Cross table

Then, using Xlstat's correspondence analysis method to analyze, can directly output the perceptual graph, 5 shows:


Figure 5: Input Method perception graph drawn by correspondence analysis method

The perceptual graph in Figure 5 is also very easy to explain: the closer the input method is to the attribute, the more obvious its characteristics are, and the closer the input method is to the input method, the more obvious its competitive relationship is.

[Edit] The application of perceptual graphs [2]
1. New Product Decision:

Perceptual maps can be used to support new product decision making (dolan,1993). Perceptual mapping is particularly useful in the discovery opportunity phase of new product development, where gaps in the market can be identified and the focus of new product development is identified. Perceptual maps can also be used during the concept testing phase to evaluate the potential for new product concepts to develop in the context of existing other products and to identify segments that might like the product. General Motors used this perception map (see Figure 1) to evaluate the Biekrita car (Buick Reatta), not only evaluating the concept car, but also evaluating it after a test drive (Urban & star,1991). As a result, GM's managers feel reassured that it has a distinctive high-end image compared to other models in the Buick series (practice has proved that there is not enough market potential in this market gap.) Biekrita only sold thousands of cars, and then GM sold the inventory on a reduced price.

We also use perceptual graphs to select names for new products based on predetermined criteria. For example, at the writing stage, we evaluated the candidate's title, making it tedious, complex, cutting-edge, bluff, useful, and unique for some American business school teachers. The teachers answered a questionnaire after reading the book outlining and experimenting with the software. Another way to get the data you need to name a product is to ask the lead to think of everything that comes to mind when you hear a name, and then use the number of times you mention each property as the data to draw the perceptual graph.

2. Verify the manager's view of the competitive structure and positioning:

Marketing managers have their own views on the ways in which customers and non-customers look at different cards, and these views may differ from the actual situation in which different market segments are viewed. Perception maps can help managers understand whether their views are consistent with their customers ' perceptions, what differences exist, and why there are differences. For example, when a manager mentions the role of perceptual graphs, he says:

Some of the facts drawn from the study of perceptual graphs shocked us. We have always focused on the actual characteristics of the product as a basis for gaining a competitive advantage. But we find that the market is more interested in services (siemer,1989).

Windhoek (wind,1982,p.90) contrasted the customer's view of food and the "objective" view of food technologists (see Figure 2). The study evaluated 40 different brands and new product concepts from 12 properties. The results showed that there was nothing in common between the two sides on attributes such as composition, carbohydrate, protein and vitamins. However, the perception of calories, sugar, fat, cholesterol and cooking convenience is very close. This knowledge has prompted the company's new product positioning must not allow customers to overestimate some bad attributes, such as fertilizer increase. The objective data of many products can be obtained from the consumer report (Consumer Reports) and PC Magazine (PC Magazine), and sometimes these magazines provide perceptual graphs of these objective data. 3 It summarizes the price performance ratio of several brands of modems.

3. Identify competitors:

Many companies want their products to be different from competing products. But in some highly competitive markets, there are few market gaps or market opportunities, and it is hard to find a clear position. At this point, it is advisable to choose several of these competitors as a target based on the understanding of competitors ' weaknesses. Perceptual maps can show which properties are associated with close substitutes, which are the most unlikely to affect customer preferences (Wyner & owen,1994). In this way, perception maps can help managers gain insight into the differences that customers have not noticed between a number of competing products (that is, companies or competitors that have not successfully communicated these differences to customers), but also make them aware of product differences that customers notice but do not care about (i.e., product differentiation that does not significantly affect customer preferences, such as caffeine content twice the Jolt Cola of other cola).

4. Image or Prestige studies:

Image is the view of the target group to the enterprise. The aim of the study of image or prestige is to understand how the target group views the company and to design an image consistent with the company's strategic objectives. Perceptual mapping is a good tool to study the results of such studies.

The perceptual graph in Figure 4 contrasts with various retailers (ohnson,1994), such as regional chains, discount chains and hardware stores in the Chicago household goods segment. The study was carried out by the pressure of independent home-furnishing retailers across the United States from super malls such as Wal-Mart and Lloyd's (Lowe's) and Home Depot (home Depot). Perception maps are based on the customer's evaluation of 18 attributes on various retailers. As can be seen from the perception map, customers think Wal-Mart is the most convenient, two regional chains (Menards and handy Andy) problem is not easy to find goods and their favorite brands, ' Independent store customer service is the best. The three types of retailers are in a very different three segments of the perception map, with customers thinking that the regional chains are very similar (the location on the map is very close). Independent stores in order to survive in this market, can only maintain and strengthen their customer service advantage. About 40% of customers have been to independent stores in the past year. Perception maps also show that there are opportunities for new stores in this market, which can offer low-priced goods (perhaps with the appropriate reduction in service levels) to differentiate themselves from other retailers.

Perception Map-A visual representation of consumers ' preferences for certain brands

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