Monthly Archives: April 2011

Positioning and perception mapping

Perception mapping is a tool that can aid in visualizing how people perceive a product or service as measured by product attributes. They are usually arrayed on an X-Y axis that compare two different attributes such as quality and price. Here’s a typical example using local restaurants.

a typical, 2-attribute perception map
A typical, 2-attribute perception map

This graph circles depicts American cuisine establishments with O’s and foreign food restaurants with X’s. This example also shows a spot where a new restaurant is considering placing itself. As far as it goes, this depiction can be of use, but more often than not, more than two attributes need to be considered.

So I like to array the attributes in a star diagram. Below is one charting six different attributes based upon a telephone research study. It charts the group’s perceptions of eight different local restaurants.

positioning using a star perceptual map
Positioning using a star perceptual map

Then, specific comparisons can also be made as demonstrated below. I then can isolate various competitive types – foreign or American foods, high-priced or low priced, etc., and consider how they perform by other attributes as demonstrated below.Positioning map for 3 restaurants

I just find this a more complete approach to evaluating, and ultimately positioning, category participants.