Perceptual Mapping a Manager Guide

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Dolan , Robert J. (1990) ,“ Perceptual Mapping: A Manager's Guide" , Neω Product Development Process , Addison叫1 esley Publishing Company , Inc.: Reading , Massachusetts , 95-109.

CAL licensed copy - Ul1αuthorised copying prohibited


Harvard Business School

g 閻590 間 121

July 5, 1990

Perceptual 關 apping: A 關 anager's
J. Introduction


Pictures are often more effective than words ,巴﹒忌, basketball coaches map out plays on miniblackboards during time-outs; a company's annual reports set out sales figures in a bar graph; and executives study maps of sales regions to identífy account concentration and territory developmen t. Similar pictures often play a role in new product development as evidenced by the common usage of terms like 可roduct positioning" and “ market structure." These terms seem to indicate that 也e manager is visualizing a map of the marketplace .in which brands are positioned against one another vying for the spot which consumers most desire. In strategic planning sessions , it is not unusual for a participant to pick up a marker and make his vision exp 1icit on a flip char t. For example, a V, P. of marketing for a men's tailored cI othing company might think of the dimensions of competition as mainly two: price and youthfulness of appeal and thus sketch out the "map" in Figure A. Products range from the very expensive Hickey Freeman for the mature person to Austìn Reed as branded low-price alternative for the younger set, to private label clothing. The strategic planners use this map as the focal point of a discussion on where the firm's new suit line should be plac巴 d.

Implicit1y , the group makes two assumptions in using the map 扭曲is way: (i) potential customers use these same two dimensions in differen世ating brands , i. e. , price andyouthfulness of appeal are key ωcustomers and (îi) the placement of a brand on the two dimensions reflects the beHefs of customers. If it is a reliable representation of the views of customers in the marketplace, this type of map can i1luminate discussions on target market selection , product design and product communications strategy. Since the perceptions of customers are key , a set of market research tools h的 been developed to produce maps based on hard consumer perception data. These data replace perhaps informed , but somewhat subjecti珊, judgment of managers , This note discusses these “ Perceptual Mapping" tools. Having given some ra世onale for the construction of maps , Section II discusses construction procedures and Section III presents some illustrative applications and details the uses of the maps.

Professor RobeIτ]. Dolan prepared thís note as the basís for c1ass díscussíon.

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Perceptual Mapping: A Manager's Guide Map of Competitors in Suit Business HIGH PRICE Brooks Brothers Brooks Brothers Brooksgate Hickey Freeman Hart Schaffner & Marx Christian Dior

Figure A

Polo Polo University


Austin Reed


Mass Merchants Private Label LOWPRICE

Mass Merchants Privaìe Label

11. Developing the Map One obvious way to develop the map of a product category is to ask a consumer to name the two most important differentiating characteristics and then rate each product on these characteristics. This might work reasonably well in some situa位ons. However, in general , it places too great a burden on respondents to result in re 1iable maps. There...
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