In planning their positioning, marketers often prepare perceptual maps that show consumer perceptions of their brand versus competing brands on attributes that are important to the consumer, whether functional or symbolic.
Perceptual Maps are useful for these key reasons:
Assessing strengths and weaknesses relative to competing brands along certain criteria important to the customer.
This is revealed by the positions of the marketer's brand and competing brands along the axes.
Identification of competitive advantage for the brand
Perceptual maps show differentiation among products in the customer's mind.
For example, in a perceptual map representing the car market based on two dimensions, “conservative “ vs. “sporty” and “classy/ distinctive” vs. “practical/affordable,” Porsche will probability be seen as the classiest and sportiest of the cars in consumers’ minds, providing the brand with a strong competitive advantage. Assess opportunities for new brands, as well as for repositioning existing brands.
Identifying market opportunities
Empty spaces near an ideal point (meaning an attractive market segment) on the perceptual map represent potential market opportunities.
See how ideal points are moving
In addition, perceptual maps show how ideal points shift as markets mature, and therefore a brand might shift its positioning in order to retain or gain a competitive advantage.
What do you do when your product’s features are not registering with customers? If a brand has a competitive advantage on an attribute that is not salient, marketers can educate their customers as to why it is important and show them why they should care about this