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A perceptual map is a visual representation of how target customers view the competing alternatives in a space which represents the market.

Perceptual maps can have any number of dimensions but the most common is two dimensions. Any more is a challenge to draw and confusing to interpret. Let us consider two dimensions Luxury level and Price for automobiles. The follwing is perceptual map for cars.

Mercedes Benz


X Axis Price Y Axis Luxury Level

From the perceptual map we can identify the customers perception about Mercedes Benz( High Price with High Luxury Level) and TATA Nano( Low Price with Low Luxury Level). Displaying consumers perceptions of related products is only half the story. Many perceptual maps also display consumers ideal points. These points reflect ideal combinations of the two dimensions as seen by a consumer. The next diagram shows a study of consumers ideal points. Areas where there is a cluster of ideal points (such as A) indicates a market segment. Areas without ideal points are sometimes referred to as demand voids.

Purpose / Importance of Perceptual Mapping:

Perceptual map can used for the following purpose To Segment the market As mentioned earlier, the cluster ideal points indicates different s market segmennts. Companies use perceptual maps to identify the possible segmets.

In the above perceptual map we can divide the market into following segments based on two attributes / dimensions.


To Identify the Target Market : Companies use perceptual maps to find out the best segments to serve. Ie Identi fying target market. A company considering introducing a new product will look for areas with a high

density of ideal points. They will also look for areas without competitive rivals. This is best done by placing both the ideal points and the competing products on the same map.
To Position the Brand / Product:

After identifying the target market, companies should do the positioning of their brand / product. For better positioning company need to know the following things
Frame of reference.

Category in which company is going to compete.

Point of Parity

Minimum requirements to compete in the category.

Point of Difference

Points where you are claiming superiority or exclusiveness over other products in the category Companies can identify the above mentioned things from the perceptual map.

To identify the Close and distance competitors To identify the gaps in the market.


In the above example we are segmenting the beverages market into following 4 segments, HOT HFD HOT Non HFD COLD- Non HFD COLD HFD ( HFD Health Food Drink) For example HORLICKS perceived as Hot HFD and Coca- Cola perceived as Cold on HFD. These are customer perspectives about these two branded beverages. ie they =have identified their target markets.

Companies use this perceptual map to identify the

Close Competitors and Distance Competitors

Close Competitor to Horlicks is Bournvita and distance competitor is Coca- Cola or PEPSI. In order to compete against Bourvita (which contains chocolate ingredients) GSK(manufacturer of Horlicks) launched brand called Boost.
Non served market

In the above the perceptual map there is segment called COLD HFD is not served by any beverages. So companies can develop a new product in order to serve that particular segment.
Gaps in the Segment

We can see lots of gaps in the given perceptual maps. A beverage company can serve the customers in those gaps by using niche marketing strategy.


The above is perceptual map for management institutions. Great Lakes perceived as a management institution which charges high fees and offers placement with high salary. AIMS, Bangalore perceived as management institution which charges high fees and offers placement with low salary. Other engineering colleges in Chennai, perceived as management institution which charges low fees and offers placement with low salary. ANNA University Chennai, perceived as management institution which charges low fees and offers placement with high salary.

Perceptual maps are useful to both existing companies and companies which are trying to enter into market. New companies can use perceptual maps to identify and serve the target markets and position itself. Existing companies use perceptual maps to identify the customers perceptions about their product and competitors product. So, they can identify the point of difference which leads to competitive advantage. Existing companies can also perceptual maps to reposition their brands.



By R.Satheeshkumar 1042321 P.Srinivas- 1042330