Evaluate how effective the survey was in measuring how you felt about a product.

Perception Map MIS and the Market Research Process.html

Perception Map/ MIS and the Market Research Process

An effective tool managers use to differentiate and position a product is a perception map—a graphical representation of what customers think of a brand and competitors. A perception map can have as many axes as there are attributes in a product. However, most companies do not choose more than three or four attributes because positioning the brand by more than four attributes could confuse the customer. It is important to recognize that even within the same target market, a brand can be rated high on certain attributes and low on others because different customers give different levels of importance to a brand’s attributes.


A perception map shows that the customers’ perceptions of a brand are quite different from what the company’s marketing managers are trying to communicate to the target market. These differences in perceptions can represent opportunities for the company to fulfill unsatisfied needs. Additionally, a brand’s position along the core attributes can be compared with that of its competitors.


A marketing information system (MIS) allows an organization to collect, sort, store, analyze, and disseminate marketing information. All information entering an MIS falls into one of two basic categories:


Internal information refers to information generated within the organization as a result of its everyday operations. Examples include sales force reports and customer satisfaction surveys.

External information refers to information generated and collected outside the organization by third parties. Examples include syndicated research reports published by companies, such as packaged facts and customer mailing lists.

Marketing research allows the marketing manager to know more about a specific problem. While he or she might have access to secondary sources of information on the target market, including previous research and data contained in the company’s MIS archives, there is no substitute for taking a fresh look at the actual conditions in the target market.


Perceptual mapping is a graphic display explaining the perceptions of customers with relation to product characteristics.


Review a step by step guide to perceptual mapping a step by step guide to constructing a perceptual map 


Additional Materials

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Interpreting a Perception Map


A sample of 320 car users, aged twenty to fifty-five years, is asked to rate brand C and its competitors on a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best) along six core attributes. The given table reflects how the users view the competing brands on each attribute.


Competing Brands Brand Attributes A B C Exterior Design 6.3 4.25 4.12 Popularity 1.95 8.2 4.08 Service Offerings 3.1 4.95 7.15 Affordability 1.95 6.2 7.95 Engine Performance 2.2 6.15 3.9


Safety 2.2 4.25 6.8 What insight do you gain from the perceptual map?


Expert’s opinion:


After studying the graphical representation of the rankings, it is clear that brand C is weak on exterior design, somewhat middle of the road for popularity and engine performance, and quite strong on service offerings, affordability, and safety.


What positioning strategy can be formulated for brand C using the information provided by the perceptual map?


Expert’s opinion:


Brand C has many possible positioning strategies to choose from. Here are three examples:


• If the customers’ perceptions match management’s own perceptions of the company’s strengths and weaknesses, the company may choose to maintain the status quo and not make any changes.


• If the customers’ perceptions match management’s own perceptions of the company’s strengths and weaknesses, the company may also choose to enhance its strengths to increase the differentiation gap and solidify its competitive advantage. For example, the company may increase safety to increase differentiation against brand B.


• If the customers’ perceptions do not match management’s own perceptions, then management has to decide if the weaknesses perceived by the customers, on popularity, for example, may be overlooked by the market without resulting in loss of market share. If not, the company may choose to reposition brand C to increase popularity to match or exceed brand A’s ranking.





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