This Technique Will Help You Better Understand Your Market

Written by Courtney Raguso, Social Media Content Creator

When it comes to finding the optimal positioning for your brand and better understanding the market, a perceptual map is a great way to do that. So what exactly is a Perceptual Map? It’s essentially a strategizing tool that allows you to get a better visual representation of customers’ perceptions about specific attributes of a brand. These attributes can include quality, price, functionality, and reliability. Also known as position or market maps, this tool works by comparing these attributes by placing brands in the same industry relative to one another along two or more axes. So, you can either compare two attributes like quality vs price, or you can compare healthiness vs tastiness. The point of this is to find the optimal positioning for your brand and see where consumers’ attitudes differ from your brand to your competitors. This will help clearly define where you stand against your competition. A Perceptual Map not only helps define what your customers think about your brand and its competitors, but also can track market trends, identify gaps in the market, and even look for potential partners for collaboration. 

When it comes to building this type of map, there are some steps involved. First, you should define the attributes you want to compare with attributes of the brand that have the greatest impact on purchase decisions. Then,  you’ll want to get a focus group together because one person analyzing this won’t be enough. Although you may think you understand your brand positioning and your competitors, it helps to gather a group of consumers that can give their insight into the market. You can’t guess with accuracy, because if you have the wrong criteria, then the rest of your efforts are wasted. So ask your market what is important to them and see how they rate your competitors. Just keep in mind that you want a diverse set of participants because then you won’t get any biased results. For instance, wealthy consumers or ones that live in more affluent areas will have a different perception of brands than consumers who have less money and are less educated. It also helps to do some research yourself, and surveys are a great way to gain insight into consumer demographics and attitudes. The next step will be having the focus group position the different brands relative to their attributes. If you can’t get a focus group, you can always involve marketing professionals to help with the process. 

The most common format used is a 2D chart, where the x and y-axis represent different attributes that can be placed on a scale from low to high. During your focus session, you can then position products on the Perceptual Map by having them place each brand on the map based on their perception of the attributes they hold. Once you have your complete results, you can then interpret the map and strategize your marketing plan. When analyzing the map, you’ll want to look at your brand’s positioning compared to others. See which competitors have the same attributes as you. You also want to see if consumer attitudes toward your competitors match what you initially thought, and what areas in the map might suggest the potential for new business. The idea here is that you don’t want your brand to be too similar to other brands. So you’ll want to use this map to see where you can better position your brand to seem even more appealing. If consumers don’t see your brand in a positive light, then that’s your cue to change your strategy; we have experts that can help with that! 

At MSM DesignZ, we put in the time and energy needed for success, so you can ensure you are using every dollar for maximum return. With over 20 years in the business, we have watched marketing evolve from traditional to digital. Whether you need a website refresh, more attractive email, or a quality online presence, we can do it all. When we take on a client, we put in 110% and treat every brand as if it’s our own. We will always continue to place our clients’ needs at the heart of our operations. From web development to social media management, we’ll work directly with you to build a personalized strategy to not only retain but also gain business. We are assisting in all areas for our clients. Visit our contact page at, and we’ll work with you to devise a custom plan that will keep your brand alive and well. We look forward to working with you!