In their daily work, marketers reach for various types of tools that allow them to conduct an analysis of the brand’s situation in the market, and then take appropriate actions to improve it and achieve better results. From SWOT analysis to Porter’s 5 Forces analysis to consumer research, each of the aforementioned tools provides support in building a marketing strategy.

When conducting consumer research, it’s especially worth reaching for the perception map solution. Below we explain exactly what it is, what benefits it brings to the marketing field, and how to develop it to achieve better results and gain a competitive advantage in the market.

Perception map in marketing – what is this tool?

A perception map in marketing is a tool that helps to understand how consumers perceive different brands, products or services concerning selected characteristics or attributes. It is a graphical representation of consumer opinions on a two-dimensional graph, where each axis represents a different attribute. Individual attributes can be freely indicated by the company in question – depending on what they are currently (or would like to be) associated with.

Each time, however, they should be tailored to the brand and its competitors to ensure that the results obtained can be compared and analyzed. Examples of qualities that might appear on the X and Y axes are price, quality, innovation, durability, luxury or eco-friendliness.

Benefits of using a perception map in marketing

Why is a perception map a valuable tool for companies in various industries? Mainly because it helps understand how customers perceive the products offered or the brand as a whole about the competition. The visual form of representation allows for a quick understanding of what the brand’s strengths are and where improvements may be needed.

Moreover, it provides an opportunity to compare the brand with others in the same industry, so you can easily identify what the competitive advantage is and take appropriate marketing actions to strengthen your position in the market. Sometimes this tool can also identify a niche that is poorly covered by the competition – both in the area of opportunities to develop the product or service you have, as well as to reach new groups of customers.

How does one create a perception map in marketing?

A perception map is created based on a customer survey, usually conducted in the form of a questionnaire, in which consumers rate products or brands based on indicated criteria. For example, in the case of the automobile industry, consumers may be asked to rate different car brands on attributes such as price and luxury.

The results are then presented on a graph with two coordinate axes, where each attribute is represented by a different axis, and the averaged point (corresponding to the results obtained by the brand or product) represents the place of the brand and its competitors. It is worth remembering that the use of the tool in question requires an appropriate research sample and careful design of survey questions to obtain reliable and valuable results.

Developing your perception map in 7 steps

If you would like to prepare your own perception map and achieve the benefits indicated above, you must follow the steps below:

  1. Select features/attributes: decide what features or attributes of products or brands you want to investigate, but remember to match them to your industry and the objectives of the survey you are conducting.
  2. Prepare a survey: create a survey with questions about perceptions of specific products or brands concerning selected characteristics, and then plan how to send it to customers. You can conduct the survey both online and offline, depending on the preferences and availability of your target audience.
  3. Choose a target audience: identify the group of consumers who will ensure that you meet the survey objective. You can decide to send the survey to customers of specific brands, people of a certain gender, age or location, or to the general population of consumers (it is best to implement this activity in cooperation with a specialized research agency).
  4. Conduct a survey: ask respondents to fill out a questionnaire, rating individual products or brands on selected characteristics (e.g., giving them corresponding points on a scale of 1 to 5 points).
  5. Analyze the results: after collecting the responses, proceed to analyze the results of the surveys. Collect all the data in a suitable form for easy comparison, e.g., in a spreadsheet or in special software created for statistical data analysis.
  6. Develop a perception map: based on the results of the surveys received, create a coordinate graph, within which each axis represents a different attribute or characteristic. Place points corresponding to different products or brands on the corresponding positions on the chart (depending on the results of the surveys).
  7. Interpret the results obtained: organize brainstorming around the chart you created to understand how customers perceive particular products or brands in relation to selected characteristics. Conclusions from the analysis will help you better understand your position in the market in comparison with your competitors and adjust the marketing activities you implement.
perception map

Perception map in marketing – summary

The perception map is a tool that has been used for years by marketers working in different industries – but still just as effective. Firstly, it provides valuable information that helps to better understand how a brand is perceived in the market and what consumers’ preferences are.

As a result, the company can make more informed and accurate marketing decisions (e.g., in terms of the activities carried out, external communications carried out, etc.), which in the long run contributes to improving the company’s position in the market, increasing customer satisfaction and standing out among competitors. It is worth using a perception map in marketing – especially because its use does not involve more effort (compared to other available options).

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What is a perception map in marketing and how to use it? klaudia brozyna avatar 1background

Author: Klaudia Kowalczyk

A graphic & UX Designer which conveys into design what cannot be conveyed in words. For him, every used color, line or font has a meaning. Passionate in graphic and web design.