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Perceptual mapping refers to techniques that enable managers to develop differentiation and positioning strategies by helping them to visualize the competitive structure of their markets as perceived by their customers. Typically, data for mapping are customer perceptions of existing products (and new concepts)along various attributes, perceptions of similarities between brands, customer preferences for products, or measures of behavioral response of customers toward the products (e.g., current market shares of the products). Maps generated by this software are spatial representations in Euclidean space that have the following characteristics: (1) The pairwise distances between product alternatives directlyindicate the “perceived similarities” between any pair of products, i.e., how close or far apart the products are in the minds of customers. (2) A vector on the map (shown by a blue or red line) indicates both magnitude and direction in the Euclidean space. The length of a vector indicates its magnitude. A blue vector geometrically denotes product attributes (i.e., direction in which the labeledattribute corresponding to a vector is increasing) and a red vector denotes the direction in which an individual’s preferences are increasing. (3) The axes of the map are a special set of vectors that could represent the underlying dimensions that best characterize how customers differentiate between alternatives. One way to interpret the axes is to look for attributes that are most closelycorrelated with each axis. The smaller the angle between an axis and an attribute, the higher is the correlation. This software implements the MDPREF perceptual mapping model, which is based on a factor-analytic procedure. In addition, the software implements PREFMAP-3, which enables users to introduce for each respondent a preference-vector onto a given perceptual map. Typically, a perceptual map isderived from the averaged perception data from a target segment, whereas the preference map is derived from individual-level preference data. This two-step procedure, referred to as joint-space mapping with external analysis, is based on the assumption that a target segment has a common set of perceptions among the choice alternatives, but each respondent has different preferences for thosealternatives.

Note: All the procedures in this software are based on “vector” methods. Thus, we do not include “ideal-point” or unfolding models.

The following example illustrates the use of mapping for developing a positioning strategy for Infiniti G20. We describe the data in detail in the exercise in the text on pages 149 and following. From the Model menu, select Positioning Analysis. You willbe prompted for a data file. For this example, select the file called G20.DAT. If you enter your own data sets, make sure that the columns are the products (or alternatives to be evaluated) and the rows contain the attribute evaluations of the products.

* Tutorial 5, March 2005


5. Tutorial

After the file loads, you will see the following split-screen window:

Note: If you makechanges to the data to evaluate alternative solutions, the program will not automatically save these changes. To save the changes (under a separate file if necessary) go to the File menu and click Save As.

Positioning Analysis On the Setup menu, click Setup to select the parameters for the run.


Number of dimensions: Enter either 2 or 3. If you choose a three-dimensional map, the programwill produce three two-dimensional maps (Dim 1 with Dim 2, Dim1 with Dim 3, and Dim2 with Dim3). Label Size: Because long labels might clutter the map(s), you can control the length of labels in the map by specifying between one and 15 characters. Perceptual Map: This is the default option. For input it relies on customers’ average perceptions of a set of alternatives on a set of attributes. For...
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