10-1 Positioning & Perceptual Mapping

Segmentation
Divvies up your market by customer types

Helps target the appropriate consumer/customer

Focuses your marketing efforts to specific customer/consumer groups

Is customer or product/service-focused

Positioning
Differentiates one’s own product or service from other competing entries in the marketplace

Positioning is different from segmentation, but can be done with/without segmentation

Helps you look for open opportunities

* Strategic in nature, through tactics are born from it

Facts About Positioning
1. Not what you do to a product, but what you do in the mind of a prospect/consumer

2. Based on communication and must take place at the right time and under the right circumstances

3. Helps your brand enter the prospect’s mind

4. If your brand does not resonate with the prospect, you have a positioning problem

Positioning is Based on Messaging and Communications
Advertising, websites, PR, mailers, emails, inserts, etc.
Key Elements of Positioning
Positioning “planks” are the individual components of the messaging

Positioning compares products/services against each other

positioning is brand-specific

Positioning elements are a product of strategic MR

Requirements for Effective Positioning
1. Uniqueness

2. Importance / Desirability

3. Believability

Relationship Among the Three Components
All 3 components are in the mind of the consumer (psychological yet marketing-focused)

Not all 3 are found in any one positioning plank/statement

The unique claim rests on plausible support *

An effective positioning statement then must be unique and plausible in order to be an effective positioning plank

7 Key Questions to Ask About Strategic Positioning
1. Is this position already taken by a competitor?
2. Is the feature/benefit important to the target market?
3. Is there objective evidence to support our positioning?
4. Can we deliver against this claim?
5. Do our prospects/customers now believe we can deliver?
6. What kind of support must we present to make out claim even more believable?
7. How much promotion effort will be required to register this position firmly in the minds of the target market?
Perceptual Maps
Perception is the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the environment

Follows that the position of a brand is based on the perceptions of the target market

Perception and Marketing
As marketers, we generally control the perception of consumers IF all information flows through marketing channels
Perception as Researchers
As researchers, we may be interested in how consumers perceive products and services
Perceptual Space
Marketers and market researchers sometimes use perceptual maps to identify where brands are positioned in “perceptual space”
Perceptual Maps can be Created Using…
Factor Analysis (FA)

Discriminant Function Analysis (DFA)

Multidimensional Scaling (MDS)

Correspondence Analysis

Perceptual maps and CHECK POWERPOINT

Data Requirements
Individual-Level Data

Aggregate-Level Data

Individual-Level Data
FA and DFA only need brand ratings
– Likert scales widely used
– Basis variables can be of many didfferent types

MDS needs special data
— Requires “similarity” data” between brands
— Similarity data pairs each brand for comparison
–Uses Likert scales

Aggregate-Level Data
Correspondence analysis uses categorical data/contingency tables
Caveats on Perceptual Maps
1. MDS “similarity data” is very taxing on the respondent

2. Labeling of axes often difficult

3. Interpretation of the maps is often difficult

4. Perceptual maps may not be actionable

Perceptual maps may not be actionable

Questions about…

How do the maps translate to changes in positioning?

How are positioning planks derived from the maps?

How are changes in messaging and communications made based on the maps?

How are the maps strategic in nature?

Positioning Based on Needs…
Is more actionable
Positioning Based on Needs
1. Means-end chain analysis can produce relevant needs/benefits

Myers calls this Benefit Structure Analysis (BSA)

Myers notes that needs-based segments are superior

Process
Needs-based positioning starts with qualitative work (laddering) to uncover the benefits consumers seek from a product category
Benefits
Benefits are between attributes and values
Positioning based on needs produces…
A positioning Opportunity Profile (POP) (HPI)
POP
Reveals the competitive strengths and weaknesses for two competing brands
POP Charts Produce Relative Positions
1. Cost of entry
2. Brand superiority
3. Brand deficiencies
4. Open opportunities
Process of “Building” a POP Study
1. Qualitative work to uncover/ladder needs

2. Two types of survey/quantitative data are collected (importance and performance)

3. Data analysis focuses on importance and performance (the axes of the resulting charts are importance and performance)

4. Importance must be cut into 2 or 3 categories (importance categories can be made many ways)

5. Performance/delivery is brand relative

6. A chart is built where importance is plotted by performance (4 quadrants)

7. POP charts can be constructed for different segments

Two types of survey/quantitative data are collected…
Importance – general, not brand specific

Performance/delivery – specific to each brand

The two axes of the resulting “charts” are importance and performance
Axes are not statistically derived

Interpretation of the data relatively straightforward

Importance must be cut into two or three categories:
Highly important needs

Moderately important needs

Low importance needs

Performance/delivery is brand relative
Relative positions can be cut many ways

Usually top two box/not top two box (i.e., 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale is the “top two box” rating)

Difference scores can also be calculated

A chart is built where importance is plotted by performance
Importance on the vertical axis

Performance on the horizontal axis

The chart produces different “quadrants”
Cost of entry—confirm

Brand superiority—reinforce

Brand deficiencies—fix or resign

Open opportunity—key positioning plank (new)

Relationship Between Segmentation and Positioning
Segmentation tells us how the market is defined

Segmentation allows us to target one or more market opportunities

Positioning takes place within a target market segment

Positioning tells us how we can compete more effectively in that market segment

Segmentation uses…
The importance data gathered in the survey
Positioning uses…
Both the importance data and the performance/delivery data
POPs can be constructed for each segment so…
So that different positioning planks (messaging) can be customized to target markets
Advantages of POP
More customized and sophisticated

May resonate with the targets more

Unique

Importance/desirable

Believable

Disadvantages of POP
Increases complexity for the marketing department/ad agency

May muddle or confuse the messaging

Ask these questions to determine the effectiveness of your positioning, whether or not segments are used in positioning:
Is this position already taken by a competitor?

Is the feature/benefit important to the target market?

Is there objective evidence to support our positioning?

Can we deliver against this claim?

Do our prospects/customers now believe we can
deliver?

What kind of support must we present to make out claim even more believable?

How much promotion effort will be required to register this position firmly in the minds of the target market?

Positioning as an Organizational Process
Market research delivers the data (POPs, perceptual maps, etc.) and the recommendations for strategy

The client (internal or external) adopts the strategy

Ad agencies then create advertising to execute the positioning strategy (tactics)