Perceptual Mapping, as defined by Miguel Mauricio Isoni and Cid Goncalves Filho (The Strategic Use of Perceptual Maps in Corporate Reputation Analysis: an Empirical Survey), is a “strategic management tool that offers a unique ability to show the complex relationship between marketplace competitors and the criteria used by buyers when making purchase decisions and recommendations. ” Usually, perceptual maps is plotted through a two dimensional plane, thus it is capable mainly of comparing four factors affecting a certain market product. To come up with a perceptual map, product analyst would perform its designed three part methodology.
A. The Three Phases of Perceptual Maps as Used in the Simulation I. The Exploratory Phase In this first stage, we would get to know the origin of the need for the making of the perceptual plan (Isoni & Filho). The simulation had started with the laying out of the situation of Thor motorcycles decrease in sales with their product CruiserThor, a 1500cc power cruiser priced at ,800.
Thor believed that the decrease in sales they analyzed in May 1, 2×01 was brought by the growing older of its target costumers (bracket 35 – 50 yrs old) that made them no longer interested with the lifestyle CruiserThor symbolizes.
The age bracket of 21 – 35 years could not also be a replacement since they prefer more buying low-cost motorcycles for practicality reasons concerning with their young age’s small disposable income. As a recommendable solution, we need a new marketing plan. But in order to come up with a plan, we need to know the position of the CruiserThor in the market through a perceptual map. Since we had opted with making a perceptual map, we then need to choose four fundamental parameters CruiserThor gives the most concern. And we decided that they were the Lifestyle Image, Service Offerings, Price and Quality Engineering.
We would also have a comparison of CruiserThor with its other competitor product and then conduct a market research to obtain CruiserThor’s representational ratings. II. The Descriptive Phase At this point, we would then need to make a survey with structured questionnaire and with representative sample that will be analyzed by Perceptual Mapping software (Isoni & Filho). This could be in the form of four questions asking for a ranking from 1 – 10 that corresponds to the existing client’s perception to the selected four parameters.
Does the CruiserThor made a great impact with your lifestyle? Does it possess the uniqueness you could not see with its competitor brands? 2. Does the engineering design compensate with its projected lifestyle image? 3. Does the CruiserThor priced right? 4. Does its included technical support and additional services suffice its total package? As these questions are filled up by the CruiserThor’s customers, dealers and distributors, we could then extract from it the public’s representational perception. The values that we had assigned are 9. 2 for the lifestyle image.
1 for the service offerings, 2. 95 for the service offerings and 7. 1 for the quality engineering. These figures had also been compared with the figures generated from two of CruiserThor’s competitors, Anzai and Espritique. These figures tell the current position of the product which would then be subject to review and/or revisions. III. The Presentation Phase For this last phase, we would present the maps to the managers (Isoni & Filho), who would then give generalized interpretation with the marketing of the product with respect to its four factors evaluated.
As the values had been analyzed, two possible solutions were suggested, to enhance the current positioning strategy or to totally change it. We may also opt to launch a new motorcycle that targets younger costumers. If ever you chose the last, you should then decide how it would be packaged with its features as opposed to the constraint of cheaper pricing. As a final decision, we would then stick with launching a new product, called RRoth that would accommodate a younger age bracket. This option would undergo several stages so as to determine its proper marketing mix to be used.
These were deliberations on how would it be priced, how would it be handed down to its end-users, and how would it be promoted. The company’s team of analyst suggested with a $13M budgeted RRoth motorcycles that would be priced $13T – $15T. They would use the help of their identified dealers and distributors to act as its middleman. They would also set-up exclusive showrooms. Promotions that would be done were to offer insurance and protection plans, to offer free test rides, to hire celebrities for endorsements, and to provide giveaway merchandise.
Additional services were dealers training, customization options and financial services. Total cost of differentiation decisions was then accounted to be $11. 149T. B. Summary of the Different Marketing Components Used I. Relationship between differentiation and positioning of products and services Differentiation, as its word implies, is the offering of various products that tends to target distinct costumers from each other. This would help with covering all the possible customers’ individual needs basing on bracketing schemes just like age.
In relation to this, positioning strategies for these various products need to be considered so as to not make them compete with each other (Positioning Defined). As an example, CruiserThor was designed to target possible costumers coming from the age of 35–50 yrs. old. To address the need to cover the market with younger age who may wish to avail a lifestyle imaged motorcycle but at a lower cost, Thor motorcycles decided to launch RRoth and it was positioned to attract the age bracket of 21–35 yrs. old who were less likely to had disposable incomes. II.
The Impact of Product Life Cycle Production analysis through time had come up with a thinking that products have a life cycle (Product life cycle management, Wikipedia). Products start with the market introduction stage by creating a demand through different ways of promotion and information dissemination about its importance of use. The product may either benefit or suffer the existence of competition depending on the reaction of its target costumers. Products would then enter into the growth stage wherein it should develop a sense of profitability to its producers and sellers.
Competition would usually increase as others would see its success in gaining a market share. As the products gain years being in the market, it would enter the maturity stage wherein the cost of production was minimized since publicity is less likely to be required. Final stage would be whether the product be stable or in a state of decline depending on the continuity of interest of its target costumers.
M. Isoni & C. Filho. The Strategic Use of Perceptual Maps in Corporate Reputation Analysis: An Empirical Survey. Retrieved June 14, 2008 from www.
isbee. org/index. php? option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=33 Perceptual Mapping. Retrieved June 14, 2008 from http://www. populus. com/files/Perceptual%20Mapping_f_1. pdf Perceptual Mapping. Retrieved June 14, 2008 from http://www. iqlogo. com/library/perceptual-mapping. htm Product life cycle management. Retrieved June 14, 2008 from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Product_life_cycle_management Positioning Defined. Retrieved June 14, 2008 from http://www. 1000ventures. com/business_guide/crosscuttings/positioning_main. html