Constructing Perceptual Maps


As we know, perceptual maps are a great way to visualize consumer’s perception of brand positions and how they evolve over time.

It is quite common for students to include one perceptual map in suitable assignments, but there are a number of misconceptions on how to best use perceptual maps.

The Student Task

This exercise is designed to give students a good sense of how to use perceptual maps effectively from a marketing perspective. Here are the steps for this exercise:

  1. Students need to construct perceptual (image) data to use. This would require multiple competing brands being scored on an array of relevant attributes. See this list for some attribute ideas if necessary.
  2. To achieve this, the class should first agree on a market that they understand and are familiar with most of the brands.
  3. Then they need to brainstorm (or work in groups) to get a list of possible attributes to use for an in-class survey.
  4. Once the brands and attributes are decided, then the students should be surveyed. For example, “on a scale of 1 to 9, where 9 is great service and 1 is poor service, what would you score Brand X, what about Brand Y?” – and so on for all brands and attributes.
  5. Once the data has been constructed (or obtained from a 3rd party if preferable), then the students need to use the below perceptual mapping tool to build various perceptual maps.
  6. After reviewing an array of maps, student groups can report back on their key findings and market insights.
  7. As an optional step, students may consider how “well” they used their perceptual maps, as per the tips guide (see below link).

Tools and Information

Here is the Excel perceptual mapping tool for students to use (note: also a helpful resource for student assignments)…


Here is a link for more information on this tool… using the mapping tool

Here is the link to tips and guidelines for using perceptual maps

And finally, here is an instructional video on how-to-use the perceptual mapping tool…

Related Activity

Reviewing Perceptual Maps