Using a Perceptual Map in Managing Products
Any company that wishes to be successful must meet its customers’ needs. Meeting customers’ needs calls for a survey aimed at identifying the needs. Once a company identifies and meets the requirements, it must understand its customers’ perception of its products. It is the most crucial part of a product’s research and development stage as it provides feedback to the company. Understanding customers’ perception of a product is made possible by designing a perceptual map. This paper focuses on the meaning of a perceptual map and its use in capstone simulation to help companies manage their products.
A perceptual map refers to a visual plan representing how products are positioned in the minds of consumers. In other words, it demonstrates customers’ understanding of different brands (Kardes, Cronley, & Cline, 2010). A perceptual map can map out how a technology lover perceives iPhone 8 and Samsung Galaxy S20. The two devices are considered to have great speculations, but someone might have different perceptions of the speed and camera attributes. One might rank Samsung to the top in terms of camera clarity. This perception that Samsung S20 is has a more apparent camera than iPhone 8 is observed through a perceptual map.
A perceptual map assists a company leadership in managing its products in three ways. The first way is assessing how customers view the reliability of a product. One of the customers’ buying criteria is checking the reliability of a product. The higher the product’s reliability, the longer the lasting time, and the higher the demand (Capsim, 2018).In capstone simulation, it helps a company understand how customers view its product’s reliability, and the company can make sure the reliability is within customers’ circle. Increasing a product’s reliability is costly, but in the long run, it increases product demand.
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Secondly, a company can track the perception of how its brand is evolving with respect to changes in the product. In the capstone, this factor is represented as customers’ perception according to a product’s age. No matter how old a product is, if it is the number one preference for a customer, they will always go for it. However, maintaining both the product and the customer will require a company to modify the product or add new, improved changes occasionally. In the capstone, adding new features to a product reduces its age in the market by half, and customers perceive the product as fresh, although not brand new (Capsim, 2018). Therefore, a company can employ the technique of revising its products to reposition it to a more improved product in customers’ minds.
Lastly, a perceptual map can identify the preferences or product attributes that customers use to position a product. The attributes have been identified as customers’ buying criteria in capstone simulation. In reality, customers want a perfect product. The product has a low price than the normal, has an ideal age by being renewed occasionally, and has higher reliability. However, this is almost impossible for a company as it strives to make profits. In such a case, a company can settle for a great product instead of a perfect one. Providing a great product may require reducing the cost of production while maintaining the customers’ preferences, and by this, it will meet the customer’s needs and make profits.
To sum up, a perceptual map is crucial as it enables a company to understand a product’s positioning in the consumer’s mind. It gives a picture of how a brand is perceived in the market. A company can only raise its brand’s perception by modifying its attributes such as reliability, age, and price to suit customers’ buying criteria.
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Capsim. (2018). Comprehensive business review: Concepts and cases with capstone business simulation.
Kardes, F., Cronley, M., & Cline, T. (2010). Consumer behavior. Cengage Learning.