Perceptual Mapping techniques allow easy visualization and interpretation of differences and similarities between brands, products , segments of respondents . Using different exploratory techniques, respondent associations between different brands and a set of imagery statements can be represented in a set of one or more two-dimensional graphs. Each of the axes of the graph represents a dimension of brand imagery and the plotting of brands and attributes in that two dimensional space gives us a descriptive idea of how brands are associated with different image statements.
Perceptual Mapping Techniques may either start with a full set of attributes on which brands/products etc are to be compared or we may only have overall evaluations of the brands/products . In the latter case, the dimensions along which the brands/products are plotted are interpreted by the researcher and the marketing team. They may correspond to objective attributes on which the products/brands differ or more affective, perceptual dimensions.
When starting with a full set of attributes, interpretation becomes easier and proximity of attributes and brands/products, both sets of which are now mapped in perceptual space provide descriptive understanding of brand/product positioning. Close competitors for a planned product may also be identified.