Research Insights 6.3 A Better Way to Map Brand Strategy

Marketing Segmentation and Positioning

Source: Dewar, N., and Bagga, C.K. (2015) A Better Way to Map Brand Strategy, Harvard Business Review, June.

Abstract: Companies have long used perceptual mapping to understand how consumers feel about their brands relative to competitors', to find gaps in the marketplace, and to develop brand positions. But the business value of these maps is limited because they fail to link a brand's market position to business performance metrics such as pricing and sales. Other marketing tools measure brands on yardsticks such as market share, growth rate, and profitability but fail to take consumer perceptions into consideration. In this article, Ivey Business School's Niraj Dawar and Charan K. Bagga present a new type of map that links a brand's position to competitors according to its perceived "centrality" (how representative it is of the company) and "distinctiveness" (how much it stands out from other brands) with its business performance along a given metric. Using the tool, marketers can determine a brand's current and desired position, predict its marketplace performance, and devise and track marketing strategy and execution. In-depth examples of the car and beer markets demonstrate the value of this tool to managers of brands in any category.

Insight: Business performance metrics such as pricing and sales are excluded from conventional perceptual mapping tools. In this article a new type of map is presented, one that links a brand’s position to competitors according to its perceived “centrality” (how representative it is of the company) and “distinctiveness” (how much it stands out from other brands) with its business performance along a given metric.

URL: https://hbr.org/2015/06/a-better-way-to-map-brand-strategy