Mra Techniques


Perceptual mapping is widely used in marketing to analyze market structure, design new products, end develop advertising strategies. This article presents theoretical arguments and empirical evidence which suggest that factor analysis is superior to discriminant analysis and similarity scaling with respect to predictive ability, managerial interpretability, and ease of use.

Alternative Perceptual Mapping Techniques: Relative Accuracy and Usefulness

Perceptual mapping has been used extensively in marketing. This powerful technique is used in new product design, advertising, retail location, and many other marketing applications where the manager wants to know (1) the basic cognitive dimensions consumers use to evaluate "products" in the category being investigated and (2) the relative "positions" of present and potential products with respect to those dimensions. For example. Green and Wind (1973) use similarity scaling to identify the basic dimensions used in conjoint analysis. Pessemier (1977) applies discriminant analysis to produce the joint-space maps that are used in his DESIGNR model for new product design. Hauser and Urban (1977) use factor analysis to identify consumer perceptions and irmovation opportunities in their method for modeling consumer response to innovation. All of these researchers report empirical applications in a number of product and service categories. When used correctly perceptual mapping can identify opportunities, enhance creativi-

*John R. Hauser is Assistant Professor of Marketing. Graduate School of Management, and Frank S. Koppelman is Associate Professor of Civil Engineering and Transportation, Technological Institute, Northwestern University. The authors thank Bruce Bagamery. Yosy Prashker. Steve Shugan. and Ken Wisniewski for their extensive technical assistance. Richard Johnson, Dennis Gensch, William Moore, Edgar Pessemier, Glen Urban, Paul Green. Allan Shocker, Subrala Sen,...