Positioning Map

A tool to organize data from desk research and user research, showing the differences in how people perceive alternative or competitive solutions based on selected criteria.

About

A Positioning Map, also known as a Perceptual Map, visually represents how a brand or product is perceived in relation to competitors within a market. By plotting attributes, preferences, or perceptions on a grid, it provides insights into market dynamics, competitive landscape, and differentiation opportunities. Positioning Maps are widely used in marketing, brand strategy, and product development, where understanding how offerings are positioned guides targeting, messaging, and strategic positioning.

Suitable for

  • Quick comparison of competitor offerings,
  • Decision making about own service offerings and determining competitive advantage,
  • introducing new services to the market.

Deliverables

Research Plan

A document outlining the objectives, scope, target audience, and timeline of the positioning map study. It serves as a guide for the research process and data collection.


Competitive Analysis

A detailed assessment of competitors' offerings, strengths, and weaknesses. This helps in understanding the market landscape and identifying gaps or opportunities for differentiation.


Target Audience Analysis

An in-depth description of the target users, including their needs, preferences, motivations, and pain points. This information is crucial for establishing relevant dimensions for the positioning map.


Positioning Dimension Identification

A list of key attributes that are important to the target audience and can be used to differentiate the offerings in the market. These dimensions should be relevant, easy-to-understand, and distinct from one another.


Positioning Map Visualization

A graphical representation of the market landscape, with the selected positioning dimensions on the x and y axes. It shows where each competitor's offering falls on the map, highlighting their relative positions and enabling comparison.


Insights and Opportunities Report

A comprehensive analysis of the positioning map, highlighting the patterns, trends, and gaps in the market. This report helps in identifying areas where the product or service can be differentiated and offers recommendations for strategic positioning.


Presentation Deck

A visual summary of the findings and recommendations from the positioning map study, tailored for sharing with stakeholders and decision-makers in the organization.


Implementation Plan

A roadmap for how to incorporate the insights and recommendations from the positioning map study into product development, marketing, and sales strategies, including action items, timelines, and resources needed.

Procedure

1

Identify Key Factors

Determine the main factors that influence customer decision-making in your industry or market. These factors will serve as the basis for your positioning map's axes. Common factors include price, quality, performance, reliability, etc.

2

Choose Axes

Select two key factors as the map's axes. One will represent the horizontal (x) axis, and the other will represent the vertical (y) axis. For instance, you may choose price for the x-axis and quality for the y-axis. Label the axes so that they represent the chosen factors, with the lowest value at the origin and the highest value at the far end.

3

Plot Competitors

Conduct research on your competitors to gather data on how they perform in regards to the two key factors you've chosen. Plot each competitor's position on the map, representing their position along both the x and y axes.

4

Plot Your Business

Evaluate your own business or product in terms of the two key factors you've chosen. Plot your position on the positioning map in relation to your competitors.

5

Identify Gaps and Opportunities

Analyze the positioning map to look for gaps or white spaces where there may be opportunities for differentiation. Consider how you can reposition your product or service to occupy a more unique position in the market.

6

Consider Customer Segments

Review your understanding of your target customer segments, and consider how their needs and preferences align with the positions on the map. Use this information to better understand your ideal position, and where your product or service should be in the market.

7

Revise and Update

Positioning maps should be reviewed periodically, as markets evolve and new competitors enter the space. Be prepared to adjust your product or service positioning based on changing market conditions and customer preferences.

8

Communicate Findings

Share your insights and recommendations with your team, and discuss potential strategies for improving your product or service positioning. Collaboratively refine and clarify your market positioning, using the mapping as a guiding tool.

Support the project

Donate to UX Methods today. As the largest UX method database on the web, your contributions will help maintain our platform and drive exciting new features. Keep the resource free, up-to-date, and comprehensive for everyone. Make a difference in the UX community!