A market map or market mapping is a method used by a business to position a product in a chosen target market in relation to the products of its competitors.
The market map is a two by two matrix representing the target market based on two key features of the product which are considered to be important to customers. The product and the competitor products are positioned on the matrix to produce the market mapping.
The two key features chosen for the map will depend on the type of business and the product. For example, the key features might be price, quality, and quantity, or any other product feature the business considers important to customers.
Suppose the two important key features chosen are price and quality. In the market map, one axis of the matrix will represent prices ranging from high to low, and the other axis will represent quality of the product ranging from high to low.
Each product is placed on the map to enable a business to see where its products are positioned in the target market in relation to its competitors.
For a new product being introduced by the business, the map allows potential gaps to be identified where the features required by customers are not being provided by currently available products. In this example, product A is clearly positioned in a gap in the market for high price and high quality.
Market Map Calculator
Our free Excel product positioning map calculator can be used to generate a market map based on two attributes for up to 10 products.
A market map is sometimes referred to as a perceptual map or perceptual mapping.
About the Author
Chartered accountant Michael Brown is the founder and CEO of Plan Projections. He has worked as an accountant and consultant for more than 25 years and has built financial models for all types of industries. He has been the CFO or controller of both small and medium sized companies and has run small businesses of his own. He has been a manager and an auditor with Deloitte, a big 4 accountancy firm, and holds a BSc from Loughborough University.