Campbell Rinker uses Perceptual Mapping to help organizations understand how they are appear as unique among the many options consumers enjoy. These maps describe relationships among differentiating traits (e.g. organizational qualities), and identify where the research audience “sees,” or perceives organizations that are similar to each other in the context of those distinct traits.
In a perceptual map, traits are plotted as lines or “vectors” in two dimensions. (Actually, the lines exist in 3-D space, and we do our best to present them flattened out!) At the same time, the organizations being tested are isolated as specific points within that space. (The placement of these lines and points is guided by a statistical technique called discriminate-function analysis). Longer vectors mean that a trait has a greater ability to distinguish among the organizations mapped, while shorter lines describe less impact.
With such a map, organizations can understand how to create messages that resonate with their audience, position themselves uniquely among the choices their audience enjoys, and distinguish themselves from peer organizations that might actually share quite similar purposes.