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Study Notes

Market Mapping

A-Level, IB, BTEC National
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC

Last updated 7 Aug 2019

A useful framework for analysing market positioning is a “market (positioning) map”. A market (or positioning) map illustrates the range of “positions” that a product can take in a market based on two dimensions that are important to customers.

Choosing the dimensions for a market positioning map

Some possible dimensions for the axes of a positioning map include:

  • Low price v High price
  • Basic quality v High quality
  • Low volume v High volume
  • Necessity v Luxury
  • Light v Heavy
  • Simple v Complex
  • Unhealthy v Healthy
  • Low-tech v Hi-tech
Example of a market (positioning) map

Whilst positioning maps are useful conceptual models, care has to be taken when using them in marketing decision-making:

Advantages of positioning maps

  • Help spot gaps in the market
  • Useful for analysing competitors - where are their products positioned?
  • Encourages use of market research

Disadvantages of positioning maps

  • Just because there is a “gap” doesn’t mean there is demand for the product
  • Not a guarantee of success
  • How reliable is the market research that maps the position of existing products based on the chosen dimensions?

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