How to Format a Perceptual Map

On this page you can learn how to format (when using the free Excel template):

  • A standard perceptual map
  • A perceptual map that highlights market share
  • A perceptual map in color
  • A map that demonstrates repositioning
  • A multi-attribute perceptual map
  • A joint space map

Scroll down to review the variations of the structure and  format of a perceptual map. All the perceptual maps shown below have been produced quickly and easily using the free Excel template that is available for download on this site. There are also other examples listed in our example perceptual maps section.

Standard Perceptual Map

This first perceptual map (click map to enlarge) is the standard version available using the Excel spreadsheet template. Maps like these can be produced automatically by simply entering the basic data, brands and axis labels. Simple instructions to create a perceptual map like this one is included on the spreadsheet and on the ‘How-To’ section of this site.

Perceptual Map for Fast Food Outlets


Standard Perceptual Map Highlighting Market Share

This perceptual map  for soft drinks (click map to enlarge) highlights the major and minor brands by showing large, medium and small circles. So in the following example, Coke and Pepsi have large circles representing that they have significant market share, whereas Coke Zero has a smaller circle representing a smaller market share.

This change in circle size is very easy to do and is explained in the How-To guide.

perceptual map for soft drinks_sizes
Perceptual map for soft drinks highlighting relative market share


Standard Perceptual Map in Color

This perceptual map (click map to enlarge) has been color-coded to help classify these soft drink brands into their corporate ownership. In this example, in red we have the five Coca-Cola brands on the map, in blue we have the three Pepsi-Co brands, and finally in green we have the two offerings of Mt Dew.

To create a perceptual map in color, you simply click on each circle in the graph in the Excel spreadsheet and then click on the ‘Format’ tab and then ‘Shape Fill”, where you can select any color you desire for that circle.

perceptual map for soft drinks_color
A perceptual map for soft drinks, which classifies brands by ownership

If you simply want to add overall color to your perceptual map, without any particular color-coding emphasis, then the following map (click map to enlarge) is very easily set up.

To add color in this manner, in the Excel spreadsheet you need to highlight the map/chart and then click on the ‘Design’ tab and a whole range of color options will appear in the new menu underneath.

perceptual map for soft drinks_color_2
A perceptual map for soft drinks in color

Showing Repositioning on a Perceptual Map

This Excel template is very useful for showing how brands have been (or are planned to be) repositioned, as shown in the following example perceptual map (click map to enlarge).

Details of how you can construct this positioning map are provided in the repositioning maps section.

repositioning of soft drinks
A perceptual map showing brand repositioning

 A Multi-attribute Perceptual Map

Often is more effective placing more than just two product attributes onto a perceptual map. When you do that, as shown in the example below, this is known as a multi-attribute perceptual map (click map to enlarge). You can learn how to easily construct this map in the multi-attribute perceptual map section.

multi-attribute perceptual map
A multi-attribute perceptual map for soft drinks

 Joint Space Perceptual Maps

Another quite effective way of understanding product positioning is by placing the brands and the preferred needs of the various market segments onto the same perceptual maps as shown in the example below (click map to enlarge). This type of map is known as a joint space perceptual map, because brands and market needs are jointly shown in the same map.

To learn how to construct this map using the free Excel template, please review our joint space maps section.

joint space map for soft drinks
A joint space perceptual map for soft drinks


Learn More about Segmentation, Target Marketing, Positioning and Perceptual Maps

Perceptual mapping is a technique that essentially visualizes the core marketing activity of segmentation, targeting and positioning (which is often referred to as the STP process). I have an eBook available in PDF that reviews these important topics for just $2.99. Click the book’s image to learn more.

book cover

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