April 2014

Shugoll Research On the Record

On the Record is Shugoll Research's regular examination of marketing research in Washington, DC and around the country. Join us online to browse previous editions of On The Record and for further information on our services.

Detail Respondent Perception with Dial Testing

Want in-the-moment feedback on a new product or concept? Try dial testing! Shugoll Research is now a flagship member of Dialsmith’s ‘Dialed In’ facilities program. Facilities in this program have been selected because Dialsmith has identified them as specially suited to serving clients who use their Perception Analyzer audience response tools. The Perception Analyzer tool is a dial based tool used to gauge research participants' perceptions and opinions individually as they happen, eliminating groupthink. Both our Bethesda, Maryland and Alexandria, Virginia locations have been selected as "Dialed In" affiliate facilities. If you are interested in conducting research in either of our facilities, please find out more about our capabilities here.

"Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind." - Alter Landor

Looking for a partner to chart your brand's course? Visit us online to learn more about our proprietary tools and research solutions.

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Putting your Brand on the Map

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. A perceptual map is a good example. It shows you, at a glance, how your brand compares to others. It indicates key attributes for your product category; which brands are associated with which attributes; whether your brand image is positive or negative; if your positioning is unique or close to another's; and what attributes you'd need to change to improve your image.

So how does it work? A quantitative survey is conducted with at least 300 people. Respondents are asked to evaluate competitive brands in the product category on attributes such as overall value, ease of use, cost and quality. Attribute vectors and points representing each brand are then plotted on a map.

In the map below, attributes with similar ratings are grouped together, while attributes rated very differently point in different directions. On this map, good quality and value are closely related with market leadership, but there is little or no relationship between market leadership and ease of use.
positioning example
Brand placement relative to the attributes helps identify the perceived strengths and weaknesses of each brand. The map indicates that Brands B and C are both considered low-cost, but not of the highest quality. Brands D and E are seen as good quality, good value and market leaders-but more difficult to use. Brand A is viewed as easy-to-use but of lower quality. This reveals that Brands D and E compete closely with each other, as do Brands B and C. And while Brand A faces the least direct competition, it also has the least positive image.

perceptual map cartoon
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