February 24, 2011

The perceptual map is obsolete: branding in 3-D

The Perceptual Map, perennial favorite of MBA classes everywhere, is obsolete. In fact, it never was a completely satisfactory way to sum up brand perceptions. Branding is a three-dimensional problem.

That insight led us to invent the Killian Branding Box™ to quantify and visualize a brand’s position vs. competitors in a 3-D space with three significant axes:

a Killian Branding Box™Brand strength (visibility ± reputation within the category), differentiation (as perceived by key market segments), and urgency (how emotionally those differentiators matter to those prospects). You and all your competitors each occupy a point in that cubic competitive space.  Objective research can help brand stakeholders see where they really stand versus competitors – so they can answer this key question: which axis needs the most attention?

Does this mapping apply to shampoos and Sarah Palin and your neighborhood taco vendor? Yes, you betcha, and si.