Definition of Positioning Map

A positioning map, also known as a perceptual map, is a visual representation used in digital marketing to display the perceived positions of various brands or products in relation to specific attributes or criteria. The map assists marketers in understanding competitive landscapes, identifying gaps in the market, and determining their own brand’s position. This allows them to develop targeted strategies to strengthen their brand’s appeal or target potential opportunities within the industry.


The phonetics of the keyword “Positioning Map” would be: pəˈzɪʃənɪŋ mæp

Key Takeaways

  1. Positioning maps help businesses visualize their competitive landscape by comparing products or services based on specific features or attributes that matter to customers.
  2. Creating a positioning map provides insights into market segmentation, product differentiation, and potential areas of opportunity or threats within the competitive space.
  3. Effective positioning maps can guide marketing strategies and help businesses to better target customer needs, optimize their offerings, and capture market share.

Importance of Positioning Map

The positioning map, also known as a perceptual map, is a crucial concept in digital marketing as it enables brands to visualize and analyze their positions in the market compared to their competitors.

By plotting product or service offerings on a chart based on specific attributes or customer perceptions, marketers can identify gaps, opportunities, and potential threats, allowing them to adjust their marketing strategies, pinpoint unique selling propositions, and craft more relevant messages.

Ultimately, a positioning map serves as a valuable tool to help brands carve out their niche in a competitive landscape while making data-driven decisions to bolster their market standing and forge powerful connections with targeted consumers.


The primary purpose of a positioning map in digital marketing is to visually represent the competitive landscape within a given market or industry sector. By plotting the various brands, products, or services on a graph, based on defining parameters such as price, quality, or target audience, the map allows marketers and businesses to identify their strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities relative to one another.

Additionally, this strategic tool also enables decision-makers to discern gaps in the market that their enterprise could potentially exploit, as well as pinpointing over-saturated segments where its presence may have lesser impact. One of the significant benefits of using a positioning map is the facilitation of informed decisions and adjustments regarding brand and product positioning.

It helps businesses to recognize and understand consumer perceptions, which is vital for meeting customers’ needs and preferences more effectively, and consequently fostering brand loyalty. Furthermore, the visual nature of the positioning map allows for a clear and concise illustration of the business environment, which greatly aids in comprehending the market dynamics.

So, the continuous assessment and adjustment of one’s market position, based on evolving industry trends and consumer expectations, lie at the heart of what positioning maps are used for in digital marketing.

Examples of Positioning Map

A positioning map, also known as a perceptual map, is a visual representation of how customers perceive a brand or product in comparison to its competitors in the market. It helps marketers and businesses to identify market gaps, target appropriate segments, and assess their marketing strategies. Here are three real-world examples of positioning maps in the field of digital marketing:

Smartphone Industry:In the smartphone industry, a positioning map may plot product price on the x-axis and product quality on the y-axis. Apple iPhones would be placed at the higher end of both axes, as they are considered premium, high-quality smartphones. Samsung Galaxy phones may appear slightly lower in terms of price, but still high in quality. Brands like OnePlus and Google Pixel may occupy different areas on the map, with more competitive pricing but still offering quality products. At the lower end, brands like Xiaomi and Vivo would be positioned as budget-friendly, with decent quality offerings.

Streaming Service Providers:In the streaming service industry, a positioning map may plot monthly subscription price on the x-axis and content offerings on the y-axis. Netflix would be placed at the higher end of both axes, as it has a wide range of content spanning from popular shows to indie films and a reputation for high-quality original programming. Amazon Prime Video may place lower in terms of pricing due to bundling with Amazon Prime membership but still offers a diverse selection of content. Disney+ would occupy a niche position, offering a family-focused content library at a competitive price. Other services like Hulu and HBO Max would occupy different positions on the map, each catering to a unique market segment.

Online Travel Booking Platforms:In the online travel booking industry, a positioning map may plot user-friendliness on the x-axis and service offerings on the y-axis. Expedia would be positioned at the higher end of both axes, offering a comprehensive range of services (flight, hotels, car rentals) and an easy-to-use platform. may be positioned lower on the service offerings axis, focusing primarily on hotel bookings but still maintaining an intuitive user experience. Airbnb would occupy its niche as a unique peer-to-peer platform offering accommodation rentals with user-generated content, catering to a different market segment altogether. Other platforms like Kayak or Priceline would have their unique positioning based on their specific offerings and ease of use.

Positioning Map FAQ

What is a positioning map?

A positioning map, also known as a perceptual map or product space map, is a visual representation of how a product or service compares to its competitors in the minds of the consumers. It plots products or brands along axes that represent important attributes or features, allowing companies to identify potential market opportunities and position their products or services more effectively.

Why are positioning maps important?

Positioning maps are important because they provide valuable insights into the competitive landscape of a market and help businesses make informed decisions regarding product development, marketing, and branding. By understanding where a product or service stands relative to its competitors, a company can better target their offerings, crafting marketing messages that emphasize unique selling propositions and appealing to specific consumer segments.

How do I create a positioning map?

To create a positioning map, follow these steps: 1) Determine the key attributes or features that are important to your target customers; 2) Collect data on the perceived performance of your product and competitors in these attributes; 3) Convert the data into a numerical scale for easy plotting; 4) Choose axes for the map based on the two most important and distinctive attributes; 5) Plot the products or brands on the map according to their scaled rankings in the chosen attributes; 6) Analyze the results to identify market opportunities and adjust your positioning strategy.

What are some common attributes used in positioning maps?

Common attributes used in positioning maps can vary based on the industry and product type. Some examples include price, quality, design, durability, convenience, customer service, and sustainability. It is crucial to choose attributes that are meaningful to your target audience and effectively differentiate your product or service from competitors.

Can a product’s position on the positioning map change over time?

Yes, a product’s position on the positioning map may change over time due to various factors, such as changes in consumer perceptions, new product launches, or evolving market trends. Companies should regularly review and update their positioning maps to ensure their strategies remain relevant and effective in the ever-changing competitive landscape.

Related Digital Marketing Terms

  • Brand Perception
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  • Market Segmentation
  • Product Differentiation

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