Best Market Mapping Template (Map A Powerful Brand Position)

One of the foundational principles of branding and marketing is positioning. 
 
That is, defining a unique position in the market that’s both different from your competitors and valuable to your target market. 
 
But competitive positions aren’t just sitting around waiting for the next company to come along and snap them up. 
 
They’re hidden and require tools and deep, creative thinking to be found.  
 
Market mapping is one of the most effective competitive positioning tools available and this article will give you a template to map a powerful brand position. 

One of the foundational principles of branding and marketing is positioning. 
 
That is, defining a unique position in the market that’s both different from your competitors and valuable to your target market. 
 
But competitive positions aren’t just sitting around waiting for the next company to come along and snap them up. 
 
They’re hidden and require tools and deep, creative thinking to be found.  
 
Market mapping is one of the most effective competitive positioning tools available and this article will give you a template to map a powerful brand position. 

What Is Market Mapping? (Brand Positioning Map Tool)

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What Is Market Mapping?

Market mapping refers to the mapping of your competitive landscape.

It’s the process of using a graph to visualise a given competitive environment by plotting individual competitors using a set of two criteria. 

This mapping process brings the market to life visually helping to uncover gaps, opportunities for brands through the unmet needs of consumers.

The right set of criteria used to plot the map can help to uncover an untapped opportunity of a void in the market that the audience wants.

In other words, the market map in the right hands is a very valuable positioning tool. 

Why Is Market Mapping Important?

When you hear the word market, you might think of traditional market stalls with vendors selling fresh produce such as vegetables, cured meats or cheese.

But most markets aren’t physical places and the landscape of competitors aren’t easily seen or visualised in a way that’s effective for comparison or analysis.

It’s also very easy for business leaders to make assumptions and to believe they have the full picture of their competitions strengths and weaknesses though this can result in costly missed opportunities.

 

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Market Mapping Pros & Cons

When it comes to brand positioning, there’s no magic key or silver bullet.

Like most industry tools, the positioning map has some advantages and disadvantages so let’s take a closer look at what these are. 

Advantages Of A Market Map

Market mapping has been used by business leaders and marketers for decades. 

Although this tool isn’t on the cutting edge of science, it can still be used to great affect.

Here are some of the advantages: 

Creates a visual snapshot 

Displays entire market 

Easy to understand 

Direct comparison with competitors 

Unlimited Variable Combinations 

Quick market analysis 

Disadvantages Of A Market Map

Despite the many advantages to using a market map, it’s not a foolproof science and there are some disadvantages that should be considered which include: 

Lack scientific accuracy 

Can be subjective 

Can be biased 

No facts / statistics 

Only based on two variables 

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Examples Of Market Mapping Variables

In reality, the positioning map (or perceptual map) used for market mapping is overly simplistic.

But there is power in that simplicity and the value of the map or the results it produces is largely dependant on the importance and creativity of the variables used. 

You can plot pretty much any variable though the closer you are to the important buying decision factors, the more impactful and valuable with gaps and opportunities you find will be.  

Here are a few examples of market mapping variables or dimensions. 

High Price vs Low Price 

Low Quality vs High Quality 

Low Tech vs High Tech 

Simple vs Complex 

Short Turnaround vs Long Turnaround 

Low Capability vs High Capability 

Necessity vs Luxury 

Unhealthy vs Healthy 

Inconvenient vs Convenient 

Best Market Mapping Process & Template

Like everything else in branding, achieving the best results comes down to robust processes that you can use time and again.

So here is a step-by-step template that you can use to position your brands or your client’s brands in their competitive landscape.

Best Market Mapping Template (Map A Powerful Brand Position)

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Step 1: Segment Your Market