PercePTual maPs
Learning Objectives
In this chapter
, we will address the following questions:
1. What is the dierence between a determinant gap map and an attribute rat-
ings gap map?
2. How are the dierent types of maps used?
3. How can a rm use a perceptual map in positioning new products?
4. How does a value map dier from a perceptual map?
5. When might a rm use a snake plot to map attributes?
6. What is the dierence between a feature, function, and benet?
Positioning Palm’s Smartphone, The Pre
At the industry-anticipated 2009 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January
2009, Palm introduced the Pre, Palm’s new smartphone. At the time of the intro-
duction of the Pre, Apple’s iPhone and Blackberrys Storm & Bold had the largest
Based on Urban and Hauser, Design and Marketing of New Products (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice
Hall, 1998).
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Creating and Marketing new ProduCts and serviCes
market share of smartphones due to their state-of-the-art touchscreen technology
and ability to allow on-the-go connection to the Internet. Smartphones need to
be as versatile as desktop computers and to easily connect to the Internet. It is
reported that there are some 4 billion mobile phones in use around the world, and,
in 2009, Palm reported that only about 10% of them are smartphones.
Palm realized that users wanted to sync their mobile phone applications with
their computer and with Internet applications, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and
Twitter—social networking sites. Palm saw this as an opportunity to provide
a better smartphone. But, to do so, Palm would have to compete with Apple’s
iPhone and Blackberrys line of popular oerings. Supported by nearly 50,000
apps, more than 21 million iPhones had been sold by January 2009, making it
very versatile and attractive to consumers. Due to Apple’s brand name and market
presence, iPhone was the primary product that Palm needed to compete against.
Palm had been successful with its personal digital assistant (PDAs) line. eir
rst hit was the Pilot, which pretty much created the PDA category. It enabled
people to organize all their personal information on a computer and then syn-
chronize this data with the portable PDA. e Palm Treo combined a PDA with
a mobile phone to compete in the smartphone category. Jon Rubinstein, execu-
tive chairman of Palm, saw Palm’s capabilities to easily synchronize to other PC
applications as a major competitive dierence. “We looked at Palm’s DNA and
said, ‘What made it great?’ Synching—from day one [of development], Palm has
been about synching.” He says, “People keep their data all over the place. It’s no
longer spread all over their computer. It’s spread throughout the [Internet] cloud.
Millions of bytes of data are stored on the Internet: e-mail, pictures, videos, and
social networking information. e problem is that all these data streams are
increasingly hard to manage. e promise of the Pre’s Web OS is that it can take
all these feeds and wirelessly combine them into one comprehensive contact list,
without duplicates. On the Pre, this is known as Synergy.
e Pre functioned as a camera phone, a portable media player, a GPS naviga-
tor, and an Internet client (with text messaging, e-mail, Web browsing, and local
Wi-Fi connectivity) demonstrating good versatility compared to other smart-
phone oerings. It allowed multitasking and seamless integration of virtually
every online, social, and information-management application. In a head-to-head
review of the iPhone 3GS and the Palm Pre, Consumer Reports (the magazine) had
found that the Pre and the BlackBerry Storm bested the iPhone 3GS in messag-
ing, while the Pre was considered a “superior multitasker” with its card deck han-
dling of multiple applications. Additionally, Pre’s hand gesturing functionality,
which seemed to replicate iPhone-like technology, wowed the industry crowd.
of mid-2009, it had appeared that Palm had been successful in positioning its new
product in a competitive space. Figure6.1 demonstrates a hypothetical perceptual
map for smartphones in 2009, including the Pre.

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