Notice: Please visit for our latest Marketing Engineering software
Marketing Engineering for Excel has reached end of life and is no longer receiving updates. Please visit to explore our newest online marketing analytics platform which is designed to replace the Marketing Engineering for Excel add-in.

Notice: ME Cloud being discontinued July 1, 2021
The ME Cloud academic solution for Mac and Chromebook students to access the Marketing Engineering for Excel add-in will be discontinued on July 1, 2021. For further information, please refer to the ME Cloud update news item.

Positioning Analysis Model

What you put in... What you get out...
  • Customers' rating of focal brand and key competitors on dimensions of merit
  • Individual customer preference ratings of all competitors
  • Perceptual map, showing which brands are closest to one another
  • Attributes that differentiate brands
  • Locations of individual customer preferences
  • Projected market share associated with current and new positions on the map

Positioning Analysis software incorporates several mapping techniques that enable firms to develop differentiation and positioning strategies for their products. By using this tool, managers can visualize the competitive structure of their markets as perceived by their customers. Typically, data for mapping are customer perceptions of existing products (and new concepts) along various attributes, customer preferences for products, or measures of behavioral response of customers toward the products (e.g., current market shares of the products).

positioning map

Positioning Analysis uses perceptual mapping and preference mapping techniques. Perceptual-mapping helps firms to understand how customers view their product(s) relative to competitive products. The preference map introduces preference vectors or ideal points for each respondent on to a perceptual map. The ideal point represents the location of the (hypothetical) product that most appeals to a specific respondent. The preference vector indicates the direction in which a respondent’s preference increases. In other words, a respondent’s “ideal” product lies as far up the preference vector as possible. The preference map starts out with a perceptual map giving the locations of the product alternatives. In the second step, it introduces for each respondent either an ideal brand or a preference vector.

Positioning Analysis also helps firms to answer such questions as:

  • Based on customer perceptions, which target segments are the most attractive?
  • How should we position our new products with respect to our existing products?
  • How do our customers view our brand?
  • What product name is closely associated with the attributes that our target segment perceives as desirable?
  • Which brands do our target segments see as our closest competitors?
  • What product attributes are responsible for the perceived differences between products?
  • How would changes in a product's perceived attributes alter the product's market share?

Associated Videos

The following video(s) are archived recordings of previous webinars discussing the Positioning model. These videos are intended for instructor viewing only as many times they discuss actual business case solutions.

Videos are only available for Registered Instructors

Business Cases - Positioning Analysis Model

The following business cases are available to demonstrate the Positioning Analysis Model using Marketing Engineering for Excel software:

  1. ConneCtor PDA 2001 Business Case - Using the Positioning Analysis model, students must determine how the new ConneCtor should be positioned in a key target market.
  2. Infiniti G20 Business Case - Using the Positioning Analysis model, students must determine how the market perceives the Infiniti G20 car compared to its competitors.
  3. Blackberry Pearl Business Case - Using the Positioning Analysis model, students must determine whether the Blackberry Pearl is well positioned to be successful.
  4. Heineken Case (ME>XL v2 only) - Using the Positioning Analysis model, students must determine if repositioning Heineken's brand in the Spanish market would increase sales.
  5. Can the Bunny Hop? Case (ME>XL v2 only) - Using the Positioning Analysis model, students must determine whether Nutrine is still an effective brand that can be extended into additional confectionary categories. 

Technical Note - Positioning Analysis Model

The Positioning Analysis model technical note is a supplement to the material provided in the Principles of Marketing Engineering. This note provides additional analytic background to the model and may be freely distributed to your students.


To view other technical notes, please visit our Technical Notes page.