This post is regarding an interesting exercise that a group of us carried out as part of our MBA at IIM-B. I have written this with a general audience in mind and I hope you enjoy reading it.
The exercise was carried out as part of a course called Behavioral Dimensions & Marketing Strategies.
Wikipedia defines brand as a collection of experiences and associations connected with a service, a person or any other entity. Thus, in order to understand what a brand represents to consumers, it is necessary to identify associations for a brand.
A brand concept map is a representation of network of associations in the minds consumers. If this sounds too abstract, bear with me, the examples that follow should make it amply clear.
Our objective was to prepare and study concept maps for two brands of LCD TVs. In order to choose brands to study, we did a small survey. We figured out people rated Sony highly and Samsung was a somewhat distant second. We wanted to figure out how consumers saw these TV brands differently and give recommendations to Samsung.
After working with our dozen or so of our volunteers (thanks guys!), we came up with concept maps for Sony and Samsung LCD TVs.
The brand concept map of Sony looks like this:
How do you read this? Well, when a person thinks of Sony, the things that come to her mind are all the ideas that are connected to Sony directly. The strength of association between two concepts is shown by the number of lines that connect the two. The connection with three lines is the strongest and a connection with one line is the weakest.
For example, when a person thinks of Sony (LCD TV), what comes to her mind is with a strong association is the (High) “Product Quality” , and when the same person thinks of “Product Quality”, things like “Technical Superirority” and “Picture and Sound Quality” comes to her mind. The strongest association of Sony is with quality, followed by luxury, status (social factors) and trustworthiness of the brand. An interesting, albiet unsurprising, aspect is that sony is seen as “NOT value for money” by consumers
The brand concept map for Samsung looks like this:
Strongest associations for Samsung were that it was value for money and that its picture and sound quality. Other than this, there were large number of associations, but none were strong.
Dear reader, at this point what conclusions would you draw about Samsung? What could it do to improve itself?
You can read my next article on the subject that answers these questions and more at the following location http://www.rajeshgoli.com/academic/brand-concept-maps-2/