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Perceptor: A Model for Product Positioning


  • Glen L. Urban

    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)


A model and measurement methodology is proposed to aid managers in designing new frequently purchased consumer products. The model is structured as a trial and repeat process that produces an estimate of long-run share for a new brand. Physical and psychological product attributes are linked to the trial and repeat probabilities through multidimensional scaling procedures. Perceptual maps of existing brands with ideal brand positionings are derived. The product design determines the new brand's position in the perceptual space, and the distance from the new brand to the ideal brand specifies its probability of purchase. Measurement and estimation procedures are discussed. Predictive and structural tests of the model are reported, and a process for managerial implementation is presented. The outputs of the model are an understanding of the perception, preference, and purchase process, a framework and procedure for measurement, a structure to use in interpreting experimental results, and a tool for estimating the marketing share for alternate new brand designs.

Suggested Citation

  • Glen L. Urban, 1975. "Perceptor: A Model for Product Positioning," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 21(8), pages 858-871, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:21:y:1975:i:8:p:858-871

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    Cited by:

    1. John R. Hauser & Steven M. Shugan, 2008. "Defensive Marketing Strategies," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(1), pages 88-110, 01-02.
    2. Silk, Alvin J. & Urban, Glen L., 1976. "Pre-test market evaluation of new packaged goods : a model and measurement methodology," Working papers 834-76., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    3. Hauser, John R. & Urban, Glen L., 1976. "Direct assessment of consumer utility functions : von Neumann-Morgenstern utility theory applied to marketing," Working papers 843-76A., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    4. Rajaram, Kumar, 2001. "Assortment planning in fashion retailing: methodology, application and analysis," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 186-208, February.
    5. John R. Hauser & Steven Shugan, 1978. "Intensity Measures of Consumer Preferences," Discussion Papers 291, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    6. Wilhelm, Wilbert E. & Xu, Kaihong, 2002. "Prescribing product upgrades, prices and production levels over time in a stochastic environment," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 138(3), pages 601-621, May.
    7. Kwong, C.K. & Luo, X.G. & Tang, J.F., 2011. "A methodology for optimal product positioning with engineering constraints consideration," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 93-100, July.

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