A perceptual map refers to a picture created by a customer every time they see the brand of the company. Perceptual mapping is normally done on graphs where various features of the brand are plotted against those of competitors. Perceptual maps help in comparing strategies of the firm and those of rival companies as well as establishing the position of the firm in the market.
Thorr Motorcycle, Inc is a company which deals with the manufacture of motorcycles. One of its main products is the Cruiser Thorr. The company is one of the leading in the motorcycle industry with an estimated share of forty percent of the market. This leadership position is a result of a distinctive position the company holds over rival manufacturers. The company also makes other products like motorcycle shoes, T-Shirts, and leather shoes. It also sells services like soft wares for dealers in the motorcycle industry, renting motorcycles, and training riders. Sales of its main product the Cruiser Thorr have declined because of an aging class of customers, preference for low-cost motorcycles by the young generation, high competition from rivals, and failure of the current generation to identify with Cruiser Thorr’s lifestyle
Thorr Motorcycle, Inc needs to carry out a market analysis to establish the current trends in the market. A perceptual map could be employed to understand the current features and style. The tool could also help to understand what competitors are doing to penetrate and cut a slice of the market that used to be dominated by Thorr Motorcycle, Inc. This research should also seek to look at the modes of distribution for the product. A problem might have arisen in the chain of distribution which made customers not access Cruiser Thorr which could have made loyal customers shift to other products provided by competitors (Kevin et al., 2011).
According to the analysis through specific parameters, it is evidence that the current young generation sees the motorbike as outdated and belonging to the older generation. The company could change this attitude by improving on features like the size of the engine and the design to match the latest demands in the market. The young generation of today which is the main target appreciates cool machines which reflect the style, sophistication as well as class. The company could consider enhancing the features of Cruiser Thorr to reflect these trends to be able to sell the motorcycle to the young generation (Kevin et al., 2011).
It is worth noting that customer loyalty as revealed through the parameters is an important aspect of the motorcycle business. This assumption is based on the fact that Cruiser Thorr used to sell in large numbers when their loyal customers used to be young. The firm should therefore employ current strategies of creating loyalty with the young generation by customizing the product to match customer demands, financially supporting the young generation in motorcycle groups, and encouraging young customers to join Cruiser Thorr clubs. These are the services that will create loyalty with the young generation of motorcycle riders.
Once all this is done together with rebranding and emphasizing on unique features of the motorbike during marketing, the company will be able to create a good rapport with the young generation which will then create loyalty. This should be done consistently to all generations so that Cruiser Thorr remains a relevant brand with all generations (Kevin et al., 2011).
Differentiation and positioning
Differentiation and positioning of the product or service are important because they enable the producer to satisfy the needs of both small and bigger clients. By differentiating a product or a service a smaller client can find a smaller quantity of the product at a grocery outlet while at the same time the bigger client will be able to find the same product in a larger quantity at wholesale. Therefore differentiation leads to the positioning of goods and services at places where customers can find them in the amounts that they want. Both of them increase the availability of the product to the customer.
The product life cycle determines whether the producer can sell the product directly to the consumer or indirectly through wholesalers, retailers, and dealers (middlemen). Products with a shorter life cycle have to reach the market faster and the producer would normally prefer to directly take the product to the customers. The contrary applies to products with longer life cycles. The product life cycle makes firms take or lose control of situations in the market. For example, producers of commodities with a shorter life cycle tend to have control of circumstances in the market while those with a longer lifespan tend to least control market situations. The main disadvantage that manufacturers of products with a shorter life cycle face are the need for extra capital to allocate in distribution. Such producers might not be able to give their customers other services like credit facility which wholesalers give their customers.
Kevin, A., Hartleys, W., & Rudelius, W. (2011). Marketing. New York,NY: McGraw hill Irwin.