Typical to most mormons, I have a big family. So, I’m looking for cars for big families. Yup, we have 5 biological kids. Atypical, however, is that my wife is white, I’m Filipino, and we’ll be adopting 2 African American kids in the next little while. We’re excited and are learning a lot about adoption, raising transracial kids, and learning to do black hair. Anyway, more on that later.
Because my family is gigantic, we need to upgrade from our trusty little van to a heftier car. I’ve done my little research and have spoken to friends and strangers about big cars. I’ve narrowed my choices down to the GMC Yukon XL or the Chevrolet Suburban.
Based on specifications, they’re head-to-head. Based on price, there’s a difference. The Chevrolet Suburban is roughly ~$3,000 to ~$5,000 cheaper, depending on features. I’ve realized that I’m price sensitive when it comes to cars, especially when the Retail Price on these bad boys are around ~$37,000 to ~$51,000 for a brand new model. I think I’ll get a used model, with around 5,000 to 15,000 miles on it. That way, it will be cheaper, yet virtually brand new.
Perceptual Maps is a simple, graphical technique used to render the perceptions of customers for certain products or services against several dimensional attributes. Often, a Perceptual Map is used to see how the customers or potential customers percieve a product, brand, product line, or service. Perceptual Maps are very common in Brand-Checkup studies and Product Evaluation studies.
Perceptual Maps can be created ad-hoc, without an statistical measuers, as I will do below. But, they are typically created using regression-driven techniques such as Multi-Dimensional Scaling, Factor Analysis, Discriminant Analysis, Cluster Analysis, and Logit Analysis.
I was once worked at a research firm as a researcher; on one study, I was an investigator that researched the brand perceptions of credit cards against 4 dimensions. The result of that study informed the credit card companies of the customer’s perceptions of their brand. Given this data, the credit card companies then created a strategy around the study in order to move the customer’s perceptions. For example, Discover Card was percieved as “Cheap and Inclusive”. This result informed Discover Card in such as way as to develop a new product that would hopefully be perceived as “Elegant and Exclusive” — that product would later be called their Platinum Card.
Perceptual Maps, Market Research, and the Automotive Industry
I created my own Perceptual Map for how I perceive the Chevrolet Suburban and the GMC Yukon XL:
In my view, the Suburban is more affordable and dependable than the GMC Yukon XL. The GMC Yukon XL, in my view, is more sporty and elegant — at least from what I’ve read and seen. Now, compare the two hefty cars against my 1993 Ford Station Wagon LX — I view that car as very dependable and affordable, since it falls on the bottom left of the matrix.
This is just my perception; and, perceptions change. Right now, I am price sensitive ($40K for a car is a lot for me) and I want a car that is reliable and dependable — nothing fancy: just a good, hefty, car that the whole family can fit in.