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11.02.2014
All of these perceptual maps were produced using the free software download available on this site. You will notice that there are three different perceptual maps presented across four different markets. Please keep in mind that we are mapping the perceptions of consumers (or a specific target market), not the actual reality of the market. For further information on positioning and perceptual maps, you should visit the Market Segmentation Study Guide. One of the main benefits of a perceptual map is to demonstrate how the brand is positioned against competitors. In the first three perceptual maps, the major fast food chains in the USA market have been mapped.
A perceptual map for quick serve (fast food) restaurants in the USA, using choice and locations. A perceptual map for quick serve (fast food) restaurants in the USA, using value and occasion. One of the strategic options for positioning, especially for smaller brands, is to adopt a me-too positioning.
Should we be concerned about radiation from our cell phones (which we carry with us everywhere) and our Wi-Fi (which is nearly ubiquitous these days)? A review of recent studies shows reasons for caution, pointing to evidence which demonstrates that children absorb more microwave radiation (MWR) than adults. The study, published in the Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure, says that children are at greater risk because their brain tissues are more absorbent, their skulls are thinner, and their relative size is smaller. As we noted in 2011, there have been multiple reports, mostly out of Europe’s premier research institutions, of cell phone use being linked to brain damage, early-onset Alzheimer’s, senility, DNA damage, and even sperm die-offs. The study also found that adults are at a lower, but still significant, risk, echoing the findings of a 2013 case study from a team of breast cancer surgeons and pathologists who raised the possibility that nonionizing radiation from cell phone EMF exposures caused multifocal invasive breast cancer in four young women. The article concludes with this striking warning: “The risk to children and adolescent from exposure to microwave radiating devices is considerable. Given the potential dangers of long-term exposure to MWR and the near-ubiquity of cell phones and Wi-Fi devices in our society, you might think that significant steps would be taken at the policy level to adequately address these dangers. Rather than erring on the side of caution, the US seems to be moving in the opposite direction. Government warnings have been issued, but according to Forbes, most of the public is unaware of such warnings. At the policy level, the FCC should update its standards on MWR exposure and test products based on how they are actually used.
Because of particular dangers to the fetus, pregnant women should avoid exposing their fetus to MWR.


Hold cell phones 15 centimeters (about 6 inches) away from your ear to limit exposure—that is, use the speakerphone function or else headphones with a microphone. Teach kids to limit cell phone use when they can, and to use alternatives like landlines and Skype, which don’t emit MWR. Wi-Fi routers should be placed where people, especially children, spend the least amount of time.
Consider hardwiring your computers to the modem via Ethernet instead of using Wi-Fi (that’s what we do at the ANH-USA offices). Opt-out of installing smart meters in your home (though this may be difficult in some states). In response to public and governmental concern, the World Health Organization (WHO) has established the International Electromagnetic Fields Project to assess the scientific evidence of possible adverse health effects from electromagnetic fields. WHO will conduct a formal risk assessment of all studied health outcomes from RF fields exposure by 2016. Considering how much wireless technology and other MWR-emitting devices have been woven into our everyday lives, it’s important to act now to protect our family and loved ones. Kids exposed to EMF radiation may develop cancer later in life, and the risk is much greater than previously thought. This has been done deliberately to demonstrate how the positioning of firms and brands can be constructed using different product attributes on the perceptual map. As marketers, it is necessary for us to understand how consumers differentiate between brands in their minds. In the following perceptual map examples, Coca-Cola is shown in three different competitive sets. As you can see the most of major chains are presented, across six different product attributes (in the three different maps). In the following maps, you can see how effectively repositioning can be visually demonstrated.
This is discussed further in the positioning strategy section, but it is a deliberate strategy designed to associate the smaller brand with the strong brand equity and perceived benefits of the larger brand.
The authors also note the shortcomings in current federal regulatory policy in regard to MWR exposure. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer calls MWR a class 2B carcinogen, which means it possibly causes cancer in humans—it’s in the same category as lead, chloroform, gasoline fumes, and the pesticide DDT. But after this new study on the MWR dangers to young children, concern is mounting about the growing number of children’s toys that use Wi-Fi technology—and that’s not counting the number of kids who play with tablets or carry cell phones these days. These women, all between the ages of 21 and 39, regularly carried their smartphones directly against their breasts in their bras for up to ten hours a day, for several years.
The Federal Communication Commission (FCC), the government body responsible for regulating MWR exposure, has stated that equipping schools with Wi-Fi is a national priority; the agency plans to invest an additional $2 billion in broadband service for schools and libraries by the end of the year. Exposure limits were set by the FCC in the 1990s, before the plethora of scientific studies showing cancer risks at levels well below the current legal exposure limit.


Cell phone manual warnings make clear that an overexposure problem exists—but that is to limit legal liability, and besides, who reads cell phone manuals? The answer isn’t to throw away our cell phones and smash our wireless routers, but in our increasingly tech-intensive world, we need to do a better job of evaluating the risks of moving further and further away from nature. Government officials in the US could also follow the proactive approach taken by officials in other countries to warn and protect their citizens. Permission granted to forward, copy, or reprint with date and attribution (including link to original content) to ANH-USA. I would encourage you, where appropriate, to produce multiple perceptual maps and even present more than one in your marketing assignment. In this case, the firm simply introduces a product offering that is not provided by competitors. Further, the FCC’s exposure limits are based entirely on short-term exposures, with no consideration of long-term exposures.
Furthermore, FCC regulations state that devices should be tested under normal operating conditions—yet many MWR products, including cell phones and laptops, usually measure exposure when the device is held 20 centimeters (a little less than 8 inches) from the body.
Belgium’s Public Health Minister, for instance, banned cell phone sales for children under seven years old. Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. This is because multiple maps will allow you to look at the same market and competitive sets in different ways and should deliver greater insights. The second approach (second map below) is used by larger brands looking to push a competitor out of the market space.
All four had no family history of breast cancer, tested negative for BRCA1 and BRCA2, and had no other known breast cancer risks. People place laptops on their laps and keep cell phones in receiving mode (rather than the presumably safe airplane mode) in their pockets and bras all the time. The Australian government produced a fact sheet educating citizens on how they could reduce their exposure from wireless devices. Most people hold their cell phones to their heads to talk, rather than using speakerphone or a headset.
The FCC and other related agencies should work to make sure that people are aware of the possible dangers of MWR exposure.




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