Tag Archives: perceptual map

Vehicle Dependability Study

Cars are one of the most expensive and involved purchases that consumers make. They have an extended decision-making process, use multiple information sources, and include multiple evaluation criteria before making a final decision. The decisions that car buyers make impact not only their immediate budgets, but also their long-term budgets with respect to repairs and vehicle dependability (post-purchase behavior).

One source often used by consumers is the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study. According to the most recent study, car buyers avoid models with poor reputations for dependability. The good news is that buyers do not have to spend a lot of money in order to get a dependable vehicle.

The study examines problems experienced over the past 12 months by original owners of 3-year cars. Eight categories are examined, including exterior, engine/transmission, audio/communication/entertainment/navigation, interior, features/controls/displays, the driving experience, heating/ventilation/air condition, and seats. The survey examined responses from 35,186 original owners of 2014 auto models.

Check out the report and see where your vehicle placed.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Review key aspects of developing a product positioning map, including determining the axis labels for positioning.
  2. Poll students: What are factors that influence consumer purchases of cars?
  3. Divide students into teams.
  4. Have each team select two criteria and draw a positioning map for automobiles using those criteria (Ex: price and reliability).
  5. Show the J.D. Power report and video:
  6. http://www.jdpower.com/cars/awards/Vehicle-Dependability-Study-%2528VDS%2529-by-Category/1882ENG
  7. Based on the J.D. Power ranking, how could different auto manufacturers use the rankings to reposition their products?

Source:  J.D. Power, Manufacturing Business Technology

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Playing with Glue


Look around. How many things are broken, or close to breaking? How many different glues or tapes to you have on hand to fix these problems? (Or will you just trash and replace the broken products?) What if there was a glue that could fix virtually everything that breaks – ceramic, wood, glass, metal, wire cables, and even create new uses for products along with creating a prosthetic chicken leg?

Sounds pretty unbelievable, but the product is real and it’s called Sugru – a moldable glue (looks similar to Play-Doh) that can be shaped into virtually anything. Once in place, Sugru dries to a silicone type of rubbery finish. Easy to use, and easy to grip.

Sugru was developed by an Irish entrepreneur as part of a project while in college working on degrees in fine arts and product design. It was not an overnight success though. While the product was immediately well-received, it took a number of years to get investments, and to survive a recession. However, in 2009, Sugru launched on social media by sending samples to technology bloggers. The result: It went viral. When the company introduced its Web site in 2009, all 1,000 packages sold out within six hours and another 2,000 were placed on backorder. This year, sales are expected to exceed $10 million.

Check it out. Need anything glued? (BTW – the prosthetic chicken leg is real.)

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What is broken in their lives that needs to be fixed? How do they mend these items?
  1. Show students the Web site:


  1. There are additional videos posted by users of the product on Sugru’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/projectsugru
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team brainstorm on new uses for Sugru.
  3. Discuss the product life cycle. Place standard glues and tapes on the PLC. Now, place Sugru on the PLC. What did the company do to reposition its product?
  4. Discuss positioning (perceptual) maps. Have teams place glues and tapes onto a perceptual map.
  5. Have students work in teams to determine the target market for Sugru.

Source: New York Times

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