Practical market structure analysis and perceptual brand maps are typically derived from survey data (Cooper, 1983; Green, 1975). Respondents are presented with pairs of brands and are asked to rate them based on perceived similarity. Such data are then analyzed using a spatial mapping analysis like multidimensional scaling (MDS) approaches (e.g., Kruskal, 1964a) or a tree-type analysis approach such as hierarchical clustering (e.g., Johnson, 1967; Ward, 1963). However, spatial maps have been said to be somewhat more useful relative to hierarchical trees (Johnson & Hudson, 1998). In practice, both are often combined. For example, an MDS analysis may be performed to produce a spatial representation of the brands, followed by a tree analysis to help in demarcating the domains in the spatial map.
Brand similarities can now be derived from online consumer-generated data (CGD), such as web search queries (e.g., Won, Oh, & Choeh, 2018), discussions on product review websites (e.g., Lee & Bradlow, 2011), clickstream data (e.g., Ringel & Skiera, 2016), and online forums and blogs (Netzer, Feldman, Goldenberg, & Fresko, 2012; Vriens, Vidden, Chen, & Kaulartz, 2017) to study market structures and perceptual brand maps. However, apart from the Netzer et al. (2012) result, little to the authors' knowledge is known about how perceptual brand maps differ between online CGD and survey data in both terms of fit and interpretation.