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An analysis of the US decking materials market: perceptual mapping approach

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This paper analyzes the product positioning and market demand of preservative-treated, naturally decay-resistant, and composite decking materials in the United States using an innovative perceptual mapping technique. Market analysis using perceptual mapping is generally used for end-user market scenarios for strategic planning. This paper establishes that the perceptual mapping technique can also be a valuable tool for analyzing the US decking products market, which is predominantly a business-to-business (B2B) market. Using perceptual mapping of the US decking market, this paper proposes a method for incorporating market demand density on a perceptual space, incorporating a kernel regression based nonparametric demand distribution. Representation of products and demand distribution on the same perceptual space in the proposed mapping technique enables simultaneous visualization of product positioning and demand density distribution in the marketplace. The mapping results obtained in this paper will enable business decision makers in the US decking industry to strategically position their offerings based on existing product positioning and market demand distribution. The data used for the study were collected through a national survey of 368 professional deck builders and homebuilders.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Center for International Trade in Forest Products, Box 352100, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA. 2: Michael G. Foster School of Business, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.

Publication date: April 8, 2011

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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