b. WHAT IS A PRODUCT?
A product is anything that can be offered to a market for
attention, acquisition, use, or
consumption and that might satisfy a want or need. It includes physical
objects, services, persons,
places, organizations, and ideas.’ Pure' Services are distinguished from
'physical' products on the
basis of intangibility, inseparability, variability and perish ability.
Services are a form of product that
consist of activities, benefits, or satisfactions offered for sale that
are essentially intangible and do
not result in the ownership of anything.
Product is a complex concept that must be carefully defined. As the
first of the four marketing mix
variables, it is often where strategic planning begins. Product strategy
calls for making coordinated
decisions on individual products, product lines, and the product mix.
a) Levels of Product and Services
As shown in the fig each product item offered to customers can be viewed
on three levels.
Therefore product planners need to think about products and services on
1). The core product is the core, problem solving
benefits that consumers are really buying
when they obtain a product or service. It answers the question what is
the buyer really buying?
2). The actual product may have as many as five
characteristics that combine to deliver
core product benefits. They are:
a). Quality level.
d). Brand name.
3). The augmented
product includes any additional consumer services and
benefits built around the core and actual products. Therefore, a product
than a simple set of tangible features. Consumers tend to see products
as complex bundles of benefits that satisfy their needs. When
developing products, marketers must:
1). Identify the core consumer
needs that the product will satisfy.
2). Design the actual product and
3). Find ways to augment the product in order to create the
bundle of benefits that will best satisfy consumer’s desires for an
experience. The product. For example, a Sony camcorder is an actual
product. Its name, parts, styling, features, packaging, and other
attributes have all been combined carefully to deliver the core
benefit—a convenient, high-quality
way to capture important moments. Sony must offer more than just a
camcorder. It must provide
consumers with a complete solution to their picture-taking problems.
Thus, when consumers buy a
Sony camcorder, Sony and its dealers also might give buyers a warranty
on parts and workmanship,
instructions on how to use the camcorder, quick repair services when
needed, and a toll-free
telephone number to call if they have problems or questions (augmented
Therefore, a product is more than a simple set of tangible features.
Consumers tend to see
products as complex bundles of benefits that satisfy their needs. When
marketers first must identify the core consumer needs the product will
satisfy. They must then
design the actual product and find ways to augment it in order to create
the bundle of benefits that
will best satisfy consumers.
b) Product Classification
There are three basic types of product classifications. Durable products
are used to over an
extended period of time. Nondurable products are more quickly consumed,
usually in a single use
or a few usage occasions. 'Pure' Services are activities or benefits
offered for sale which are
intangible, inseparable from the consumer, perishable in that they are
experiential and do not result
in ownership of anything. Either consumer or industrial customers can
buy each of these
products. Consumer products are sold to the final end-user for personal
Individuals and other organizations to use in their administrative or
processing operations buy
business-to-business products. Industrial products are the most widely
used of these products and
consist of consumables such as paper clips or raw materials that are
converted to finished
products. Lets discuss these classifications in detail:
I. Consumer Products
Consumer products are those bought by final consumers for personal
usually classify these goods further based on how consumers go about
buying them. Consumer
products include convenience products, shopping products, specialty
products, and unsought products. These
products differ in the ways consumers buy them and therefore in how they
• Convenience products are consumer products and
services that the customer
usually buys frequently, immediately, and with a minimum of comparison
buying effort. Examples include soap, candy, newspapers, and fast food.
Convenience products are usually low priced, and marketers place them in
locations to make them readily available when customers need them.
• Shopping products are less frequently purchased
consumer products and services
that customers compare carefully on suitability, quality, price, and
buying shopping products and services, consumers spend much time and
gathering information and making comparisons. Examples include
clothing, used cars, major appliances, and hotel and motel services.
• Shopping products marketers usually distribute their
products through fewer
outlets but provide deeper sales support to help customers in their
• Specialty products are consumer products and services
with unique characteristics
or brand identification for which a significant group of buyers is
willing to make a
special purchase effort. Examples include specific brands and types of
photographic equipment, designer clothes, and the services of medical or
legal specialists. A Lamborghini automobile, for example, is a specialty
because buyers are usually willing to travel great distances to buy one.
normally do not compare specialty products. They invest only the time
reach dealers carrying the wanted products.
• Unsought products are consumer products that the
consumer either does not
know about or knows about but does not normally think of buying. Most
new innovations are unsought until the consumer becomes aware of them
advertising. Classic examples of known but unsought products and
services are life
insurance and blood donations to the Red Cross. By their very nature,
products require a lot of advertising, personal selling, and other
II. Industrial Products
Industrial products are those purchased for further processing or for
use in conducting a business.
Thus, the distinction between a consumer product and an industrial
product is based on the
purpose for which the product is bought. If a consumer buys a lawn mower
for use around home,
the lawn mower is a consumer product. If the same consumer buys the same
lawn mower for use
in a landscaping business, the lawn mower is an industrial product.
The three groups of industrial products and services include materials
and parts, capital items, and
supplies and services. Materials and parts include raw
materials and manufactured materials and
parts. Raw materials consist of farm products (wheat, cotton, livestock,
fruits, vegetables) and
natural products (fish, lumber, crude petroleum, iron ore). Manufactured
materials and parts
consist of component materials (iron, yarn, cement, wires) and component
parts (small motors,
tires, castings). Most manufactured materials and parts are sold
directly to industrial users. Price
and service are the major marketing factors; branding and advertising
tend to be less important.
The demand for industrial products is derived from the demand for
consumer products. This is
known as "derived demand." Capital items are industrial
products that aid in the buyer's
production or operations, including installations and accessory
equipment. Installations consist of
major purchases such as buildings (factories, offices) and fixed
equipment (generators, drill presses,
large computer systems, elevators). Accessory equipment includes
portable factory equipment and
tools (hand tools, lift trucks) and office equipment (fax machines,
desks). They have a shorter life
than installations and simply aid in the production process.
The final group of business products is supplies and services.
Supplies include operating supplies
(lubricants, coal, paper, pencils) and repair and maintenance items
(paint, nails, brooms). Supplies
are the convenience products of the industrial field because they are
usually purchased with a
minimum of effort or comparison. Business services include maintenance
and repair services
(window cleaning, computer repair) and business advisory services
(legal, management consulting,
advertising). Such services are usually supplied under contract.
III. Organizations, Persons, Places, and Ideas
In addition to tangible products and services, in recent years marketers
have broadened the
concept of a product to include other "marketable entities” namely,
organizations, persons, places,
and ideas. Organizations often carry out activities to "sell" the
organization itself. Organization
marketing consists of activities undertaken to create, maintain, or
change the attitudes and
behavior of target consumers towards an organization. Both profit and
practice organizational marketing. People can also be thought of as
products. Person marketing
consists of activities undertaken to create, maintain, or change
attitudes or behavior toward
particular people. All kinds of people and organizations practice person
marketing. Ideas can also
be marketed. In one sense, all marketing is the marketing of an idea,
whether it is the general idea
of brushing your teeth or the specific idea that Crest provides the most
effective decay prevention.