A Product is anything that is offered in a market for sale that might satisfy a need or want. It is a bundle of utilities consisting of various features and accompanying services.
According to Phillip Kotler – “It is a bundle of physical services and symbolic particulars expected to yield satisfactions or benefits to the buyer.”
Products are central to the marketing efforts of any business. Products are the building blocks of a marketing plan. According to Stanton, “It is a set of tangible and intangible attributes, including, packaging, colour, and retailer`s services which a buyer may accept as offering for satisfaction of needs or wants.”
Characteristics of a Product
It may be tangible or intangible
It consists of associated attributes such as brand, package, warranty etc.
It has an exchange value
It has the ability to satisfy consumer needs and wants
Classification of Products
On the basis of Tangibility
On the basis of Durability
On the basis of User
Types of Products
On the basis of Nature
Goods – Tangible and physical materials
Services – Intangible benefits
Property – Intangible right of ownership
On the basis of Consumer
Consumer Products – Products bought by final consumers for personal consumption. They can be further classified into:
Convenience Products – Goods which a consumer buys frequently and that require minimum customer effort or thought eg. Toothpaste
Shopping Products – Goods that a consumer buys after careful selection from different alternatives. Customers invest their time and effort to compare quality, price, style etc. of such products.
Specialty Products – Goods having unique characteristics and/or brand identification for which a significant group of buyers are willing to make an extra purchasing effort.
Unsought Products – Products about which potential buyers are unaware or do not wish to purchase.
Industrial Products – Products bought by organisations for resale or further processing and value addition to make a final product. They are sold primarily for producing other products. They consists of –
Machinery & Equipment
On the basis of Social Benefits
Pleasing products – Products which give high immediate satisfaction but harm the consumer in the long run e.g. Cigarette
Deficient Product – Out-dated products
Salutary Products – Products that provide benefits in the long run but no immediate satisfaction.
Desirable Products – Products that provide high immediate satisfaction and consumer welfare in the long run.
Levels of Product
A marketer has to plan products and its attributes according to different levels of the product. This must be done in such a way that it adds more value to the product and makes the offering more attractive to the customer.
These 5 levels of product are:-
Core benefit – The fundamental service or benefit that the customer is actually buying.
Basic Product – The benefit or attribute that the customer is buying that is derived from core benefit.
Expected product – Set of attributes or benefits a customer already expects (normal features)
Augmented Product – Set of attributes that exceeds customer expectations ( unique additional features)
Potential Product – Possible augmentation or transformation the product might undergo in the future.
Decisions to be taken while making a strategy for products
Product Line – A group of closely related products that are sold to same customer groups and marketed through same distribution channels
Product Mix – Set of all product lines and items that a particular seller offers for sale to buyers
Product length – Number of items in each product line
Product Depth – Number of variants offered in each item of a product line
Consistency – Relation between various product lines
Branding – Symbolic and visual elements
Packaging and Labeling
Elements of Product Planning
Planning for products involves:
Eliminating unprofitable and deficient products from the product line
Developing plans for existing profitable products with respect to changing marketing environment
Improving existing products to meet the changing market requirements
Introducing new products on the basis of changing consumer demands
Factors influencing Product Mix
Cost and Quantity of Production
Use of Residuals
Goodwill of the Company
Changing Consumer Behaviour
Purchasing power of Customers
Advertising and Distribution Factors
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