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PRODUCT: DEFINITION, TYPES, & CHARACTERISITCS

INTRODUCTION

A Product is a tangible item or service that satisfies human needs. It is one of the important elements of the marketing mix. A product helps in satisfying consumer needs and wants. It consists of both goods and services. Marketing decisions are taken on the basis of the classification of a product. This includes price, marketing efforts for selling this product, distribution network, etc. It is the core of the marketing program. In short, it holds a major role in the overall success of marketing initiatives.

People get confused when identifying the alignment of product or service. But, in reality, many of the products have an element of service associated with them. For example, the maintenance and tuning service comes with a car when you buy it.

DEFINITION OF A PRODUCT

Experts define products in a number of ways. For a thorough understanding, it’s better to understand some of the initial concepts introduced by experts. Some of their views include:

1. PHILIP KOTLER

“Product is anything that can be offered to someone to satisfy a need or a want.”

2. W. ALDERSON

“Product is a bundle of utilities, consisting of various product features and accompanying services.”

3. WILLIAM STANTON

“Product is complex of tangible and intangible attributes, including packaging, color, price, prestige, and services, that satisfy the needs and wants of people.”

Collectively,

A Product is a vehicle or medium that renders service to customers for satisfying the need of the customers. It holds a mix of physical and psychological benefits for fulfilling the needs of the customers. They are further classified into:

1)TANGIBLE VS INTANGIBLE

2)PERISHABLE vs. NON PERISHABLE

3)PRODUCTION VS INTERACTION

Let us examine them in detail:

TANGIBLE VS INTANGIBLE

Tangible products are the ones that we can physically identify. For example, a pen, a car, a house, etc. Intangible goods, in contrast, bring similar or greater benefits without any physical identity. For example digital products like mobile apps, business services, knowledge, etc.

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PERISHABLE VS NON PERISHABLE

Perishable products are the ones that spoil once not in use. For example, food items. Non-perishable products include items like jewelry and automobile parts that keep their existence even not in use.

PRODUCTION VS INTERACTION

Production products are the ones that come as the necessary item of a product. For example seats of the car, its dashboard, and its other items that are vital in its composition. Interaction products include the interaction of the salesperson or team that is selling that car.

FURTHER CLASSIFICATION

Product can further be classified as:

1. CORE PRODUCT:

Core product offers basic qualities, benefits,contents, or utilities.

2. PRODUCT RELATED FETURES

They include branding, packing, color, labeling, and varieties.

3. PRODUCT-RELATED SERVICES

They include after-sales services, installation, guarantee and warranty, free services, and more. It can be in the form of a physical object, person, idea, activity, or organization that can provide any kind of service addresses customers’ wants and needs. Companies like Lexus, Toyota etc are efficinet in these kinds of services

4.DIFFERENTIATED PRODUCT

These products differ from similar products or brands available in the market because of distinct features, quality, image. These also depend on how the customer perceives these products. An example might be a mobile phone with different features as compared to its competitors.

5.CUSTOMIZED PRODUCT

These products are developed by considering the specific needs of a customer. Producers of these kinds of products come into contact directly with the buyer and develop such products. An example includes a software app for a specific business.

6.POTENTIAL PRODUCT

The product of this nature is developed by keeping their future potential to succeed and their demand in the future. It’s obvious that thorough market research is required for making such kind of products. An example can be a company introducing certain features on a mobile phone that will provide convenience for its potential customers in the near future.

7.ACTUAL PRODUCT

It is the actual product that a customer can look, touch, and take advantage of. There are a wide variety of examples for this kind of product. Some of them include cars, vehicles, motorcycles, electronics, and much more.

8.AUGMENTED PRODUCT

These products one can say are the extra features that come up with the core products. For example by taking the example of a car, one might be expecting a service warranty for some period. Further, is there an option of certain automobile parts for this car? The list goes on. One can say, it is the extra benefit a customer expects to enjoy by using a certain product.

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