Principles of Marketing: Product Decisions
A product can be defined as anything that can be offered to the market for attention, acquisition, rental, use, or consumption to satisfy a need or a want.
LEVELS OF A PRODUCT
The most basic level of a product. That is the core problem solving benefits that consumers look for in a product. It addresses what a customer is really buying. For instance when a customer buys a condom, the core/real product is protection
The Actual product
Marketers must turn benefits into an actual product around their core product. For example in the case of the condom, the condom itself is the actual product.
This is a set of attributes and conditions the buyers normally expect and agree to when they purchase the product. For example in a hotel, consumers expect and find a clean room, clean towel, working bulbs and so on.
This meets the customers’ desires beyond their expectations. For instance a hotel manager may augment his or her products by including a remote control TV, fresh flowers, fine dining among others.
Products fall into two major classifications as:
Products bought by consumers for final consumption. They include:
Convenience goods: Products that are bought frequently, immediately and with less compassion and minimum buying effort such as cigarettes’, soap, bread, newspapers and so on.
Shopping goods: Usually expensive products and infrequently bought by the consumers. Consumers compare them on the basis of suitability, quality, price and style.
Specialty goods: Are consumer products and services with unique characteristics or brand identification for which a significant group of buyers are willing to make special efforts to purchase such as luxury cars, designer clothes, specialized services such as medical, legal, marketing and so on.
Unsought goods: Consumer goods that consumers either do not know or knows about them but doesn’t normally think of buying them such as insurance policies, blood donations, coffins, food/health supplements
Industrial products are purchased by individual organizations for further processing or for use in conducting a business. They include; raw materials and spare parts, Capital items, services among others.