What is a Product, how you can understand and define a product?
We can define a product anything – goods, services and ideas – that can be offered in a market to satisfy customer needs and wants. A product has a bundle of tangible and intangible characteristics.
Definition of Product
“Anything that can be offered to a market for attention, acquisition, use or consumption that might satisfy a want or need. It includes physical objects, services, persons, places, organizations and ideas”.
Kotler, Wong, Saunders, Armstrong
What is a Product
A Pair of Nike shoes, a mobile phone device, a Volvo truck, a Samsung LED, your bank account, and a doctor advice all the products. The above definition of a product by Philip Kolter not only consists tangible product attributes, for example, a car, an office, a book, a mobile device but according to a broader view of a product, its consist ideas, services, physical object, place and even organizations and persons.
The above definition also covers the service in marketing. Those activities, benefits and satisfactions essentially intangible – one party offer to another for sale. Service activities include banking services, renting rooms in a hotel, doctor consolation, haircutting, repair and maintenance services.
Three Levels of a Product
The marketer must understand these three levels of classification. Each product level means adding more value.
Core Product. This is not a physical object but consist of the problem-solving benefits that satisfy the consumer needs. Products are based on the consumer perspective. For Lululemon deals in yoga clothes, Revlon combines chemicals to produce lipstick, Coca-Cola uses chemicals to produce Coke Drink. Here Each product is based on core benefits.
Revlon is not selling cosmetics but Beauty and Hope. Coca-Cola fulfils thirst of consumers, medicine gives cure and healthy life.
The second level, the marketers must convert the core benefits into a physical or actual product that have the attributes to satisfy customer needs and wants. If the company want to deliver its core benefits, it must have combined five attributes name, parts, packaging, features and style.
After physical goods and next levels is augmented product that includes after-sales services, installation, warranty. For example, you purchased a split air conditioner, many brands may offer you free installation and one-year warranty. Other bundle of benefits may include an instruction manual, free number to call for a quick repair.
Types of products
When someone goes to a market, he/she can find a variety of products, whereas some are for the end users while others are for resellers. In the following lines, we will be discussing different types of products.
Do you know products are labeled based on their users? If the end-user a consumer then it is a consumer product but if the end-user is a business then it will be classified as a business product. For instance, a printer is either a consumer or business product, depending on who is the consumer.
Furthermore, consumer products fulfil personal need and desire. There are two categories of consumer products, consumable and durable. For instance, you can purchase a bottle of Coca-Cola that can quench your thirst. A good example of a durable product is a bicycle. Once you purchase it and you can use it for a longer period of time.
Industrial products are those products that are purchased for further processing in a manufacturing or business process. The main difference between consumer and industrial product lies in the usage for which it is bought. For instance, if a person is buying a lawnmower for his personal use then it is a consumer product. But if he purchases the same product for his landscaping business then it is a business product.
A service is an intangible part of a product. It is an action or effort to fulfil a demand or satisfy customer needs. It is unable to store or own it and consumed at a point of sale. For instance, if you visit a doctor, he offers his services to cure a disease. Other examples of services are banking services, postal or educational service and many more.
A digital product is created in a digital format as a file which might be for sale or not. A person can download and stream it by using a computer or other electronic devices. Any digital product might include audio video file, ebook, desktop or mobile applications, downloadable templates graphics, fonts and PSD files. Consumers who purchase these digital products are known as digital buyers.