PRODUCT Many people think that a product is a tangible offering, but a product can be more than that., a product is anything that can be offered to a market to satisfy a want or need . Products that are marketed include a physical goods, services , experiences, events, persons, places, properties, organization, information, and ideas .
Product levels : the customervalue hierarchy In planning its market offering, the marketer needs to address five product levels . Potential product Augmented product Expected product Basic product Core benefit
Each level adds more customervalue , and the five constitutea customer hierarchy . 1Core benefits- this is the fundamental level .the service or benefit the customer is really buying. A hotel guest is buying “rest and sleep.” the purchase of drill is buying “holes.” marketers must see themselves as benefit providers . 2Basic product- At the second level ,the marketer has to turn the core benefit into a basic product. Thus a hotel room includes a bed, bathroom, towels, desk, dresser, and closet .
3Expected product - At the third level, the marketer prepares an expected product, a set of attributes and conditions buyers normally expect when they purchase this product. Hotel guests expect a clean bed, fresh towels, working lamps, and a relative degree of quiet. Because most hotels can meet this minimum expectation, the traveler normally will settle for whichever hotel is most convenient or least expensive.
Augmented product At the fourth level , the marketer prepares an augmented product that exceeds customer expectations. In developed countries, brand positioning and competition take place at this level. In developing countries and emerging markets, competition takes place mostly at the expected product level. However in India, there is a visible move by some companies to augment their products and services by providing superior customer experience.
The new competition is not between what companies produce in their factories , but between what the add to their factory output in the form of packaging, services, advertising, customer advice financing, delivery arrangements, warehousing, and other things that people value .
Some things should be noted about product -augmentation strategy. First, each augmentationadds cost. Second, augmented benefits soon becomeexpected benefits and necessary points-of-parity .Today`s hotel guests expect cable or satellitetelevision with a remote control and high-speedinternet access or two phone lines. This meanscompetitors will have to search for still otherfeatures and benefits . third , as companies raisethe price of their augmented product, somecompetitors offer a “stripped-down ” version at amuch lower price.
Potential product At the fifth level stands the potential product, which encompasses all the possible augmentations and transformations the product or offering might undergo in the future, here is where companies search for new ways to satisfy customers and distinguish their offer.
Product classification Product can be classified on the basis of characteristics : Durability , tangibility, and use .each product has an appropriate marketing-mix strategy . Durability and tangibility product can be classified into three groups , according to durability and tangibility :1 Nondurable goods – these are tangible goods normally consumed in one or a few uses, like beer and soap . Because these goods are consumed quickly and purchased frequently, the appropriate strategy is to make them available in many locations, charge only a small markup, and advertise heavily to induce trail and build preference .
Durable goods – these are goods that normally survive many uses : refrigerators, machine tools, and clothing . Durable products normally require more personal selling and service, command a higher ire more seller guarantees . Services – these are intangible, inseparable, variable, and perishable products . As a result , they normally require more quality control, supplier credibility , and adaptability . Examples include haircuts, legal advice , and appliance repairs .
Consumer-goods classificationThe cast array of goods consumers buy can be classified on the basis of shopping habits . We can distinguish among convenience, shopping, specialty, and unsought goods .Convenience goods – the consumer usually purchases frequently , immediately, and with a minimum of effort. Examples include tobacco products, soaps, and newspapers, convenience goods can be further divided .Staples goods- consumer purchase on a regular basis . Exa. Colgate toothpaste .Impulse goods – are purchased without any planning or search effort . Exa. -chocolates, candy bars and potato chips are impulse goods .Emergency goods – when need is urgent. Exa . – umbrella etc.
Shopping goods – these are goods that the consumer, in the process of selection and purchase, characteristically compares on such bases as suitability , quality, price, and style. exa. – furniture, clothing, used cars .Homogeneous shopping goods – these are similar in quality but different enough in price to justify shopping comparisons.Heterogeneous shopping goods – these are differ in product features and services that may be more important than price .
Specialty goods –these goods have unique characteristics or brand identification for which a sufficient number of buyers are willing to make a special purchasing effort. Examples include cars, stereo components, photographic equipment, and men`s suits . Unsought goods – these goods are those the consumer does not know about or does not normally think of buying, like smoke detectors. The classic example of known but unsought goods are life insurance , encyclopedias, and reference books, unsought goods require advertisement and personal-selling support .