Identify the ways in which consumer and business products and services can be classified.
By type of user, the major distinctions are consumer products, which are products purchased by the ultimate consumer, and business products, which are products that assist in providing other products for resale. Consumer products can be broken down based on the effort involved in the purchase decision process, marketing mix attributes used in the purchase, and the frequency of purchase: (a) convenience products are items that consumers purchase frequently and with a minimum of shopping effort; (b) shopping products are items for which consumers compare several alternatives on selected criteria; (c) specialty products are items that consumers make special efforts to seek out and buy; and (d) unsought products are items that consumers do not either know about or initially want. Business products can be broken down into (a) components, which are items that become part of the final product, such as raw materials or parts, and (b) support products, which are items used to assist in producing other goods and services and include installations, accessory equipment, supplies, and industrial services. Services can be classified in terms of whether they are delivered by (a) people or equipment, (b) business firms or nonprofit organizations, or (c) government agencies. Firms can offer a range of products, which involve decisions regarding the product item, product line, and product mix.