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A product is everything that a customer receives from a purchase. Figure 8.1 illustrates how a product such an automobile can be broken down into three layers corresponding to the core product, actual product, and augmented product. Marketers need to understand consumers' needs and wants at EACH level and market their products appropriately. Let's discuss the three product layers in more detail.
Basic benefits relate to the primary reason why consumers purchase a given product within a product category. Obviously, anyone who purchases a vehicle is looking for transportation - this would be considered a basic benefit. But basic benefits might also be less functional or practical in nature. For example, an individual seeking to enhance their personal status would consider this a basic benefit when purchasing a luxury vehicle. Fun, or driving excitement might also be a primary benefit sought by individuals who purchase sports cars.
The core product is defined as the physical good or delivered service that supplies the desired benefits. Thus the core product includes specific features associated with the physical product, its appearance, the brand, or its package.
The augmented product includes the actual product PLUS other supporting features such as the warranty, service contract, credit and delivery services, installation and training or product use instructions. Many aspects of the augmented product can be adapted or changed much more easily than can the actual product itself. For example, loan rates offered by manufacturer's fluctuate - low rates may be used to entice consumers to buy at certain times of the year. Similarly, warranties can change, though a change of this nature is more likely to coincide with the start of a new model year
Products differ from one another in several ways and it is common for marketers to attempt to classify products in categories, especially when buyers feel differently or behave differently towards products of different categories.
One way that marketers classify products is according to their level of durability, that is, how long they are expected to last.
Nondurable goods are sometimes called consumables, because they are typically depleted or used up in a relatively short amount of time. What are some other examples of nondurable, or consumable items?
Durable goods last much longer and almost always cost more than nondurable goods. Cost and longevity differences are two reasons why durable goods are usually purchased under conditions of high involvement, compared to the low involvement levels which characterize nondurable good purchases.
Marketers must understand how consumer needs for augmented products as well as information differ for durable and nondurable goods. For example, all things being equal, would you expect the warranty to more important for a durable, or nondurable purchase? {Answer: Durable of course}.
Since those who are highly involved in a purchase decision spend more time gathering information and comparing alternatives, marketers can cater to the needs of those looking to purchase a durable good by providing extensive information on the website, via the FAQ section or specific web pages devoted to important actual product features or augmented product aspects.
What other actions might marketers take to satisfy the needs of consumers of each type of good?


DISCUSSION NOTE:
Creating a Facebook page, monitoring and responding to tweets, creating a community forum or blog where users can talk about the product are all actions that may be appropriate for durable goods.
Since those who purchase nondurable goods are less likely to spend much time and effort shopping for alternatives, marketers should strive to keep their current users of the brand happy. As long as these users are satisfied, they are likely to continue purchasing the product. Marketers might consider creating new uses for the existing product, rewarding their loyalty via a continuity program (such as a frequency card, buy X items get the X+1 item free), etc.
Convenience products are frequently purchased nondurable products that are purchased with a minimum of time and effort. As the name implies, consumers want easy and convenient access to these products, so marketers often try to make them available in as many locations as possible that make sense given the specific type of product in question. Consumers who can't find their preferred brand will simply purchase a competitive product because they aren't that invested in the purchase decision.
There are three common subtypes of convenience products:.
Staple products are basic or necessary items that we simply can't do without. Gasoline and milk are a couple of examples. Can you think of some others?
Impulse products are bought on the spur of the moment. Package designs of items like candy bars need to be bright and colorful so they catch the consumers attention, enhancing the likelihood of an impulse by. In-store placement is also important; many manufacturers of impulse items try to obtain special point-of-purchase displays to make the product standout, or seek to have them stocked near the cash registers where they may be noticed by bored shoppers waiting their turn in line. What's another example of an impulse item?
Emergency products are items that have to be purchased immediately because of dire need. Because immediate access to the product takes priority, consumers may not consider price or product quality when making their choice. Some examples of emergency products include drain cleaner (when the sink is stopped or overflowing), diapers (when the baby is wet and none are in the house), or an umbrella when you're outside somewhere and have to stay there, despite the fact that it is raining. Other examples?
B2B products are classified by how organizational customers use them.
Equipment is used in daily operations. One form is heavy equipment, which is sometimes called capital equipment or installations. Examples might include a conveyor system used in a warehouse or as part of a production line, or the robotics used by Ford in the manufacturing of their vehicles. Computers, copy machines, and water fountains are examples of light or accessory equipment. Normally these types of items are more portable, cost less, and do not last as long as heavy equipment.
Regardless of the type of equipment, marketers commonly rely heavily upon personal selling of equipment in B2B situations.

Maintenance, repair, and operating (MRO) goods are consumed relatively quickly. Maintenance items include light bulbs, mops, etc., in comparison to repair products, which include small tools, nuts, bolts, and the like. Operating supplies include paper, toner, and the oil that keeps machines running smoothly.
The low cost and straightforward, non-technical nature of these items means most marketers use e-commerce or catalog marketing as the primary method of selling these items, as opposed to personal selling. However, sometimes inside sales representatives will be used to telephone business buyers for supply orders.

Raw materials are products of fishing, lumber, agricultural, and mining industries that are used in the manufacture of finished goods. Milk, soybeans, trees, and ore would be considered examples of raw materials.
The process that leads to consumers' adoption of an innovation is illustrated in Figure 8.5. The process begins at the ground level, and marketers first task is to create awareness among consumers. Different tactics used by marketers to create interest, spur product evaluations, and stimulate trial, adoption and confirmation are also shown in figure 8.5.
However, not everyone who becomes aware of an innovation is interested in learning more. The pyramid shape of Figure 8.5 symbolizes the fact that some consumers "drop out" at each level despite the best efforts of marketers.
Let's briefly discuss each step of the adoption pyramid:
A media blitz, or massive advertising campaign and publicity efforts are commonly used to create awareness among the target market.
Prospective adopters become interested when they see how the new product might satisfy a need. Teaser advertising is often used to stimulate curiosity and the desire to look for more information.
Consumers weigh the costs/benefits of the new innovation during the evaluation stage, though some types of products, such as those bought on impulse, may be bought with very little evaluation.
Sampling is the premiere technique for stimulating trial usage of the product among potential adopters, and demonstrations can be critical as well.
During Adoption, the prospect actually buys the product for the first time. But that's not the end of the process!
After initially adopting the product, the consumer weighs the expected vs. actual benefits and costs. If he or she is satisfied following a favorable experience, the individual is likely to continue using the product for as long as it meets his or her needs better than the competition. Marketers can encourage confirmation via marketing communications by reinforcing the idea that the consumer made the correct choice.
Recall from our earlier discussion that diffusion describes how a product spreads throughout the marketplace. Some consumers are eager to try new innovations, while others may take a "wait and see" attitude, or be downright skeptical of new offerings. The simple fact is that different people adopt innovations at different times.
Figure 8.6 illustrates this idea - the first to adopt a new product are innovators. These risk-taking, adventurous individuals are young, well educated, and better off financially than most others.
Early adopters are concerned about their standing with peers, and gravitate towards products that will enhance their social acceptance by making them appear to be fashionable or cutting-edge. Marketers will often spend more money targeting the early adopters than they will innovators, knowing that innovators are going to try the product anyways if it is at all relevant to them.
More cautious than either of the first two groups mentioned, those who fall under the early majority are cautious and deliberate in their decision-making. Once they adopt a product, it is no longer considered to be new or all that different. Early majority are middle-class consumers, with slightly above average levels of education and income.
The late majority tends to be comprised of older consumers with lower levels of education and income. Those in the late majority are risk adverse, so they'll only purchase a product once it has a proven track record and is no longer considered to be a risky buy.
Laggards, the very last group to adopt a product, are rarely, if ever actively targeted by marketers. Tradition bound to the core, laggards often only adopt a product when there is no other alternative. For example, there is a still a small group of men who use a strait razor to shave. As it becomes more difficult for these people to find a replacement razor or to sharpen and existing blade, straight razor users may be forced to purchase either an electric razor or disposable razor.