Basics of Product Management in Marketing

Definition of Product in Marketing

A product can be a good, service or an idea, whose main purpose is satisfy a particular need or want. A product can either be tangible or intangible. A tangible product is a product which can be perceived by touch. They are usually physical products. For example: table, chair, food etc. An intangible product is a product that cannot be perceived by touch. Example: an insurance policy or maybe a flight service.

A third type in this is services. Services are intangible products. It is very important to understand that services tend to be-varied when performed by humans and can also be subjective, which means that they vary according to who is performing it, where it is being performed and on whom/what it is being performed.

                                    Product mix and Product line

Product mix

Product mix is the range of the products that a company produces. Companies usually have multiple product offerings so that they are able to have a diversified portfolio, less risk in case a few products fail, better market reach and a plethora of reasons. So all the companies usually have a range of products, which is nothing but product mix.
We can see all the big companies like Hindustan Unilever, Apple, Microsoft, Nestle etc have multiple products. They have a wide product portfolio and hence are sustainable in the market. They have built an umbrella under which there are multiple products.
For example HUL has many products. Example - like Shampoos, detergents, Soaps etc. therefore, the combination these product lines is nothing but product mix.

Product line

The product line is usually a subset of the product mix. The product line is the distinct type of products within a company. Now, for example nestle has chocolates as a product line where in it produces different types of chocolates.

Classification of products in Marketing

There are various types of products. We can classify these into 4 categories according to what need or want the product satisfies and what type it is. Below are the four types of product categories:

The differentiated product

A differentiated product is one which is different from other similar products of the same type. It may be on the basis of their quality, utility, or service. Today, a consumer has so many choices. Why should he buy Product X over Product Y ? This is a question that is answered by a differentiated product.
For example : there are so many shampoos in the market. What makes Dove better than L’Oreal or Sunsilk for that matter? One brand of shampoo may emphasise on the softness of hair, another on how the hair grows and so on. Thus, something that differentiates a product from the other,adds to its USP or unique selling point.

The customized product

Customized products are those products that take customer specific requirements into consideration before making the product. This type is usuallypracticed in industrial products.
One of the best examples is tailored clothes, which are according to individual customer’s requirements.

Augmented products

An augmented product means when the value of the product is increased by the manufacturer after he adds an extra feature to the product. These are products with enhanced value. Customers are usually unaware about it.
For example: a mobile manufacturer might augment his product by adding some new feature which would increase the value of the product.

The potential product

The potential product is a product of the future which has a conceptual set of qualities. It has the potential to become into something better under the given technological, economic and competitive condition. To begin with, a prototype is created upon market research and once reviewed; it is accepted as a product model.

Product and Brand

Toothpaste is a product; Colgate is a brand. Chocolate is a product; Cadbury is a brand. Ice-cream is a product; Magnum is a brand.
Marketing is all about understanding the product first and then creating a brand out of it. A product is a commodity whereas brand is a personality. Essentially, the product is what all competitors have but companies are keen on creating a brand value for their products. While understanding the product, we need to understand various types of products and how can we manage these to bring out the best in them.
A good product is always essential in creating a good brand and hence they are co-related.

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