With goods and services we face every day,but it is unlikely that ordinary consumers have thought at least once about the path they take, from the idea and design of their creation, to production, transportation, advertising and promotion. For the marketer, the role of the product in marketing is of great importance, since it is the central object of his work, what everyone needs in one form or another. All the most important aspects of the product are discussed in more detail in this article.
What is a product?
The product in marketing is, on the one hand,a means to meet human needs, on the other - a product created for sale. But, contrary to popular belief, this is not at all what went off the assembly line. This is a whole process, implying several important steps and huge efforts of the marketer to promote.
Stages of product creation
The first step is the creation of a plan. The marketer analyzes the market and consumer needs and defines the functions of the product in marketing, what he could satisfy and what benefits the buyer should give.
The second step is the fulfillment of the idea. This is all about the implementation of the product in life - the purchase of materials, production, packaging, delivery, marketing methods, etc.
The third step is the use of the marketing mix.This is work with the market, competitors, flexible pricing policy, effective means of sales promotion, promotion policy (advertising, stocks, POS materials, etc.).
The main thing to remember about - howeither these stages would be effective, the product will not be successful if it does not fulfill its main function - the satisfaction of human needs, which is due to some of its most important properties.
Consumer properties of the goods
Every marketer should know that the product in marketing is not only the product itself, but first of all those benefits that the consumer receives with the purchase:
- Functionality - whether the product bears useful functions for the consumer - quality or quantity, breadth of application, advantages in storage, transportation, delivery, etc.
- Demand - whether the product meets the demand in the market, season, style or fashion.
- Reliability and durability - how long it will serve the product, what service life it has, whether it is suitable for troubleshooting and repairing, whether it has guarantees and after-sales service.
- Ergonomics - it's convenience and comfort from its use, matching taste, visual, power and other physiological perceptions of a person.
- Aesthetics - compliance with the standards of society, style, fashion, sociocultural significance.
- Cost-effectiveness - price and quality.
- Environmental friendliness is a safe use for the consumer and others.
These are key features of the product in marketing,which allow the consumer to choose his choice in one direction or another. But not only benefits and benefits form demand, very much depends on its varieties.
Classification of goods
Let's examine the principles by which the product is divided in marketing. These are several different classifications, the first of which is the length of use:
- short-term - those that are consumed often and quickly (food, household chemicals);
- long-term - those that are consumed for a long time and are rarely purchased (real estate, clothing, jewelry, household appliances);
- services - household, transport, legal and others.
When creating a product, it is extremely important to understand whichcategory it belongs to. For example, in the case of a short-term commodity, it is important to take into account physiological characteristics, taste or smell, but not necessarily fashion or durability. While for long-term use the durability, guarantee and quality of the goods in marketing are key moments.
Another classification divides the goods according to demand, this is:
- goods of daily demand - are purchased often, without hesitation and special efforts (food);
- Pre-sale goods - are also purchased quite often, but after comparison with other goods (clothing);
- goods of exclusive demand - single samples, in the absence of which the buyer does not acquire others on the market, because they have no analogues;
- goods of passive demand - those that may not be needed by the consumer, or he does not know about their existence, but with proper promotion, there is demand;
- goods of special demand - for the search and purchase of which great efforts are made.
In addition to this classification, the structure of the commodity inmarketing provides materials, components, raw materials, semi-finished products, various services, additional products and much more, which helps to create a finished product and is partly included in its cost.
And, of course, speaking of classification, we can not fail to mention the following concept.
What is a new product?
A new product in marketing is a product with completely new properties, either for a single company or for the entire market. Its classification has 6 categories:
- The products of world novelty are those that are first produced on the world market. The most illustrative example is the company Apple, which released for the first time on the market tablets iPad.
- A new product line is that for the first timeis produced in the scale of one company. Quite a common situation in many industries, where the assortment is updated from time to time. For example, a toy company decided to produce clothes for children.
- Expansion of the product line is what updates or complements the already existing product - new flavors of chips, new packaging of yogurt, new volumes of washing powder packaging.
- Product Update - Performance Improvementsexisting goods or their adaptation to certain conditions. For example, a car manufacturing plant produces a new model, with a more advanced engine and automatic transmission. Or the company, engaged in the production of skiwear, in summer makes outfits for tourists and equipment for hikes.
- Repositioning - changing the position of the product or its target audience. For example, a design change aside more youth, in order to sell it to young people.
- Product cheaper - is due to reducing costs, modification and improvement of production and (which is not the most successful option) using cheaper materials.
This concept of commodity in marketing allowsto maintain and strengthen market positions, to occupy a new niche, to exploit existing capacities and technologies, to increase profits, expand its target segment and increase brand awareness.
But not only the introduction of a new product allows the company to take a leading position in the market. There are many other important steps.
In order to take a worthy place in the market,it is important to determine the right product mix. The high quality of the product in marketing is not the only requirement. The produced and sold product must satisfy the demand and needs of customers, have a competitive price and a wide choice. Here are the basic requirements for the assortment:
- latitude - how many groups this category of goods has (for example, the assortment of a store of utensils includes plates, frying pans, pots, sets, etc.);
- depth - these are variations within groups (for example, in the assortment group of "pots" are included stewards, scoops, whiteners, pots for fondue, etc.)
- the saturation shows how much these variations are in many quantities;
- harmony - how much the goods complement each other.
A full definition of the product in marketing is notcan do without a deep analysis of the ABC assortment. With its help, it is determined proportionally, which product brings the greatest profit, and on the basis of these calculations form the optimal trading assortment.
Working with competitors
Apart from the right set for sale, it is importantadequately assess their actual positions in the market. This is the essence of the product in marketing, it is considered in the complex - quality, breadth, competitiveness.
In order to assess whether a competitive product,you must first analyze the market for similar products and firms that produce them. Then make an assessment of their strengths and weaknesses, identify defects in the product, analyze their prices and competitors. As a result, a plan is drawn up on how to correct the shortcomings, what to offer new or how to stand out among competing firms, what cost will be optimal and at the cost of which it is possible to reduce costs.
In marketing, a commodity is understood as a complex of price, sales, assortment and promotion or a complex of marketing. We told about the assortment policy above.
For pricing most often usedcost method (based on the costs of production and sale of goods). Often manufacturers use the price as a competitor, and vary it with the help of discounts, shares and other bonus programs. And very rarely in the case of exclusive products, the price is set by the manufacturer at its own discretion.
Sales policy implies the search for optimal, efficient and economical sales channels, work with intermediaries, the creation of distribution networks, distributors and other things.
And finally, promotion includes alldirect and indirect work with consumers, ranging from attractive packaging, to creating the image and image of the company, direct advertising and bonuses for customers.
Product life cycle
Product marketing is constantly changing.concept of Therefore, the marketer must clearly understand that even with the greatest efforts and investments in promotion, sooner or later each product has its ups and downs. In other words, its life cycle. It consists of 5 phases:
- product development - starting with the idea that appears in the head, ending with the creation of a business plan and promotion strategy;
- product creation and implementation is the phase thatmore often it brings losses to the creator, since the consumer does not yet know the product, and a lot of investment goes into its testing on the market - production, rent, transportation, advertising, etc.
- product growth - in this phase, the efforts are bearing fruit, and the consumer recognizes the product, which is accompanied by an increase in sales and profits;
- maturity of the product - the period of saturation, whena large number of consumers are familiar with the product, and when the manufacturer has the maximum profit and practically does not spend money on maintaining the position of the product and its competitiveness;
- stage of recession - glut productconsumers want something new, so profits are declining, and the manufacturer is looking for ways to return to the peak of sales - creating a new product, the cost of promotion, promotions, etc.
Having passed these stages, the goods will not always be able to return again to the peak of sales. This is partly the job of a marketer - to be able to revive a product in a market where the demand for it has disappeared.
How to take high positions in the market
Маркетинговых стратегий продвижения очень много, and the factors that influence demand are an incredible array. These are the price and quality, service, after-sales service, bonuses and discounts, a good range, compliance with fashion, style and much more.
The most common method of attractionBuyers - pricing policy, while not always a sharp decrease in cost increases demand. For example, a surge in sales of essential goods will, on the contrary, cause a sharp price increase.
Another effective tool is advertising.But do not forget that it should be targeted at the target buyer (for this you need to clearly understand who represented your audience), be placed in the right place at the right time.
Discounts, promotions, special offers, bonus programs are another effective tool for creating an excessive demand for a product.
Часто в маркетинге товар понимается как бренд.Many consumers are willing to overpay only for the brand, because it is a guarantee of quality or demand. In this case, it is important not only to create a quality product, but also to ensure the image and recognition of the company.
Speaking of quality. It is also a very effective method of promotion, since a durable worthy product will always find its consumer.
Much depends on the range, seller, seasonality, time and place of sale, the number of offers, positive reviews and much more.
Instead of concluding
Everything we buy, ranging from productsfood, and ending with the services we use - there is a product. It has certain characteristics that affect our choice when buying - ergonomic, aesthetic, functional, economic and others. We acquire them based on our own preferences, breadth of assortment, fashion, benefits, economy, durability. In many ways, the demand for a product determines the stage that a product passes in the market - introduction, growth, maturity or recession. This is the essence of the product in marketing.
The task of the marketer - using keymarketing tools (sales, price, assortment and advertising), to promote goods to the market and to ensure high sales and profits. If all these funds are weighed and applied correctly, the product will have a greater chance of taking high positions in the market, which means that it will last longer and become more competitive.