A product is simply a marketing offering, whether tangible or intangible, that someone wants to purchase and consume. In reality while decisions related to the consumable parts of the product are extremely important, the TOTAL product consists of more than what is consumed.
A product is said to have three components:
The core product itself is the benefit the customer receives from using the product. People make buying decisions to satisfy their needs.
In some cases these core benefits are offered by the product itself (e.g., floor cleaner) while in other cases the benefit is offered by other aspects of the product (e.g., the can containing the floor cleaner that makes it easier to spread the product).
Consequently, at the very heart of all product decisions is determining the key or core benefits a product will provide. From this decision, the rest of the product offering can be developed.
The core benefits are offered through the components that make up the actual product the customer purchases.
For instance, when a consumer returns home from shopping at the grocery store and takes a purchased item out of her shopping bag, the actual product is the item she holds in her hand.
Within the actual product is the consumable product, which can be viewed as the main good, service or idea the customer is buying.
Marketers often surround their actual products with goods and services that provide additional value to the customer’s purchase.
While these factors may not be key reasons leading customers to purchase (i.e., not core benefits), for some the inclusion of these items strengthens the purchase decision while for others failure to include these may cause the customer not to buy.
Items considered part of the augmented product include:
- Customer Service
- Complementary Products
Three components of Products
Image Source: Principles of Marketing (14 Edition): Kotler