Before explaining the important decisions of single product or a new product manufacturing process, let’s take a look at some of basic concepts.
Anything available in the market that can satisfy certain need or want through acquisition, use or consumption is called a product. It can take form of physical things, services, ideas and persons etc.
- Levels of Product
A product may be composed of the following three levels.
- Core Product
- Actual Product
- Augmented Product
- Classifications of Product
The product is mainly classified into three categories which are as follows.
1) Durable Product can be used for a longer period of time.
2) Non durable Product is consumed quickly i.e. Either a single usage or more than one usage.
3) Pure Services are intangible, inseparable and perishable experiential benefits that do not result as ownership of anything.
Product Manufacturing Process
Every product manufacturing process start with the identification of idea, there are certain decisions that should be handled properly in order to make it sure product or service will be successful in the market. Such decisions about single product are related to only that product and these are as follows.
- Product Attributes
- Product Support Services
- Product Attributes
When a new product is manufactured then certain benefits are included in it which should be properly communicated to the customers in the form of product attributes. Product attributes include the following.
1) Product Quality
2) Product Features
3) Product Style and Design
- Product Quality
Quality is used to position the product in the minds of customers. The quality of a product can be measured in the following two aspects.
- Performance Level which is the proper functioning of the main purpose of the product.
- Consistency which is the proper functioning of product for longer duration.
Both of these elements are essential for any product to deliver value to its customers.
- Product features
Features are added to the product to make it competitive and effective in the market. A product may contain a single basic feature or it can include a set of features. Features actually add value to the product. But it is difficult for a business to decide what kind of features should be added to the product to make it effective. The reason is that every additional feature increases the cost of that product which would in turn increase its price.
One way to ascertain the required features in a new or existing product is through market survey in which the business representatives ask the following questions to the customers.
- How the customers feel the product?
- What features are appreciated by them?
- What kind of new features should be added to the product? etc
In this way the business can find numerous new features for its product, and it can make a final selection by comparing the value of each feature to its relative cost incurred.
- Product Style & Design
A style is defined as the appearance of the product. A good style reflects the pleasuring feeling upon looking at the respective product. Actually style is the narrower concept related to the physical look of the product. But the design of a product is a deeper concept than its style. In case of the product design is not only eye catching but also useful in its performance.
The business organizations keep effective style and design of their products to make them value able by improving their performance and reducing their costs which would result in the competitive advantage.
A brand is defined to be any symbol, name, design, sign, term or set of all these that indicates the seller or maker of the product. The brand is viewed as an important part of the product as customers perceive the performance of the product on the basis of its branding. For example, if a perfume in a bottle of while linen is perceived as good one by most of the customers. But if same perfume is placed in a simple unmarked bottle, then the value of that same perfume is reduced by the same customer. This is the reason why branding is becoming very essential as a part of the product itself. Today nothing in the world is manufactured and offered for sale without proper branding. There are certain benefits related to branding which are as follow.
- Customer can easily differentiate the beneficial product from a list of alternative options.
- The quality of the product is reflected through its specific branding.
- Customer knows that he will receive the same benefit, performance and quality each time of purchase of the similar brand product.
- Sellers of branded products also avails certain special benefits which are as follow.
- Branding provides the basis on which the effective story about the product features and qualities can be built.
- Legal protection from imitating of certain features of the product from competitors is provided through branding.
- The segmentation of the market is also facilitated through branding.
Branding Include the following elements.
Brand means any name, sign, symbol, term or set of all those that can indicate the seller or maker of that product.
- Brand Equity
It is defined as the value of the brand in terms of its name awareness, high brand loyalty, and strong brand associations along with the assets like trademarks, patents and channel relationships, etc. Strong brands are regarded as assets that would attract the preference of the customers. It is the important job of the marketing department of the business to develop, maintain and increase the brand name and loyalty in the market. There are many advantages attached to high brand equity.
The designing and creation of external wrapper or container for a product is regarded as its packaging. It contains the following types of wrappers
1) External wrapper or secondary package which is thrown away from the product upon its usage. (The card box that covers the tube of any toothpaste)
2) Internal wrapper or primary package which covers the product until the end of its usefulness. (The tube containing toothpaste)
3) Shipping Package which is used to store and ship the product. (The big packing box containing a group of toothpastes)
The main purpose of packaging is to provide protection facility to the product from any damage or harm. But packaging can be used for other important functions like the attraction of customer attention, reflection of the product quality, so that it can be sold easily.
Labeling is a part of the packaging, which may take the form of simple tags to the complicated graphics. The label performs the following functions.
01- It reflects the brand of the product.
02- It shows other useful information about the product, like when it is made, who made it, how it can be safely used etc.
03- The sale of the product is enhanced through effective graphics.
5. Product Support Services
Businesses should also offer other important product support services, such as repair & maintenance services, credit facility etc. These additional services attract a large number of customers and make them loyal in the long run.