A product is not just a tangible item, rather it is much more than that. It could be anything which a marketer offers, to grab the attention of the consumers and to satisfy consumer’s wants. It can be a physical good, service, person, idea, place, or anything else.
Types of Product
Products are mainly classified into two types:
The products which are consumed by the final consumers or households, without any further commercial process, i.e. they are meant for consumption and not for resale. It is subdivided into five kinds:
These products are meant to enhance, improve or add convenience to the day-to-day life of the people. Such products are required daily and so the products are purchased at frequent intervals like soap, toothpaste, hair oil, razor and shaving cream, newspaper, beverage, etc. Also, these products are bought without much thinking and calculation, from the retail stores located nearby.
As the name signifies, these products require shopping efforts, i.e. visiting multiple shops or websites to get the best product at the available price range and quality. Such products are bought for a special purpose from those shops at the market or malls, specially dedicated to that item which we want to buy.
These are bought by the consumer after careful comparison and market research considering their quality, price, brand, fashion, trend, suitability, utility, etc. Jewelry items, footwear, accessories, clothes, etc. are some shopping products.
The products which last for a long time and can be used again and again by many people are durable products. It may include, laptop, washing machine, dishwasher, mobile, refrigerator, fans, air conditioner, electric irons, cars, and motorbikes, etc.
For buying such products brand, company image, features, price, quality, and after-sales services (repairing, delivery, guarantee, and warranty) are considered.
These products are the opposite of durable products and have a shorter life span and so they need to be consumed within a short time, or else they will become useless or expire. Fruits, vegetables, flowers, dairy products, meat, eggs, bread, etc fall under this category. Further, such products are for one-time use only.
These are non-branded products and are generally bought from the market located nearby the house. For buying these products one needs to consider freshness, price, packaging, and purity.
Services are intangible product, which makes our life safe, and convenient. While accepting services from a service provider trust, reliability, cost, timing, regularity, etc are important factors that must be taken into account.
Services provided by lawyers, doctors, chartered accountants, architects, beauticians, restaurants, fashion designers, banks, insurance companies, airlines, mechanics, etc. are included in this category. All the fundamental principles of marketing are applicable to services.
Industrial Products are those which are used as inputs by the manufacturing enterprises for processing them further so as to produce other products. Machinery components, raw materials, and supplies, chemicals, electricity, and fuels, etc are considered industrial products.
Industrial Goods can be broadly classified based on the way they enter the process of production and their relative costliness. It is divided into three groups:
Material and Parts
Material and parts are fully involved in the manufacturer’s product. They are divided into two types:
- Raw Materials: These are natural products, that we take from mother nature such as food grains, cotton, livestock, fruits, and vegetables. Producers supply these products to market intermediaries, and these intermediaries assemble, grade, store, transport, and sell them, in order to make them available to the manufacturers.
- Fabricated Material and Parts: Manufactured products of one production unit that are used by another production unit, for the purpose of further processing and turning them into a finished product are fabricated material. It includes iron, yarn, wire, cement, and so forth.
Capital items are durable goods, i.e. they last for a long time. These include basic products which facilitate the production of finished goods. These are divided into two groups:
- Installations: It includes buildings such as factories, and offices, as well as heavy equipment like generators, transformers, elevators, mainframe computers, etc.
- Equipment: It comprises factory equipment and tools such as lifting machines, hand tools, etc, and office equipment like personal computers, desks, tables, chairs, etc.
It is to be noted that, capital items do not form part of the finished product, however, they play a significant role in the process of production of finished goods, as they supply basic infrastructure, which assists in the continuous production of goods and services. Hence, at the time of purchasing the products, companies always go for quality, durability, utility, specifications, and price.
Supplies and Business Services
These are short-lived products, which helps in the development and management of finished products.
- Supplies: Supplies are of two types – operating supplies and maintenance and repair items. Operating supplies includes lubricant, coal, stationery items like pen, paper, stapler, eraser, pencil, etc., and maintenance and repair items include nails, vacuum cleaners, paints, scissor, cutter, etc.
- Business Services: It includes two kinds of services – maintenance and repair services and business advisory services, wherein the former consist of window cleaning, computer maintenance, etc., and the latter covers legal management consulting and advertising services.
It is worth noting that a clear distinction cannot be made between industrial products and consumer products, as there are certain companies that sell their products to industries as well as to consumers like electricity, cement, petrol, coal, etc.