Retail / Product
In marketing, a product is anything that can be offered to a market that might satisfy a want or need. However it is much more than just a physical object. It is the complete bundle of benefits or satisfactions that buyers perceive they will obtain if they purchase the product. It is the sum of all physical, psychological, symbolic, and service attributes.
A product is similar to a good. In accounting, goods are physical objects that are available in the marketplace. This differentiates them from a service, which is a non-material product.
A "product" can also be an "experience", which like a service is intangible. However an experience is unique to the receiving individual, based upon their history. Example: amusement parks offer rides (product), acceptance of credit cards (service), and audience participation at the dolphin show (experience). My value of the dolphin show is different from yours, and to the extent I value it more, will trade more for it (money).
There are three aspects to any product or service:
2 - Tangible Product or Service
3 - Augmented Product or Service
Product management involves developing strategies and tactics that will increase product demand (referred to as primary demand) over the product's life cycle.
One useful technique in understanding a product is the Aspinwall Classification System. It classifies and rates products based on five variables:
1) replacement rate - how frequently is the product repurchased
2) gross margin - how much profit is obtained from each product (average selling price less average unit cost)
3) buyer goal adjustment - how flexible are the buyers' purchasing habits in regards to this product
4) duration of product satisfaction - how long will the product produce benefits for the user
5) duration of buyer search search behaviour - how long will they shop for the product
Types of Products
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