Topic 6 - Products And Brands (Part 1 - Products)

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This article is a topic within the subject Marketing Fundamentals.

Contents

Required Reading

Armstrong G., Adam S., Denize, S. and Kotler P.(2012) Principles of Marketing, 5th Edition, Sydney, Pearson/Prentice Hall., pp. 216-245.

Product And Services

[1] Products are anything that can be offered to a market for attention, acquisition & consumption that might satisfy a need or want. Services are a form of product that consists of activities, benefits or satisfactions that are intangible & does not result in the ownership of anything. To differentiate G&S, firms are creating value by creating & managing customer experiences with their brand or company.

Product Levels

  • Core Productrefers to the use-benefit, problem-solving service that the consumer is really buying
    • QAN – Time Critical Transportation
  • Actual Producttangible product or intangible service that serves as the medium for receiving the core product benefits
    • Quality Level (performance), Features (attributes), Styling, Brand Name (position/promote), Packaging (protect/promote)
    • QAN – Seat Allocation, Safety Record, Meals, Booking System
  • Augmented Productconsists of measures taken to help the consumer put the actual product to sustained use
    • E.g. Credit, Delivery, Warranties, Installations & After Sale Service
    • QAN – Frequent Flyer Scheme, Holiday Packages, Car Rental Booking Help, Qantas Club

MARK101261.jpg [2]

Product And Service Classifications

Consumer Products – bought by final consumers for personal consumption

  • Convenience Products – buy frequently, little comparison, tend to be low price & widely available e.g. Sweets, magazines
  • Shopping Products – less frequently purchased, effort to compare on suitability/quality/price/style e.g. Furniture/Hotels
  • Specialty Products – unique characteristics or brand identification, special purchase effort e.g. designer clothes, Ferrari
  • Unsought Products – don’t think of buying e.g. blood donations, funeral services, life insurance

Industrial Products – bought by firms/individuals for further processing or for use in conducting a business

The distinction between consumer & industrial products is based on the purpose for which the product is bought.

  • Materials & Parts - raw materials, manufactured materials & parts (wheat, timber, iron ore, tyres, motors)
  • Capital Items - aid the production process/operations, installations & accessory equipment (drill presses, forklifts)
  • Supply & Services - operating supplies, repair/maintenance services, advisory services (pencils, pc repair, consulting)

Services – Intangible Activities, Benefits Or Satisfactions

[3] Some services are capital intensive & some are people based. These service characteristics distinguish ‘almost pure’ G&S:

  • Intangibility – services have little physical element, cannot be tasted, felt, heard or smelled before they are bought
  • Inseparability – services cannot be separated from their providers
  • Perishability – cannot store for later sale or use (only a memory is left) e.g. rock concert
  • Variability– people based services are almost never exactly the same, quality depends on provider
  • High Involvement & Personal Nature of Services – services are personalised e.g. dentist
  • Synchronous Delivery & Consumption – delivery & consumption of the service in real time (RT interaction e.g. L2Drive)

Product And Service Decisions

[4]

Product Attributes

  • Qualityability of a product to perform its functions or satisfy implied or stated customer needs, includes attributes such as durability, reliability, precision, quality consistency , ease of operations - total quality management – constantly improve quality
    • Quality Level (performance level) to suit positioning & Quality Consistency (conformance) – meet target level
  • Featuresconsumers seek value & need satisfaction, undesirable features cost money & don’t add value. Evaluate feature value to customer compared to company cost.
  • Design & Stylecan add value. Style can be aesthetically pleasing & eye catching but does not improve performance, whilst design contributes to usefulness & looks.

Branding

A Brand is a name, term, sign, symbol or design (or combination) identifying the seller of a product to help differentiate from competitors. Customers attach feelings to brands & develop brand r/ships. It facilitates easy product recognition, price-quality image (consistent benefits) and repeat purchases as powerful brand names have consumer franchise i.e. command customer loyalty. Brand Equity is the added value that knowledge about a brand brings to a product over & above its functional qualities. It must have extensive awareness & be strong, unique & favourable in the minds of consumers. Building a brand name can cost $150M & the success rate is low. Coca Cola brand equity is estimated to be $80bn. Firms often acquire brands to build brand portfolios with strong brand equity.

  • To Brand or Not to Brand – brands can create higher margins, but must be positioned well (attributes, benefits, values/beliefs)
  • Branding Selection – must be easy to pronounce/remember/translate, distinctive, suggest product benefits and be extendable
  • Brand Sponsorship Choices – Manufacturer/National Brand(Kellogg’s), Private/Distributor/Store Brand (Coles), Licensed Brand, Joint Venture (CBA-VISA)
  • Brand Development Strategy – Line Extension, Brand Extension/Leveraging, Multi-Brands (Flanker), New Brands
  • Brand Repositioning – evaluate brand in relation to competitive & market changes –costly & difficult to communicate KFC
    • Megabrand Strategy – weeding out weaker brands & focusing expenditure on high market share brands

MARK101262.jpg [5]

Packaging

Packaging involves designing & producing the container or wrapper for a product. It is an important marketing tool (attract attention, describing the product) in addition to holding & protecting the product

Labelling

Labelling identifies (distinguishes from competitors), describes (content information) & promotes (arouse attention) the product & brand by supporting its positioning.

Product Line Decisions

A Product Line is a group of products that are closely related because they function in a similar manner, sold to the same customer groups, are marketed via the same outlets or fall within the same price range

  1. Lengththe number of items in the product line, too short (long) if increasing (decreasing) products increases profits
    • Influenced by firms objectives & resources. E.g. Up Sell BMW 3 series to 5 series
  2. Stretchinglengthening a product line, downward (low end of the market), upwards & 2 way stretching
  3. Fillinglengthening a product line by adding items within the existing product line range (try avoid cannibalism/confusion)
  4. Featuringselecting a few items to receive special marketing attention to increase sales volume or draw customers to other products in the line (loss leadership)

Product Mix Decisions

The Product Mix/Portfolio consists of all the product lines & items that a firm sells. For long term growth the mix must be expanded (replaced or modified). It is optimised according to engineering, production & marketing skills available resources & objectives.

  1. Width – the number of different product lines marketed by a firm
  2. Length – the number of items sold by a firm within each product line
  3. Depth – number of shapes, models, designs & versions of the product
  4. Consistency – how closely related the various product lines are in end use, production requirements, distribution channels or other ways.

MARK101263.jpg [6]

End

This is the end of this topic. Click Marketing Fundamentals to go back to the main subject page for Marketing Fundamentals

References

Textbook refers to Armstrong G., Adam S., Denize, S. and Kotler P.(2012) Principles of Marketing, 5th Edition, Sydney, Pearson/Prentice Hall.

  1. Armstrong G., Adam S., Denize, S. and Kotler P.(2012) Principles of Marketing, 5th Edition, Sydney, Pearson/Prentice Hall., pp. 216-220
  2. Mohammed Razzaque, UNSW
  3. Armstrong G., Adam S., Denize, S. and Kotler P.(2012) Principles of Marketing, 5th Edition, Sydney, Pearson/Prentice Hall., pp. 233-236
  4. Armstrong G., Adam S., Denize, S. and Kotler P.(2012) Principles of Marketing, 5th Edition, Sydney, Pearson/Prentice Hall., pp. 224-232
  5. Mohammed Razzaque, UNSW
  6. Mohammed Razzaque, UNSW
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