Product is one of the important elements of marketing mix. Any firm is defined by the product it is offering. The other elements of marketing mix are affected by it. So there is a need of sound product policy.
Product is any object which fulfills the needs of the consumer and satisfies them. It can be in any form like tangible good-chair; it can be in intangible form-like medical insurance.
5 Levels of product
According to Philip Kotler there are five levels of product which are also known as consumer value hierarchy as each level is adding more consumer value.
1.) The levels of product starts with core benefit or core product which a consumer is actually buying.
2.) The next level is basic product which includes features, design, quality etc.
3.) Then comes the expected product which comprises set of attributes, expectations by the consumer.
4.) The next level is augmented product, means offering additional consumer services than expected by them.
5.) The last level is of potential product means changes in the near future.
Therefore, these above discussed are the levels of the product.
Classification of product
The product can be classified into five categories.
1.) Durable goods:- these are the goods which have a long life. They are tangible goods, which can be seen or touched. Like car, scooter etc.
2.) Non durable goods:- these are the goods which have a short life, which perish very quickly. They are also tangible goods, which can be seen or touched. Like vegetables etc.
3.) Service:- They are intangible goods, which can not be seen or touched. Like the service of doctor, teacher etc.
4.) Consumer goods:- these are the goods which are directly used by the consumer without processing. Like soap, cream, powder etc.
5.) Industrial goods:- these are the goods which are used for further production like machinery.