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What is a Product

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A product can be defined as the tangible thing you buy. It could be the milk you picked up on the way home. Of course, that is over-simplifying. There are plenty of intangible products out there. Many services, such as a quick oil change for cars or styling hair, contain both the product aspect and a service aspect and benefit from analysis from both viewpoints.

There are three ways to talk about products:

  • The core product
  • The expanded product
  • The product concepts

Core Product

The core product/service (hereafter referred to as product only)  is the item itself, the thing that provides the core benefit sought by the buyer. Each product has a core set of benefits that make it desirable to its consumers. One thing usually drives their desire for this product above other and that is the product’s key benefits. The product has a tangible feature that delivers satisfaction of your need. That’s what marketers call the core product.

Expanded Product

The expanded product includes things like extra parts or a warranty, the exact mix of tangible accessories and intangible product support included with that purchase. It is all the stuff that comes with the product. The expanded product is the exact mix that makes this product package different from the others on the market and usually establishes the customer’s price/value perception of the offering.

Product Concept

The product concept is the “big idea”, the market niche you want to fill by offering the product, the long-range perspective. The product concept begins before the product is born. It starts with what you imagined at its conception, the customer needs you hope to satisfy and the empty niche you hope to fill.