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Differentiation

To be branded, products must be differentiated. The seller faces an abundance of differenciation possibilities, including form, features, customization, performance quality, conformance quality, durability, reliability, repairability and style. Design has become increasingly important.

Product differentiation
Form – any produts can be differentiated in form (the size, shape, or physical structure); Features – Most products can be offered with varying features that supplement their basic function. The marketer must be aware of custumer value versus company cost for each potencial feature. Each company must decide whether to offer feature customization at a higher cost or a few standard packages at a lower cost. Customization – marketers can differentiate products by making them customized to na individual; Mass customization – is the ability of a company to meet each customer’s requirements (to prepare on a mass basis individually designed products, services, programs and communications); Performance quality - most products are established at one of four performance levels: low, average, high or superior. Performance quality is the level at which the product’s primary characteristics operate. The manufacturer must design a performance level appropriate to the target market and competitors’ performance levels; Conformance quality – buyers expect products to have a high conformance quality, which is the degree to which all the produced units are identical and meet the promised specifications; Durability – is a measure of the product’s expected operating life under natural or stressful conditions, is a valued attribute for certain products; Reliability – buyers normally will pay a premium for more reliable products. Reliability is a measure of the pobability that a product will not malfunction or fail within a specified time period; Repairability – is a measure of the ease of fixing a product when it malfunctions or falis; Style – describes the products look and feel to the buyer.

Service Differentiation
When the physical product cannot easily be differentiated, the key to competitive success may lie in adding valued services and improving their quality. The main services differentiators are ordering ease, delivery, installation, customer training, customer consulting and maintenance and repair. Ordering ease: how easy it is for the customer to place an order with the company. Delivery: how well the product or service is brought to the customer. It includes speed, accuracy and care throughout the process. Two tools that help the delivery process are: Quick Response Systems (QRS) and Global Positioning System (GPS). Installation: the work done to make a product operational in its planned location. Customer training: training the customer’s employee to use the vendor’s equipment properly and efficiently. Customer consulting: data, information system and advice services that the seller offer to buyers. Maintenance and repair: service program for helping customers keep purchased products in good working order. Return: product returns in two ways: Controllable returns results from problems, difficulties or errors of the seller or customer and cam mostly be eliminated with proper strategies and programs;

Uncontrollable returns can’t be eliminated by the company in the short-run through any of the aforementioned means.

are sold to the same customer groups. place. Packaging We define packaging as all the activities of designing and producing the container for a product. From the perspective of both the firm and consumers. appearance. Warranties and Guarantees Most physical products must be packaged and labeled. dependability. SHAMPOOS. ALL CLEAR ETC) 5. Most marketers. Consumer affluence: consumers are willing to pay more for the convenience. Item: a distinct unit. or fall within given price ranges. and promotion. Well-designed packages can build brand equity and drive sales. and prestige of better packages. Product type: a group of items within a product line that share one of several possible forms of the product. along with price. appearance or some other attribute. Cool Water cologne comes in a bottle (primary package) in a cardboard box (secondary package) in a corrugated box (shipping package) containing six dozen boxes. PERSONAL CARE 2. however. distinguishable by size. Innovation opportunity: innovative packaging can bring large benefits to consumers and profits to producers. Warranties and guarantees can also be an important part of the product strategy. which often appear on the package. packaging must achieve a number of objectives: . like in a supermarket where consumers buy directly from the shelf. Example: UNILEVER The Product Hierarchy It stretches from basic needs to particular items that satisfy those needs. CONDITIONERS. A SACHET OF CLINIC ALL CLEAR Packaging. Need family: underlies the existence of a product family. MONANGE. are marketed through the same outlets or channels. Various factors have contributed to the growing use of packaging as a marketing tool: Self-service: package provides the sales in a self-service basis. Product family: product classes that can satisfy a core need with reasonable effectiveness. The package is the buyer's first encounter with the product and is capable of turning the buyer on or off. Packages might include up to three levels of material. Due to this fact. Company and brand image: packages contribute to instant recognition of the company or brand. treat packaging and labeling as an element of product strategy.Product and Brand Relationship Each product can be related to other products to ensure that a firm is offering and marketing the optimal set of products. DANDRUFF CONTROL SHAMPOOS 6. SKIN CREAMS. product. many marketers have called packaging a fifth P. Labeling. SOAPS 3. SHAMPOOS (SEDA. COSMETICS. HAIR CLEANING AGENTS 4. price. Product class: a group of products within the product family recognized as having a certain functional coherence. Product line: a group of products class that are closely related because they perform a similar function. It has six levels and we will use a cosmetic example in order to better explain: 1.

and other parts of the marketing program. it must test it. T. For instance. It represented 30% of Best Buy`s operating profits in 2005. Labels eventually become outmoded and need freshening up. that buyers will respond favorably. Promote the product. Grade the product. they can be seen as extra benefits to induce consumer to buy the product. Companies must pay attention to growing environmental and safety concerns to reduce packaging. Assist at-home storage. After the company designs its packaging. Identify the brand. Aesthetic considerations relate to a package's size and shape. Convey descriptive and persuasive information. Fortunately. color. Labeling The label may be a simple tag attached to the product or an elaborately designed graphic that is part of the package. Procter & Gamble promises complete satisfaction without being more specific (General Guarantee) and A. Engineering tests ensure that the package stands up under normal conditions. and consumer tests. Marketers must choose the aesthetic and functional components of packaging correctly. Guarantees reduce the buyer's perceived risk. visual tests. The packaging elements must harmonize with each other and with pricing. or a great deal of information. Warranties and Guarantees All sellers are legally responsible for fulfilling a buyer's normal or reasonable expectations. . advertising. that the script is legible and the colors harmonious. Facilitate product transportation and protection. Warranties are formal statements of expected product performance by the manufacturer. 2. material. Products under warranty can be returned to the manufacturer or designated repair center for repair. that dealers find the packages attractive and easy to handle. replacement or refund. 4. They can be especially helpful when the company or product is not that well known or when the product's quality is superior to competitors. They suggest that the product is of high quality and that the company and its service performance are dependable. and graphics. the law may require more. 5. 3. Guarantees is more than legal statements that guides the warranties. many companies have gone "green" and are finding new ways to develop their packaging.1. It might carry only the brand name. text. dealer tests. Aid product consumption. Cross guarantees its Cross pens and pencils for life. repairing and replacing at no charges (Specific Guarantee). Describe the product. Even if the seller prefers a simple label. Labels perform several functions: Identifies the product or brand. Extended warranties can be sold by the retailer or manufacturer to customers and can be extremely lucrative for them.