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INTRODUCTION

Product begins the marketing activities. It is also called the Heart of marketing mix. Among the components of marketing mix, the product occupies the key-position. It ultimately satisfies the customers. Michel J Baker and Ronald McTavish opine that success of an organisation is determined in the market place where its sells the goods or services which constitute its output.

DEFINATION OF PRODUCT
According to Alderson W defines Product is bundle of utilities consisting of various product features and accompanying services. As we know, utility means want satisfying feature of a product or services.

FEATURES
The features of a product are: Physical Attributes. Intangible Attributes. Associated Attributes. Exchange Attributes. Consumer Satisfaction. These above can be further grouped into: Implict Characteristics. Explicit Characteristics.

PRODUCT CONCEPT
A product is a bindle of satisfaction. When a product offers satisfaction its contents are called as augmented features. Augmented features come with the main product. If Pleasure bike is bought, it provides satisfaction when it is augmented, supported with the following Provide long term technical service, Free service, Guarantee for 2years, warranty for Life time, Tested mileage , Free 2years insurance to bike .

The way in which a product is viewed by the three angles of triangles is given below-

PRODUCT
The product concept consists of three levels-The core product -Related product features -Related product services.

I Level:

Core product or services: through which a firm tries to establish the market. Therefore, the contents of a product become Core and consist of identifiable characteristics and through which a product is distinguished from other products.

II Level:

Product related features include the brand name packaging, appearance, quality superiority, safety and style of product.

III Level: Services relating to product which include delivery speciality, credit facility, guarantee given, installation availability of spare parts, repair services, maintaining follow up action. The most important for a customer is the total benefit received from a product.

PRODUCT MIX
In modern days, companies selling a single product are scarcely seen. Though, beginning is made with one product, as and when opportunities come, number of products join the product family. Even small concerns handle with wide range. The managerial personnel have to decide upon the number of factors relating to a product. These decisions are broadly classified into three, Product item Product Line

Product Mix.

STRUCTURE OF PRODUCT MIX


The product mix is characterized by three main factors.i.e. Width of product mix. Depth of product mix. Consistency of product mix.

Width=Number of product group of a

product, within the company. Depth=Number product items within each product line. Consistency=The product affinity to market, research production

FACTORS AFFECTING PRODUCT MIX


The dimensions in product mix are not constant. They are subject to change. The marketing mix is affected by the internal and external forces. The internal factors are not controllable. The management whenever wishes to change the policy on product-mix, should consider the following factors Cost of production. Market Forces. Marketing Abilities. Financial Constraints.

PRODUCT MIX STRATEGIES.


Product mix is represented by its width length and depth of products. Every company has to frame its own strategy for the product-mix. Usually following areas need strategicstatements. They are,

Expansion and contraction. Trading up and Trading down. Product alteration. Segmentation and Differentiation. New uses for existing products.

PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE [PLC]


According to Philip Kotler: The product life cycle portrays distict stages in the sales history of product. Corresponding to these stages, there are distinct opportunities and problems with respect to marketing stategy and project potential. By identifying the stage that a product is in or may be headed towards, companies can formulate better marketing plans.

STAGES OF PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE


The PLC of a product is also compared to Ageing Process. This has definite phases such as Product Development, Introduction, Growth, Maturity [Saturation] Decline.

SIGNIFICANCE OF PLC
The concept of PLC has a significant role to play in the management of a product. The scientific characteristics identified at the vivid phases would act as guiding lamp while framing the strategies for success of product. The advantages of PLC concept areProduct planning and development. Product testing. Product pricing. Sales forecasting. Product control Estimation of promotional cost, budget.

WEAKNESS OF PLC
All products do not have all phases of PLC
Example: Products like coal, gold, silver, medicines etc. the demand for such products depends on economic condition rather that of PLC stages. The length of each phases to all products is not uniform. Due to variation, there can not be uniformity in strategy.

Non Uniformity.

Real product histories will speak different


story which is quite different to PLC. Raymonds since 1925.

Difficulties in exact stage identification.

NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT


Philip Kotler defines New Product as By new product we mean original products, product improvements, product modification and new brands that to firm develops through its own research and development efforts.

PROCESS OF NPD
Idea generation. Concept development. Marketing strategy development. Business analysis. Programme development. Test marketing. Commercialization / Evaluation.

BRANDING
AMA Committee defines a brand as a name, term, symbol or design or a combination of them which is intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of the competitors.

ADVANTAGES OF BRANDING
Product differentiation.
Control on the prices. Create brand loyalty. Ease in selling. Helps in advertising and display

TYPES OF BRANDING
Manufacturers name: Tata, Godrej, etc.
Special names: Prince, Camlin, Pears. Special symbols or Design: Monkey brand,
Postmans brand, Aristocrat. Numbers: 777, 501, 555.

PACKING AND PACKAGING


Packing is wrapping of goods. Whereas Packaging is a part of packing like bags, bottles, etc. for sale to ultimate consumers.

KINDS OF PACKAGES
Primary packages: which cover the products
very closely, like a plastic tube of ball pen, the squeezing tube of toothpaste, etc. Secondary packages: protects primary packages. For example, a carton on toothpaste tube. Shipping pack: which holds secondary packages designed for storage and transportation.

LABELLING
The basic purpose of packaging and labels is to give buyers an up to date information. They have to provide information about the usage of product. Customers expect information about the product. Infact it is the right of customers to know before using a product.

CONTENTS OF LABELLING
Date of manufacture.

Date of expiry. Best use before. Max retail price. Quantity. Brand name, etc.

TYPES OF LABELLING
Brand based labelling.
Grade based labelling. Descriptive and Informative.