A product is something that must be capable of satisfying a need or want, it includes physical objects, personalities, places, organizations and ideas. Product may be classified broadly into two major categories namely consumer goods and industrial goods.
1. Consumer Goods
Consumer goods are those goods meant for use by the ultimate household consumer and in such form that they can be used by him without further commercial processing.
Consumer goods are generally divided into three sub-categories according to the method in which they are purchased namely convenience goods, shopping goods are specialty goods.
- Convenience Goods: There are goods which the consumer usually purchases frequently and with the minimum efforts. Usually they have easy substitutes and the unit value will be low. The consumer may not have much of a preference for a particular brand. E
- Shopping Goods: These are goods which the consumer purchase less frequently and the unit value will be higher. The consumer will look for their suitability, quality, price and style. Consumer will exercise considerable effort in choosing the product. Many consumer durables come under this category.
- Specialty Goods: These are consumer goods which the consumer buys rarely and the unit value will be very high. Hence buyers expect certain special characteristics and for which they make a special purchasing effort.
Features of Consumer Goods
The marketing of consumer goods generally possesses the following features.
- The consumer goods are those goods which are bought by ultimate consumer for their consumption.
- The consumer goods are manufactured on mass scale.
- The number of buyers are also large and widespread.
- Majority of consumer goods are non-durable.
- Demand is primary in nature.
- Other than essential products, most of the durable consumer goods have elasticity in demand.
- The unit cost of consumer goods is normally not very high.
- The unit of purchase is normally low. But the frequency of purchase is greater.
- The consumer goods are very often bought by emotional impulse.
- The goods are subject to serve competition. They may be price competition, quality competition and competition from substitute products.
- Branding and packaging also add some strength to the products.
- The goods are under constant threat from fashion/design changes.
- The channel of distribution is normally long as the buyers are widespread.
- Mass advertisement is a must. The marketer has to give equal importance to personal as well as impersonal methods of sales promotion.
- The products are not technically complex in nature.
2. Industrial Goods
Industrial goods are those goods which a reused in producing other goods or rendering services. They cannot be used without further processing. Industrial goods fall into three main categories.
- Raw Materials: These are industrial goods which in part or in whole become a part of the physical product and which have undergone only a minor change before becoming ready for a final consumption. Stainless steel which are used for making steel utensils is an example.
- Equipment’s: These goods are exhausted only after repeated use such as installation, equipment, accessories etc.
- Fabricated Materials: These are industrial goods which have undergone processing Metals, plastics, cement come under this category.
Features of Industrial Goods
The marketing of industrial goods generally possesses the following features.
- Industrial goods are those which are produced by and sold to industries. They are mostly meant for producing consumer gods.
- The demand for industrial goods is a derived demand. For example, the demand for paper manufacturing machinery will increase when the demand for paper increases.
- Industrial marketing is normally backed by technical details and usually done by people with technical knowledge. In many cases, there may not be substitutes.
- Industrial buying is comparatively a rational process. Precise specifications and quality of products are the main criteria.
- Number of buyers are limited.
- Advertising in industrial market are made in technical and trade journals backed by direct marketing and personal selling.
- In many cases, it is short channel, involving either direct selling or with a limited number of middlemen.
- Each sale would generally be high value.
- Supplier’s reliability and reputation is important criterion in the industrial market.
- The demand is normally inelastic.