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Encyclopedia > Product (business)

In commerce, a product is a good economics and accounting good or service which can be bought and sold. In marketing,a product is anything that can be offered to a market that might satisfy a want or need.In manufacturing,products are purchased as raw materials and sold as finished goods.Commodity Commodities are usually raw materials such as metals and agricultural products, but a commodity can also be anything widely available in the open market.

In general usage,produc may refer to a single item or unit, a group of equivalent products, a grouping of goods or services, or an industrial classification for the goods or services.

[[Single unique product]] Product may refer to a unique product, such as a single carton of brand X milk, a single customized interior design, a single piece of lumber, or a single hour of technical support.Serial numbers are used to identify certain unique products. A vehicle identification number identifies a unique motor vehicle.

The term defective product usually refers to a single instance or a few instances of unique products not meeting specifications or standards.Every product is unique in the sense that it cannot be sold to customer A and customer B at the same time, or sold twice at the same time to a single customer. An invoice is a business document requesting payment for actual product delivered.Double billing is the error of charging a customer twice for the same unique product. It has been suggested that Bill (payment) be merged into this article or section. ...


Equivalent or interchangeable product

The specific meaning of generic product names varies over time and location. Some products such as bread, milk, and salt have been barter|bartered or sold for centuries, but the meaning of "bread" or "milk" as a product varies. The technologies were not available for pasteurization and homogenization of milk until the 20th century, and these food processing technologies are not used worldwide. Bread varies by type of grain, specific recipe, and size of loaf. In 1924, Morton Salt introduced iodized table salt, a product previously unavailable. Since 1961, pork belly|pork bellies have traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, but due to selective breeding and changes in hog feed, today's pork belly is not exactly equivalent to a 1960s pork belly. Certain products may be considered equivalent or interchangeable for the purposes of trade, record-keeping, and reporting, despite gradual changes in the product or variations among geographical locations.

The distinction between a new product and a minor modification to an existing product is not always clear. Certain products have a product life cycle in which the supply and demand for the product increases then decreases over time. The demand for certain food products such as bread will tend to increase with population, but the supply and demand for a specific brand of bread may decline over time. In the United States, a patent for a product is recognition that the product is new in a legal sense.Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof; design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture; and, plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant. In business an equivalent, interchangeable or fungibility/fungible product is defined by a company and its customers. A company's inventory is comprised of physical products, or goods, that are usually recorded as counts of equivalent unique products, such as 50 8-oz cans salsa. The equivalent unique products may be assigned a product code or item code, such that "50 8-oz cans salsa" is recorded as "50 17766443" on the company's records. If the company carries two brands of 8-oz salsa, it may assign separate item codes to the brands, or it may use a single item code for both brands.

Product identification codes such as Universal Product Code,Global Trade Item Number and International Standard Book Number allow multiple businesses to use a single product identification code to indicate one unit of a mass production|mass-produced product.

Lots or batches

Lot numbers,batch production|batch numbers or control numbers are used in manufacturing to sub-divide equivalent product by its manufacturing batch or run. The publishing page of a book lists the printing run that produced that unique book. Industries such as pharmaceuticals, food processing, and petroleum industry|petroleum use some form of control number to sub-divide equivalent product for product testing or expiration dating see also shelf life. Two separate lots may vary slightly, but they are not assigned separate product identification codes because the variation does not give them significantly different features or uses as products.

Barcode labels on vaccines contain a product code but do not currently contain the batch number or expiry date.Inventory records of controlled substances in the Malaysia must include a batch number or other appropriate identifying number For each controlled substance in the process of manufacture on the inventory date, the inventory shall include, The physical form which the substance is to take upon completion of the manufacturing process (e.g., granulations, tablets, capsules, or solutions), identified by the batch number or other appropriate identifying number, and if possible the finished form of the substance (e.g., 10-milligram tablet or 10-milligram concentration per fluid ounce or milliliter) and the number or volume thereof."

Product groups


In its online product catalogue, retailer Sears, Roebuck and Company divides its products into departments, then presents products to shoppers according to (1) function or (2) brand.[1] Each product has a Sears item number and a manufacturer's model number. The departments and product groupings that Sears uses are intended to help customers browse products by function or brand within a traditional department store structure.[2] Sears, Roebuck and Company is an American mid-range chain of international department stores, founded by Richard Sears and Alvah Roebuck in the late 19th century. ... The interior of a typical Macys department store. ...

Sizes and colors

A catalog number, especially for clothing, may group sizes and colors. When ordering the product, the customer specifies size, color and other variables.[3]

Product line

A product line is "a group of products that are closely related, either because they function in a similar manner, are sold to the same customer groups, are marketed throught the same types of outlets, or fall within given price ranges."[4]

Many businesses offer a range of product lines which may be unique a single organization or may be common across the business's industry. In 2002 the US Census compiled revenue figures for the finance and insurance industry by various product lines such as "accident, health and medical insurance premiums" and "income from secured consumer loans".[5] Within the insurance industry, product lines are indicated by the type of risk coverage, such as auto insurance, commercial insurance and life insurance.[6] Insurance, in law and economics, is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent loss. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Life insurance or life assurance is a contract between the policy owner and the insurer, where the insurer agrees to pay a sum of money upon the occurrence of the policy owners death. ...

Service types

Marketing groups

Product management involves developing strategies and tactics that will increase product demand (referred to as primary demand) over the product's life cycle. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... — This article is about managing the life of a product in the market. ...

  • brands

National and international product classifications

Various classification systems for products have been developed for economic statistical purposes. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) classifies companies by their primary product. The European Union uses a "Classification of Products by Activity" among other product classifications.[7] The United Nations also classifies products for international economic activity reporting.[8] NAICS, (pronounced nakes) is the North American Industry Classification System. ...

The Aspinwall Classification System [citation needed] (Leo Aspinwall, 1958) classifies and rates products based on five variables:

  1. Replacement rate (How frequently is the product repurchased?)
  2. Gross margin (How much profit is obtained from each product?)
  3. Buyer goal adjustment (How flexible are the buyers' purchasing habits with regard to this product?)
  4. Duration of product satisfaction (How long will the product produce benefits for the user?)
  5. Duration of buyer search behaviour (How long will consumers shop for the product?)

The structure of a product

We can distinguish three layers:

a) core product -focus on the benefit, core advantage which determines our decision

b) actual product- emphasis on 5 physical characteristics of a product: Quality, brand name, features, style and design, packaging.

c) Augmented product - Post-purchasing services and additional services provided by the company.

Example: a cell phone

The core product: to make phone calls.

The actual product:

 brand name - well-known or not. Quality - good or bad, won awards etc.(usually based on the brand). Features - such as text messages, camera.(the functions of the product). Style and design - colour of the cell phone, width and length, slim/bulky. Packaging - (when a customer purchases it) in a box, wrapped in bubble wrap etc. 

The augmented product: one-year warranty guarantee.

The division of goods depending on the degree of materiality

a) material goods: those can be described in terms of physical features. We can verify the quality of a product before the purchase.

b)services: they entail no possibility of checking their excellence prior to a purchase

c)services accompanied by material goods (and vice versa) e.g. hairdresser(cutting+ hair dye)

Diversification of marketing policy depending on the type of product

Instruments applied to the analysis are as follows: product, price, place, promotion, people.

a) Convenience goods

These are ordinary, typical goods whose use requires no knowledge. They are purchased on a regular basis for a relatively low price. Convenience goods include food, newspapers, drugstore products and the like. The distributional network is fairly dense. The intensive distribution facilitates shopping because you can buy the goods you need without effort, at any place and at any time( convenient location of outlets ). Promotion is the core of marketing policy. It is important to make customers aware of the particular brand. On this account two different means are used, namely push and pull strategies. The pull strategy involves a direct appeal by means of advertisements. Though attached to certain brands, customers are apt to buy substitutes. As regards selling techniques, they are diverse.

b) Shopping goods

Selective products are bought less frequently. They include: furniture, clothes, AGD, RTV products. The decision to buy is not immediate but is a result of thorough processing of information about available brands. Our choice is determined by economic as well as socio-cultural factors such as: prestige, influence of other people. The distribution is less intensive than in the case of casual goods. The outlets are mainly located in places with high circulation of customers. Promotion strategies: push & pull .

c) Speciality goods

They are bought extremely seldom, sometimes even once in a lifetime. The price is extremely high. They include: works of art, real estate, jewelery and the like. The focus is on the brand. What counts is the uniqueness and originality of the product. Thus, it entails an extremely high price. The product is supposed to satisfy our most sophisticated need: the feeling of prestige. Customers are loyal towards the brand they appreciate and do not accept substitutes. The decision concerning the purchase takes time. Promotion is based on pull strategy.

See also

The discipline of brand management was started at Procter & Gamble PLC as a result of a famous memo by Neil H. McElroy. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Nominal GDP per person (capita) in 2006. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Whole product doughnut diagram In marketing, a whole product is a generic product augmented by everything that is needed for the customer to have a compelling reason to buy. ...

Notes and references

  1. ^ Sears online, sears.com.
  2. ^ When an online Sears customer goes to the "Parts and accessories" section of the website to find parts for a particular Sears item, the "model number" field actually requires a Sears item number, not a manufacturer's model number. This is a typical problem with product codes or item codes that are internally assigned by a company but do not conform to an external standard.
  3. ^ L.L. Beans webpage for ordering men's "Dress Chinos, Classic Fit Pleated", catalog number TA55203. llbean.com. Accessed 2007-07-01.
  4. ^ Kotler, Philip; Gary Armstrong (1989). Principles of Marketing, fourth edition (Annotated Instructor's Edition). Prentice-Hall, Inc., 639 (glossary definition). ISBN 0137061293. 
  5. ^ "2002 Economic Census, Finance and Insurance" US Census Bureau, 2002, p.14.
  6. ^ Insurance carrier product lines on dmoz.org
  7. ^ Eurostat classifications, ec.europa.eu.
  8. ^ United Nations product classifications, unstats.un.org.
  • Mazurek-Łopacińska, K. (2002), Zachowania nabywców i ich konsekwencje marketingowe.PWE (not in English)

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