The product is a dynamic category with different levels of complexity. In dictionary terms, it means good that arises in the production process, i.e. a work, a product, the result of artistic work, social activity, etc. In economic terms, the product is an effect of the process of transforming production factors and is designed to satisfy specific consumer needs.
Moreover, the product consists of the full range of customer or consumer experience in its relations with the business organization. Holistically, the products can include: physical things, services, ideas, ideas, places, organizations, associations, shows, meetings, projects and other products of human potential that interact with the environment.
The structure of the product underwent T. Levitt's research already in 1980, when analyzing purchasing motifs. At that time 4 product levels were distinguished: basic level, expected level, extended level, potential level.
However, the Ph class is the most commonly used in the literature. Kotler, dividing the product structure into the following levels :
- core of the product;
- real product;
- extended product;
- potential product.
The structure and levels of the product are inherently correlated with:
- characteristics of functional characteristics;
The core of the product
It is the essence of a product that is responsible for meeting the basic consumer need that determines its purchase. This level is correlated with the implementation of the basic benefit. All products in the same category have the same common core, despite its subjective perception.
We count it:
- physical product;
- functional features;
- technological solutions.
It consists of specific elements that, thanks to a variety of features, create a variable combination, tailored to the needs and requirements of the auditorium. They determine the power of perceiving the product among customers, suppliers and competitors.
We count it:
- model, features;
- material, raw material;
- contact with the consumer.
The product expanded
This category is related to the provision of additional services as part of the product offer, and the benefits from them are usually immaterial. They build a source of competitive advantage, especially if they are based on innovations and the latest technological developments.
We count it:
- repairs and maintenance;
- instruction and installation;
- spare parts;
- service empathy;
- availability of service points;
- readiness to provide services;
- additional services.
This is a level that refers to innovations and future improvements. They may relate to appropriate product transformations in order to adapt it to market trends and changing consumer preferences. Product upgrades and improvements testify to the company's development, and on their basis it is possible to assess the stage in the product's life cycle .
We include various innovations.
By analyzing the structure of products, you can determine the benefits it provides to its buyers. These benefits are in practice communicated and implemented using the following attributes :
- product quality - is one of the most important tools for positioning on the market and translates directly into the functionality and effectiveness of the product. From a consumer perspective, it is connected with building value and post-purchase satisfaction.
- product features - they depend on its variants, functions or variety of produced versions and can be a source of competitive advantage on the market. The starting point is naturally the basic product, which is the basis for developing more complex models.
- design and product design - they build visual identification, which plays an important role in the brand management process. Moreover, the aesthetic dimension affects the emotional sphere, which creates the potential for advertising in marketing activities. It is necessary to properly brand products that will distinguish them from the competition.
- Suyama, T. L., Gerwick, W. H., & McPhail, K. L. (2011). Survey of marine natural product structure revisions: A synergy of spectroscopy and chemical synthesis. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry, 19(22), 6675-6701.
- Chu, C. H., Luh, Y. P., Li, T. C., & Chen, H. (2009). Economical green product design based on simplified computer-aided product structure variation. Computers in Industry, 60(7), 485-500.
- Svensson, D., & Malmqvist, J. (2002). Strategies for product structure management at manufacturing firms. Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering, 2(1), 50-58.