Total Product Concept : Market Leadership
Describe about the Total Product Concept for Market Leadership.
Marketing mix is one of the most known marketing terms and it an integral part a marketing plan. Marketing mix is a set of well – structured marketing methods which comprise of price, product, place and promotion. All the Organizations maintain a well combined system of all these aspects in order to cater to their target market (Kotler & Armstrong 2010). The marketing mix process is a combination of various elements where the target for the higher brands is to focus on the promotion of the product than its price. This is evident with the high – value products as the high – profile customers will not be sensitive towards the price of a specific product. In this article, we will discuss and analyse the total product concept with the product components and its description. We would also analyse various product layers with the most suitable examples.
(Kotler & Armstrong 2010) have given a new structure for Marketing where they have defined it as a “social concept where there is an exchange of products and services with an associated value. It can also be defined as the process by which the Companies create maximum value for its Customers and also develop and maintain a strong relationship in order to endure the value from the Customers”. The total concept has gone through a major transformation where the Companies have gone way beyond to understand the need analysis of its Customers and they have customised their products depending on the suggestions provided.
AMA (2012) has provided a new structure for Marketing where they have defined it as a “System of value creation and delivery in order to maintain a long – term relationship with its Customers”.
Marketing objectives are the marketing strategies formed in order to achieve and sustain the overall organizational objectives. The marketing objectives are goals which are given structured timelines by which they have to be achieved. The main objectives of marketing are creation of demand, customer satisfaction, market share and its value, profits made and creation and sustenance of good will within the market.
Of these marketing objectives, there is an important product concept which is of the product itself. The marketing definitions which we have discussed earlier have proved that marketing is not about selling products however it is related to satisfying products. From the research conducted by Boone and Kurtz (2005, P.318) a product is defined as “A bundle of physical, service and symbolic attributes which are designed to satisfy a Customer’s wants and needs”.
Total Product signifies that the product could serve various Customers in different ways. Variance comes into effect because the Customers might look at different products in different ways where for example, paper was once assumed and was used for writing purposes and in the recent past with the issues caused by plastic, people and companies have realized the need to come up with additional packaging materials where paper is being used as the main component of such packing materials.
This confirms the understanding of the total product concept. The total product concept consists of 3 levels like
- The core product – its advantages which it can offer and the main purpose for which it is being purchased for
- The main product – The product which is being purchased
- The augmented product – The parts and the main components of the product
The purpose of the essay is to demonstrate the learning of one of the three mega – marketing concepts like Total Product Concept, product consideration, product layers and product components. The scope of the article is vast where we will analyse and discuss the main concepts related to the Total Product Concept, product consideration, product layers and product components and the new product development. The vastness of the topic might be challenging to cover all the aspects of the total product concept.
Product Layers Concept
The total product concept is all about the three layers of the product where the Customers imagine the product to be the main physical item. The nature of the product can be explored by analysing the three layers like Core product, Actual Product and the Augmented Product (Kokemuller nd).
Core Product is not the physical product which the Customers can touch. Core in this aspect signifies the advantages of the product which makes it more valuable from a Customer point of view (Baines, Fill & Page 2011). With the example which we have considered earlier of a paper, the advantage of using paper is that it makes it easier to pack any material and the disposal of the material is also convenient. The second advantage is that we are not polluting the environment and causing further damage to the communities around.
Actual Product is the physical product which we can touch. The paper bag which is produced and made for use can be touched and felt by hand in order to use it.
Augmented Product is related to the non – physical aspect of the product. These aspects cover the value add of the product than the cost involved for procuring the product. For example, the augmented products of buying a new vehicle would be the accessories and products which are given as a value add to the Customer. As per the augmented products, the features which are provided can also be customised as per the convenience of the Customers.
Products can be classified and grouped depending on the type of Consumers it has and the product components also need to be changed with the marketing mix depending on the type of Consumers it has (Bearden 2005). Product components are also relevant to the features and benefits of the product where the critical aspect is that the products have a large set of features however the advantages which the products offer are minimal (Brassington & Pettit 2013).
The product components are significant to the marketing environment where the features can be altered depending on the type of needs the Customers have. For example, if a chopping machine comes with in – built blades where they are non – adjustable and non – removable the Consumers might find it difficult to use however if the machine comes with replaceable blades, this makes it more convenient to use. At this stage, we can confirm that the product components are designed in a way to let the Consumers have more access to the type of products they require.
In order to develop the total product concept, the marketing companies will conduct a research to identify the advantages which they can offer their Consumers and they will relate the features of the product to the advantages which they can provide.
New Product Development
The New Product Development is the process which takes place before the products get finalised and this is implemented by the experienced researchers where they consider the Consumer’s choices of products and the benefits which they look for. The New Product Development also happens by expecting the needs of the Consumers in various situations (Dibb, Simkin, Pride & Ferrell 2012). The process of the New Product Development is conducted by considering various advantages at all the product levels like the core, the main and the augmented levels.
The critical aspect which has seen an immense growth as a response in the business is that the product parts get replaced for the actual ones and this has led to the discovery of the new product lines and has resulted in producing most of the innovative products.
Classification of the product lines
Different types of classification of product lines are
- Convenience of packaging
Packaging has become a new trend in attracting Consumers in the market. Consumers will go for newer look in terms of products and their packaging. Marketers at this point have to consider the time taken for the delivery of the products as well
- Specialty offers
Alternative choices might not work for all the Consumers as they might not prefer alternate brands when they originally have their trusted ones. For example, when a Consumer is looking to buy a car, he might not accept an alternate brand which he has never experienced
- Post sales experience
This is the most critical aspect of the marketing environment in the present times, the marketing brands and the companies themselves don’t care about the after sales and the performance of the actual product. This leads to a major disturbance in terms of the product sales and the brand in specific.
This classification might also vary for different products especially the business products. The difference lies with relation to
- Production products
The products which are essential for initiating the production process like the raw materials, major machinery parts like the minor or smaller components, production materials and the final production materials
- Support products
The post sales products like the major and minor product
accessories, the consumable supplies and business to business services.
Product Life Cycle
The product life cycle is based on the biological life cycle of the products. The changing trends in the preferences of the products by the Consumers keep altering their product choices (Marketing Teacher nd). This could also vary with the change in the sharp declines of the product prices. At this stage, the Consumers have various choices which they opt for and this could reduce the overall profitability of the brand and this would lead them to cost cutting measures.
The second aspect of the market development would be the evaluation of the product which involves testing the product idea and the marketing model. In order to evaluate the product, the three levels of a product are useful as a marketing tool. There are various tests which can be conducted like the consumers can test the product by exposing them to the preferences of the product. Various product elements can be evaluated by different Consumers where they can evaluate the product elements, packaging, materials used for packaging and the labelling.
Elements of a product mix
If the Organizations market different products, it is called as a product mix like
Product Items – different types of products which they can offer
Product Line – The grouping of the products
Product Mix – A larger group of products which are marketed by a single organization
These elements of product mix are evaluated by depth and width of the products which are come under a product line. This category doesn’t face a lot of competitors, has various consumer segments, has a lot of vendor support, has a wide range of prices for the numerous product categories and has an ability for a higher cost inventory.
Under the width analysis, the total product lines which the Company can offer are covered and it also enables the Organization to introduce various newer product categories by accommodating different consumer needs and ensures that all its Consumers have a one stop solution for buying at their company.
The Companies in the present times are competing effectively in order to maximise the opportunities of making effective sales under their Organizational brand. Based on the discussion and analysis we have made, the Companies should be able to adjust their product mix and they have to analyse and understand the market competition and should also consider the customer attitudes and behaviour towards their products(Reimer & Kuehn 2005). The newer product lines which the company develops should be aimed at constant and continuous innovation which includes all the consumer behaviours, ways in which the consumers would adapt themselves to a new product and get used to them and introduce newer consumption patterns at all times. This strategy will help the Companies to face the open competition in the market and will help to do a continuous systematic search for newer product opportunities.
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