What is a Product, Characteristics and its classification with suitable examples

What is a Product, Characteristics and its classification with suitable examples

A product is a tangible or intangible item or service that is created and offered to satisfy the needs and wants of consumers. Products can be anything from tangible items like automobiles and cellphones to intangible services like software development or consultancy. As the foundation of many industries, they are essential to the operation of economies and society. In order to meet the different demands of consumers and establish efficient marketing strategies, firms must have a thorough understanding of the features and classifications of their products.

What is a Product, Characteristics and its classification with suitable examples

Product Characteristics:

Tangibility: Products can be tangible, meaning they have a physical form and can be touched, or intangible, referring to services that lack a physical presence. Tangible products are typically easier to evaluate before purchase, as consumers can assess their quality and features.

Durability and Perishability: Products vary in terms of durability. Some are long-lasting, such as appliances, while others are perishable, like fresh produce. The durability of a product influences consumer behavior and affects the supply chain and inventory management strategies of businesses.

Inseparability: Services are often inseparable from the provider. Unlike physical products that can be produced and stored independently, services are often created and consumed simultaneously. 

What is a Product, Characteristics and its classification with suitable examples-For example, a haircut or a medical consultation is delivered and experienced in real-time.

Variability: Variability refers to the inconsistency in the delivery of services. Since services often rely on human interactions, there can be variations in the quality and experience. This characteristic poses challenges for businesses aiming to maintain consistent service quality.

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Perceived Value: The perceived value of a product is subjective and is influenced by factors such as brand reputation, marketing, and customer perception. Consumers are willing to pay more for products they perceive to have higher value, even if the actual production cost does not reflect the price.

Homogeneity or Heterogeneity: Products can be homogeneous, meaning they are standardized and identical, or heterogeneous, indicating variations in features or customization. For instance, mass-produced items like bottled water are homogeneous, while handmade crafts are heterogeneous.

Ownership: Consumers may own a product outright, as is the case with most tangible goods, or have temporary access to a service. Ownership can impact consumer behavior, as those who own a product may feel a greater sense of attachment and responsibility towards it.

Branding: Products are often associated with brands that convey a certain image or reputation. Strong branding can contribute to customer loyalty and influence purchasing decisions. For example, Apple products are often perceived as innovative and of high quality due to the Apple brand.

Product Classification:

Products can be classified based on various criteria, including their nature, target market, and durability. The two main categories are goods and services, each with further subcategories.


Durable Goods: These are products with a long lifespan and are often considered investments. Examples include cars, appliances, and furniture.

Non-Durable Goods: These are products with a short lifespan and are consumed relatively quickly. Examples include food, toiletries, and newspapers.


Consumer Services: These are services directly consumed by end-users. Examples include haircuts, education, and healthcare.

Business Services: These services are used by businesses rather than individual consumers. Examples include consulting, accounting, and legal services.

Consumer Products:

Convenience Products: These are inexpensive, frequently purchased items that require minimal effort for consumers. Examples include snacks, toiletries, and newspapers.

Shopping Products: These are products that consumers compare and evaluate before purchasing. Examples include clothing, electronics, and furniture.

Specialty Products: These are unique or high-end products that consumers are willing to make a special effort to obtain. Examples include luxury goods, designer clothing, and limited-edition items.

Industrial Products:

Materials and Parts: These are products used in the manufacturing process to create other goods. Examples include raw materials, components, and sub-assemblies.

Capital Items: These are long-term investments by businesses, such as machinery and equipment.

Supplies and Business Services: These are products and services that facilitate business operations, including office supplies, maintenance services, and logistics.

Product Mix:

Product Line: A group of related products marketed by the same company. For example, Apple's product line includes iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and other interconnected devices.

Product Mix (or Product Portfolio): The complete range of products offered by a company. It encompasses all product lines and demonstrates the diversity of the company's offerings.


A product can refer to a wide variety of both tangible and intangible goods that satisfy the various demands and aspirations of customers. It is a broad and dynamic notion. Tangibility, durability, and perceived value are only a few of the attributes of products that affect consumer behavior and corporate strategy. Furthermore, businesses can use the framework provided by the division of products into categories like goods and services, consumer and industrial items, convenience, shopping, and specialty products to comprehend and efficiently manage their product portfolios.

What is a Product, Characteristics and its classification with suitable examples-Successful businesses recognize the importance of product development, branding, and marketing in creating and maintaining a competitive edge. Moreover, the ever-changing nature of markets and consumer preferences necessitates continuous adaptation and innovation in product strategies. As technology advances and globalization accelerates, businesses must remain agile and responsive to emerging trends to thrive in the dynamic business environment.

In essence, the study of products is not merely an academic exercise but a practical necessity for businesses seeking sustained success. By understanding the nuances of products, businesses can better navigate the complexities of the market, establish strong connections with consumers, and create offerings that resonate with the evolving demands of society.


What is the role of perceived value in product marketing?

Perceived value is a crucial factor in consumer decision-making. It refers to the subjective assessment of a product's worth by consumers, considering factors such as brand reputation, quality, and benefits. Businesses strive to enhance perceived value through effective marketing strategies, ultimately influencing consumer preferences and purchasing behavior.

How does the classification of products impact marketing strategies?

The classification of products informs marketing strategies by helping businesses tailor their approaches to different product types and target markets. For example, the marketing of convenience products may focus on accessibility and affordability, while the marketing of specialty products may emphasize exclusivity and unique features.

What are some challenges associated with delivering consistent services?

Inconsistency in service delivery can arise due to the human element involved in many services. Factors such as employee performance, training, and customer interactions contribute to variability. Businesses must invest in training programs, standard operating procedures, and quality control measures to address these challenges and maintain service excellence.

How does branding contribute to the success of a product?

Branding plays a significant role in shaping consumer perceptions and building brand loyalty. A strong brand can differentiate a product from competitors, create positive associations, and instill trust in consumers. Effective branding influences purchasing decisions and fosters long-term relationships between consumers and products.

What is the significance of a diversified product mix for a company?

A diversified product mix, consisting of various product lines, allows a company to cater to different market segments and consumer preferences. It provides a buffer against economic fluctuations and reduces dependence on a single product or market. A well-managed product mix enhances the overall resilience and competitiveness of a company.

How does the digital age impact product development and marketing?

The digital age has transformed product development and marketing by introducing new channels, tools, and opportunities. Businesses leverage digital platforms for market research, product promotion, and e-commerce. Additionally, technology enables faster innovation cycles and facilitates direct communication with consumers, enhancing the speed and efficiency of product development and marketing strategies.



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