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The Marketing Mix

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Chapter 19: The marketing mix: product and packaging

The role of product in the marketing mix

The product itself is the most important feature of the marketing mix. After deciding the market segment for the product, the other parts of the marketing mix will be decided.

Large companies often have a department to develop new products. Whilst deciding the marketing mix, the company will also have to take into account the competitor's products.

Types of product

There are several types of products involved in different industries.

* Consumer goods: these are goods consumed by people. They can be perishable goods as food or can last a long period of time as furniture.

* Consumer services: these are services that are produced for people. E.g.: hairdressing.

* Producer goods: these are goods produced for other businesses to use. They are bought to help with the production process from the previous stage of production. E.g.: lorries.

* Producer services: these are services that are produced to help other businesses. E.g.: accounting.

It is important to know which type of product the business has when developing it and promoting it if it wants to be successful. Other features have to be also accomplished by the product:

* It satisfies existing needs and wants of costumers.

* It is not too expensive to produce.

* The design has to be suitable for the product.

* The company has to be a market leader when developing its new products.

* Has something distinctive from its competitors.

* It is capable of stimulating the consumers' wants.

Product development

To develop a product, the company has to follow a process:

1. Generate ideas: from the competitors' products, customers' suggestions, employees, Research and Development department and Sales Department.

2. Select the best ideas for further research: the company needs to decide which ideas to abandon and what ideas to make further research.

3. Decide of the company will be able to sell enough for the product to be a success: the Marketing Department will need to measure the likely size in the market share the product will have and the likely size of sales.

4. Develop a prototype: doing this the Product department will be able to know how the product will be manufactured.

5. Launch the product in one part of the country to test the market: the product is launched into a small part of the market in order to let know the company what impact it will have when it is fully launched.

6. Go to a full launch of the product to the whole market: the product is launched into the main market.

The importance of branding

* Companies don't sell directly to their consumers their products therefore they have to create a brand of the product. The brand of a product shows the product's characteristics and the reasons for buying it.

* In order to do this the company will need a brand name. A brand name is the unique name of the product which distinguishes it from other brands. They will also need a unique packaging which will distinguish it from others.

* Businesses normally use their brands to:

* Charge a higher price to the product (higher

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