A product is an item that is developed and refined for sale in the market. It aims to meet the customers’ needs and wants. The concept of the product can be categorized into two, i.e., narrow concept and wide concept. In its narrow concept, a product is a combination of physical or chemical characteristics that has some utilities.
It is not just a nonliving object or a physical substance. A product also has other functions than its utility like satisfying customer needs and wants, e.g., fan, table, pen, cooler, chair, etc. In its wider concept, a product having a variety of colors, designs, packaging, and brand is said to be a different product.
For example, if a shampoo is made available in three different variants and smells, these are three products, as they fulfill the needs of customers with varied choices. Hence, the product is defined as a complete package of benefits received by a consumer.
According to George Fisk, “Product is a cluster of psychological satisfaction.”
According to Philip Kotler, “A product is a bundle of physical services and symbolic particulars expected to yield satisfaction or benefits to the buyer”.
In the case of services, three levels are identified by the marketers in order to develop the product element of the marketing mix. The three levels are core level, tangible level, and augmented level. The objective of the core level is to fulfill the necessary requirements of the customer, whereas the looks and presentation of the product are managed at the tangible level.
Lastly, the augmented level deals with the ancillary services that are provided in addition to the basic services. The three levels, as explained above, can also be adjusted into two levels; the first level is the core level that fulfills the basic requirements, whereas the second level consists of both tangible and augmented levels of services.
The actual service that is generally offered to a customer is considered the core level, while at the secondary level, service delivery is the prime concern.
For Example, the primary objective or core service of the restaurant is to serve the best quality food to its customers, whereas the secondary level of service aims to provide the customers with a good environment.