7Ps of Marketing: Product

- January 23, 2012

Smart Monday/Product

Hello again, I’m Jim Glover, That Branding Guy, for Once a Day Marketing, where business takes shape. I want to thank you for tuning in. We’ve entered another week with our Smart Monday. There are a lot of things you can do for me if you’re enjoying my content. I would love more comments from you to find out how I can improve my blogs in the future. I would love for you to share this with your friends. And also, if you find us on Facebook at Once a Day Marketing you can SMS or RSS us, which allows for automatic texts and emails to be automatically sent to you so you’ll know when we’ve posted another blog. If you like what we’re doing keep letting us know. We really appreciate that.

Today is Smart Monday and we’re going to begin a series on defining the 7Ps of Marketing by each individual P. Today we are going to dive into the very first P: Product.

Let’s now define what a product is. Simply put, a product is any good or service that you offer to your customers. Let’s begin with a physical product. That is something that’s tangible, something that you can hold on to. My home is a physical product, the car that I drive, the camera that shoots my video blog is a physical product.

A product is also a service. For instance, Once a Day Marketing. I am providing you with marketing information to improve your business. That is a service I am giving to you. I could be a lawyer. I could be a doctor. I could be a physical therapist helping you to get your knee back into shape after that drastic skiing accident.

There are other kinds of products out there as well. Think about something like a place. I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This place is often marketed as a great tourist destination. And since I live here, I recommend it, so come by and visit and say hello while you are here.

It also can be an organization, a non-profit that has a particular mission to save the environment, to save the ocean. If you like their cause then they become a product for you as well.

And maybe it’s even an idea. Say you’re looking to grow your business and somebody comes to you with an idea for a new product and you actually buy that idea from them and use it to develop a new product. As you can see the product world is virtually anything that’s out there. But it’s your job as a developer of products is to figure out what is the right product for your company that fits the needs of your targeted customers.

Now that you have a clear sense of what a product is, you can start thinking about what you are going to do with your products. First, you are going to target a particular segment of the market or segments of the market. It’s very important to look at who you’re going to go after with respect to your product.

Also it is very important to look at the benefits of the product to your customers. And those benefits might be different for each kind of customer. It might be how it makes them feel. For instance, if they buy a Ford Mustang it’s not only how fast they can drive down the road, but when they have the top back, they like the waves and smiles that they get as pass by.

It also relates to the positioning in the marketplace. Where does your product reside? Is it the high- end? Is it the low-end? Or is it so unique nobody else has the product?

And lastly, think about the competitive advantage. How are you differentiated from your competition? Hopefully you are. If you aren’t, then you are a commodity and you’re only going to be fighting on price and that’s not a good thing in the marketplace. So trying to figure how you are unique in the marketplace, especially related to you competition, is all about product.

Here is a name I want you to remember: Philip Kotler. Philip Kotler is a marketing genius, a marketing guru that’s been teaching all of us about marketing for decades. He has something called the Three Levels of Product that I’m going to describe right now.

First is core product. Now what is that? When you buy a product, why do you buy it? Often times, it's how that product makes you feel. For instance, back to our Mustang. If you buy that convertible, even though you can go down the road quickly in it, it makes you feel great. You want people to see you in that car. That may be more of the reason your buy that product. Revlon used to say that they manufactured cosmetics but what they were really selling was hope. That is one level, one element of product.

The next level of product is the actual product itself. For instance, the camera that I use to shoot my video blog. It’s a nice Canon camera. It has zoom capabilities. It has digital capabilities. It can shoot stills; it can shoot videos. So these are all of the physical attributes of that particular camera and why I bought it.

The final level is the augmented product. That’s all the things that sort of surround and wrap around the product. It’s the delivery of the product. It might be the installation of the product. It might be the warranty of the product. It could be the service of the product. All of these things compel me, along with the physical product and the core product, to seek out and purchase a product. And that’s hopefully going to happen when your market learns of your product and also seeks it out.

I know you gaining a much better understanding of the 7Ps of Marketing, specifically product. You can see it’s a simple little word but it has a lot of layers to it, much like an onion. So I hope you join us tomorrow for Strategic Tuesday. I’m Jim Glover, That Branding Guy, for Once a Day Marketing, wherebusiness takes shape, and we will see you next time.