(The below information, from http://tolearn.net/marketing/productm.htm, helps think about products in ways that are useful for marketing purposes.)
A product exists on three basic levels:
Product planners need to think about the product on three levels:
The core product -- what is the buyer really buying? The core product refers to the use, benefit, or problem solving service that the consumer is really buying when purchasing the product, i.e. the need that is being fulfilled.
The actual product is the tangible product or intangible service that serves as the medium for receiving core product benefits:
Quality refers to product performance.
Features include combinations of product attributes.
Styling refers to the design, aesthetic, or ergonomic aspects.
The Brand name helps consumers position and identify the product.
Packaging protects and promotes.
The augmented product consists of the measures taken to help the consumer put the actual product to sustained use, including installation, delivery & credit, warranties, andafter-sale service.
A product, therefore, is more than a simple set of tangible features. Consumers tend to see products as complex bundles of benefits that satisfy their needs.
Example: An automobile offers personal transportation (