What is a Product? Definition, Examples & Meaning (2022)

A product is any item or service you sell to serve a customer’s need or want. They can be physical or virtual. Physical products include durable goods (such as cars, furniture, and computers) and nondurable goods (such as food and beverages). Virtual products are offerings of services or experiences (such as education, software, and other digital products). A product may be a hybrid and include both physical and virtual elements. Hybrid products are becoming more common, as traditionally analog products are incorporating digital technology as a way to better reach and serve customers.

As you will learn in this guide, there is a lot more to a product than its at-first-glance attributes and what the customer thinks they are paying for.

Create your own product plans

Software can be considered both a product and a service. You can purchase a physical version of the software and install it on-premises, which is what was traditionally done. This simply means that the software is installed on the user’s computer, versus a remote server or in the cloud. Many software products today are sold virtually. This where the term software-as-a-service (SaaS) originates. This approach uses a web-based delivery model and customers pay a monthly or annual subscription fee to access the software.

There is likely a product expert at your company who is responsible for planning and maintaining a product throughout its lifecycle. This is often the product manager. The role of product management in technology companies is to think holistically about the customer experience. This is because customers decide what they think and how they feel about a product based on the total set of interactions they have with a company — providing a good product at a competitive price is not enough to earn long-term loyalty.

Product classifications

There are many additional ways to classify products. In this guide, we are going to focus on a few areas, including customer type, purchasing behavior, business products, and industry.

(Video) Product Definition

Customer types

You can start by splitting products among two major customer types — consumer and business. Products are commonly categorized as business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) based on which type of customer they serve. There is a third category called B2B2C. This is where a company targets the consumer market via another business. OpenTable is an example of a B2B2C product. The company sells its online reservation booking software directly to restaurants, but it is used by consumers looking for available dining options.

A company can have both consumer and business customers, but understanding how each type of buyer will purchase and use a product is foundational to your product and marketing strategy.

Purchasing behavior

Consumer products are commonly further categorized by purchasing behavior. Each type of product has a distinct set of characteristics that influences the way customers buy them. The table below explains the four major product classifications and the impact of technology on consumer behavior.

Type

Description

Convenience

Convenience products are purchased frequently and with little planning or effort. This type of product is widely available, easy to obtain, and typically has a low price. Digital technology has changed the meaning of “convenience” by making many types of products and services available on demand through software applications.

Shopping

Shopping products are purchased less frequently than convenience products and have a higher price. Buyers compare attributes such as quality, style, and price before making a purchasing decision. Widespread access to the internet makes it easier for customers to learn about a product, compare alternatives, and determine if it is the right product to meet their needs and wants.

Specialty

A specialty or niche product has features that appeal to a specific group of customers. In technology, this category includes vertical market software such as real-estate or banking applications. This type of product requires more targeted promotion to reach the right people. Digital marketing approaches provide new ways for companies to successfully reach and engage specific target audiences.

Unsought

Products that have little or no proactive customer demand are called unsought products. This category includes new products and products where the direct benefit to the customer is low. Because customers do not perceive a need for these products, the offer and its benefits must be directly promoted to potential customers to generate interest. New technology products focus on innovators and early adopters to gain momentum and influence others.

Business products

Business products on the other hand help companies create their own products or operate their business. Examples of business products include raw materials, equipment, component parts, supplies, and business services. Business software is used by companies to support key business functions. Examples of business applications include accounting, customer relationship management (CRM), human resource management, and strategic planning software. Business applications are further categorized by the size of the company — small and medium businesses or enterprises.

Industry

Products are also described by the industry they serve. Industries are broad categories such as energy, healthcare, financial services, or information technology. Products that are tailored to meet the needs of a specific industry are called vertical market products. An example of a vertical market product is a healthcare application for managing patient data. When a product is present in multiple industries, it is described as a horizontal market product and can support a wide range of customer needs. For example, a general accounting platform can be used by all business types.

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(Video) What is Product Explained || Definition of product Real Examples || Meaning of Product

Complete Product Experience

A product is more than just the physical or virtual item that is sold. Of course, the features and benefits a product provides are important. Value is based on whether your product provides the essential features and benefits a customer expects, value-added features and benefits that exceed expectations, and future enhancements.

You need to consider and optimize every way a customer interacts with your product and company. This concept is called the Complete Product Experience (CPE). Brian de Haaff, Aha! co-founder and CEO, defines the CPE in Lovability — the #1 Amazon bestselling book for company and product builders. The following is an excerpt from Lovability:

"In the world of software and technology, the Complete Product Experience (CPE) has seven main components, presented here in a rough order that shows the typical product adoption process. However, the reality is that customers tend to adopt products unpredictably, according to their own tastes and priorities. An organization must be flexible enough to handle multiple adoption paths while staying focused on delivering a high-quality, lovable CPE."

(Video) How Do We Know the Product Definition Is Working

1. Marketing is how potential customers learn about your product and determine if it might be a fit to help them solve their problem. This is taking on new forms as people grow increasingly connected: social platforms, online reviews, and company-published content.

2. Sales is the process of prospects learning more about the product from a company representative and possibly using it in a trial. They educate themselves about the product and get the information they need to determine if the solution is right for them.

3. Technology refers to the core set of features that customers pay for. In our case, that is the online software that they log into our servers to use. For others, it could be the actual phone, credit card, or even an insurance policy that is purchased. However, technology should represent not the end of a transaction but the beginning of a transparent, interactive relationship.

(Video) product definition

4. Supporting systems make it possible to deliver the product. These are internal systems that the customer rarely sees but which can have a huge impact on their overall happiness: billing, provisioning, analytics, and more. For example, if you call customer support and the representative always seems to have a comprehensive history of your purchases and support issues at their fingertips, you can thank supporting systems.

5. Third-party integrations enable new products to fit into how the customer already lives and works. All products exist in an ecosystem, so they have to play nice with the other products the customer is already using and the way that customer already works.

6. Support is everything from answering customer questions to training and even helping customers integrate your product with their existing systems. Support describes all activity that helps the customer achieve something meaningful with a product.

7. Policies are the rules that companies set to govern how they do business. At their best, they provide a framework for employees to be their best. At their worst, they create unresolvable frustration that drives customers to ask “to speak with the manager.”

Ultimately, the product is the summation of all touchpoints that form the relationship between your company and the customer. It is important to consider how the components described above interact with each other. Creating a seamless experience requires bringing together product, marketing, sales, and support teams to optimize each step of the customer’s journey and create lasting joy.

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(Video) What is Dot Product? Definition and Geometric Meaning; Stewart, Chapter 12

FAQs

What is product definition and meaning? ›

Definition: A product is the item offered for sale. A product can be a service or an item. It can be physical or in virtual or cyber form. Every product is made at a cost and each is sold at a price. The price that can be charged depends on the market, the quality, the marketing and the segment that is targeted.

What is a product and examples? ›

A product is any item or service you sell to serve a customer's need or want. They can be physical or virtual. Physical products include durable goods (such as cars, furniture, and computers) and nondurable goods (such as food and beverages).

What are 3 examples of products? ›

Examples of products
  • Magazines.
  • Toothpaste.
  • Food.
  • Candy.
  • Laundry detergent.
  • Shampoo.
3 Jan 2022

What is the meaning of product in marketing? ›

In marketing, a product is an object, or system, or service made available for consumer use as of the consumer demand; it is anything that can be offered to a market to satisfy the desire or need of a customer.

What are the 7 types of products? ›

The seven types of products are:
  • Premium or luxury goods.
  • Unsought products.
  • Niche Products.
  • Commodities.
  • Consumer preferences.
  • Convenience products.
  • Complementary goods.

What is product explain types of products? ›

Products are broadly classified into two categories – consumer products and industrial products. Consumer products are products that the ultimate consumer purchases himself for direct use. The consumer purchases these consumer products to satisfy his personal needs and desires.

What is product definition in product management? ›

A Product Definition

A product is an item or a service offered on the market and designed to meet the needs or wishes of customers. Products can be tangible goods, services, experiences, individuals, places, properties, organizations, information, and ideas.

How do you create a definition? ›

A formal definition consists of three parts: The term (word or phrase) to be defined. The class of object or concept to which the term belongs. The differentiating characteristics that distinguish it from all others of its class.

How do you introduce a product example? ›

We at (introduce your company) are proud to introduce you to our new product ( introduce your newly launched product). (Describe in your words). We can assure (give details of your product and discuss its feedback and market value). The product is currently priced (the price of the product).

What are the 4 types of products with examples? ›

There are four types of products and each is classified based on consumer habits, price, and product characteristics: convenience goods, shopping goods, specialty products, and unsought goods.
...
Let's dive into each one in more detail.
  • Convenience Goods. ...
  • Shopping Goods. ...
  • Specialty Goods. ...
  • Unsought Goods.
19 Aug 2021

What are the 10 types of products? ›

Understanding the 10 Types of Products for More Effective...
  • Convenience Products. ...
  • Shopping Products. ...
  • Specialty Products. ...
  • Unsought Products. ...
  • Raw Materials. ...
  • Component Parts. ...
  • Capital Goods. ...
  • Major Equipment.

Which is an example of a product that is considered a need? ›

Give two examples each of needs and wants. - Wants: Car and Nice house; Needs: food and shelter. 2.

What is an example of a product business? ›

Examples include corn syrup and plastics. The marketing strategy of selling processed material consists of high quality, price, and excellent service. Another type of business product would be supplies. Postmaster Joe sells supplies, such as mailing tape, boxes, and stamps, to local businesses.

What are new products and what are some examples of new products? ›

The alternative expression for new-to-the-world products (really new products) already indicates that this is what most people would define as a new product. These products are inventions that create a whole new market. Examples: Polaroid camera, the iPod and iPad, the laser printer and so on.

What are some examples of product knowledge? ›

Product Knowledge Types
  • Customer. This type of knowledge allows your sales reps to analyze the needs and wants of your clients to offer them the best solution.
  • Competition. ...
  • Industry. ...
  • Brand. ...
  • Customer experience. ...
  • Complementary products. ...
  • Use. ...
  • Troubleshooting.
9 Aug 2022

Why is a product important? ›

Product is the centre of all marketing activities, Without a product, marketing cannot even be imaged. Good products are the key to market success. Product decisions are taken first by the marketers and these decisions are the centre to all other marketing decisions, such as price, promotion, distribution etc.

What is the definition of product by Philip Kotler? ›

Philip Kotler: “A product is anything that can be offered to a market for attention, acquisition, use or consumption. It includes physical objects, services, personalities, place, organizations and ideas.”

What is nature of product example? ›

Nature of products must be considered in terms of the total product offering. The term 'product' covers goods, services, ideas and information. In reality, most products are combinations of these items. Service-based products tend to be intangible in nature.

What are the basic products? ›

basic products means products intended for export after processing into processed products or into goods; goods intended for export after processing shall also be regarded as basic products, Sample 1Sample 2Sample 3.

What are the characteristics of products? ›

Product characteristics are attributes of the product itself that need to be controlled. Examples of product characteristics are size, shape, weight, color, quality, hardness, etc. The list of product characteristics depends on your product and how its functional design requirements have been defined.

What are the five product characteristics? ›

The five product levels are:
  • Core benefit: The fundamental need or want that consumers satisfy by consuming the product or service. ...
  • Generic product: ...
  • Expected product: ...
  • Augmented product: ...
  • Potential product:

What are the 6 types of products? ›

Types of Products – 6 Major Types: Differentiated Product, Customised Product, Potential Product, Core Product, Actual Product and Augmented Product.

What is a good product? ›

A good product is marketed efficiently with clear value proposition. Efficient marketing is needed for a product to turn out well, we all know that. But what (exactly) is a value proposition? A value proposition refers to the value a company promises to offer to customers if they choose to stick with their product.

What is the product line? ›

What Is a Product Line? A product line is a group of related products all marketed under a single brand name that is sold by the same company. Companies sell multiple product lines under their various brand names, seeking to distinguish them from each other for better usability for consumers.

What is product in science definition? ›

A product is a substance that is present at the end of a chemical reaction. In the equation above, the zinc and sulfur are the reactants that chemically combine to form the zinc sulfide product. There is a standard way of writing chemical equations.

What is the definition of product in biology? ›

Biological products are a diverse category of products and are generally large, complex molecules. These products may be produced through biotechnology in a living system, such as a microorganism, plant cell, or animal cell, and are often more difficult to characterize than small molecule drugs.

What are products in marketing? ›

In marketing, a product is an object, or system, or service made available for consumer use as of the consumer demand; it is anything that can be offered to a market to satisfy the desire or need of a customer.

What is meaning of product in maths? ›

In mathematics, a product is the result of multiplication, or an expression that identifies objects (numbers or variables) to be multiplied, called factors. For example, 30 is the product of 6 and 5 (the result of multiplication), and is the product of and.

What is a product definition for kids? ›

The product of two numbers is the result you get when you multiply them together. So 12 is the product of 3 and 4, 20 is the product of 4 and 5 and so on.

What is a sentence for product? ›

1. They put a new product on the market. 2.

Why science is a product? ›

This is Expert Verified Answer

Science is a product because without those historic steps, a YET MORE COMPLEX IDEA couldnt have appear. Example: without Newton's laws of motion, Einstein would have nothing to build upon.

What is an example of a product in science? ›

For example, if the reactants are a hydrocarbon and oxygen, it's a safe bet the products are carbon dioxide and water. A single reactant breaks into multiple products via a decomposition reaction.

What is meaning of products of cells? ›

cell biology) a cellular product is something “manufactured” by an organelle (such as the Golgi apparatus)

What does product of the time mean? ›

countable noun. If you say that someone or something is a product of a situation or process, you mean that the situation or process has had a significant effect in making them what they are. We are all products of our time.

What is types of product? ›

There are four types of products and each is classified based on consumer habits, price, and product characteristics: convenience goods, shopping goods, specialty products, and unsought goods.
...
Let's dive into each one in more detail.
  • Convenience Goods. ...
  • Shopping Goods. ...
  • Specialty Goods. ...
  • Unsought Goods.
19 Aug 2021

Why is a product important? ›

Product is the centre of all marketing activities, Without a product, marketing cannot even be imaged. Good products are the key to market success. Product decisions are taken first by the marketers and these decisions are the centre to all other marketing decisions, such as price, promotion, distribution etc.

What are the 7 types of products? ›

The seven types of products are:
  • Premium or luxury goods.
  • Unsought products.
  • Niche Products.
  • Commodities.
  • Consumer preferences.
  • Convenience products.
  • Complementary goods.

What is the product of a math answer? ›

The product in math is the answer to a multiplication problem. The result of multiplying two numbers together is the product.

What is product of a number? ›

The product is the multiplication of two or more integers together. Assume their are two integers and , then their product will be obtained when we multiply both the numbers together. 8 × 7 = 56 .

What is the symbol of product? ›

Mathematical symbols
SymbolWhat it isHow it is read
±Plus/minus sign... plus or minus ...
dot product sign... dot ...
xCross product sign... cross ...
Product signThe product of ...
66 more rows

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