A product is anything that can be offered to a market to satisfy a want or need. Products that are marketed include physical goods, services, ideas, events, experiences, persons, places, properties, organisations and so on. OR Prod uct refers to anything that can be offered to mar ket for attention, acquisition, use or consump tion that will satisfy consumer’s wants or needs. OR Product is something that is capable of sat isfying consumer needs or wants. OR Product is a tangible or intangible offering of a firm that satisfies consumer’s needs and wants.
Product concept focuses on quality or superior performance or innovative features, while pro duction concept focuses on mass production, mass distribution and low price.
When a product is bought, the buyer is not only buying the product but also buying the benefits and the satisfaction that the product will provide.
competitive nature of the market place has therefore become a significant factor that producers can only ignore to their own peril. The purchasing power of the consumers is also affected by the economy of the Nation. It is as a result of those factors that manufacturers must of necessity know the product category to which their products belong.
The hostility in the marketing environment suggests that the producers have no option other than to employ aggressive marketing drive in order to survive competition in the face of the declining purchasing power of the consumers. It is in the light of this, that product classification becomes one of the most potent technique for determining the survival or extinction of products in the hand of the producers.
Consumers at times may want to minimise the shopping time. This should be a signal to the producer on the retail outlet to adopt, that is, whether a door step delivery or supermarket sales is necessary. It is the responsibility of the producer to fashion out a channel of distribution, that which makes the product accessible to the consumers. This again pre supposes that the buying behaviour of the consumers must be its studied for appropriate channel selection. Goods that are bought infrequently are “used up” quite slowly. This explains why consumers can afford to allot a considerable amount of time and effort to the buying decision so as to consider the gains and costs of the time and effort devoted to buying the product. The implication of the buying behaviour on the part of the producer is that the retail outlet should be minimised for the products.
There are other cases of products in which the consumer already has a brand in mind; the special purchasing effort is just to know where it is on sales. Producers will do well to ensure that such products retain the quality the consumers want. Since the prices of the items are secondary to the consumers, producers can afford to jack up the prices so as to obtain some level of margin of profit.
The following are the various classifications of products:
(a) Industrial goods: These are goods that need to undergo processing. They are raw materials that would be converted into semi-finished or finished goods. Examples are cotton wool, timber, fresh tomatoes, etc.
(b) Primary products: These are all farm produce that have not undergone processing. Examples include cotton wool, yam tuber, cassava tuber, fresh fish, fruits, fresh tomatoes, etc.
(c) Secondary products: There are all farm produce that have undergone processing. Examples include garri, yam flour, smoked fish, corn flour, tomato paste, dry fish, etc.
(d) Consumer goods: Consumer goods are goods that are bought from retail stores for personal, family, or household use. Example are tin tomatoes, smoked fish, fruit juice, garri, etc. They are grouped into three subcategories on the basis of consumer buying habits: convenience goods, shopping goods, and specialty goods.
(i) Convenience products: These refer to items that the consumer buys with minimum shopping effort. Essentially, these are goods that are habitual with the consumers. They are bought frequently but not in larger quantities because they are non-durable good. In other words, they are ‘used up” He goods. The buying decision of the gogne consumers for convenience goods is ignited by habit and he knows all the retail l mol outlets. Under this category are biscuits, newspaper, toilet soap, cigarettes, etc. 2000 Consumers want to minimise the time and treffort devoted to buying convenience blo goods. Therefore, the consumers are not bo interested in comparing the prices and quo quality of convenience goods with other and related products in the market place. This bonis because the gain of such exercise is not bo high enough to justify the cost involved in the exercise. But in case the price of a convenience good like bread is abnormally higher than competing brands, consumers tend to change their buying decision on the product. In an attempt to buy convenience goods, consumers purchase such goods at a convenient location or retail outlets situated very close to their residence. It is the recognition of this Tololiconsumer’s minimum shopping time that makes marketers of such products to have dain the products available in large quantities in numerous outlets.
Marketers of convenience goods must therefore be sure that they have adequate inventories of the convenience goods. This is because inadequate supply of such goods will create extra search time on the part of the consumers which they may not want to embark upon. 0136 02
There are three types of convenience products-staples, impulse and emergency products. These sub-categorisations of 16(or convenience goods are based on how the consumers think about the products and Loog not on the features of the products.

(ii) Staple products: These are products that are bought often in a routine manner without much thought on a regular basis. A typical example is with paste or milk for breakfast. Staple products are usually sold in convenient location like food stores and supermarkets. Branding is important with staple products.
(iii) Impulse products: These are products that are purchased without any planning or search effort. They are usually purchased because of a strongly felt need. They are products that consumers had not planned to buy but decide to buy on the spot. An example is an ice cream seller who rings a bell. If the children do not buy the ice cream as the seller is sighted, the need goes away and the purchase will not be later. This Te to implies that if the buyer does not see an impulse product on time, the sale may be lost. This explains why retailers display impulse products conspicuously where they will be seen and bought.

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