Product is the most important ‘P’ of the marketing mix. All products go through a life cycle of development, introduction, growth, maturity and decline. Branding is used to make a product stand out from its rivals.
A product is a good or a service that is sold to customers or other businesses. Customers buy a product to meet a need.
Information gathered from market research is used by businesses to help them identify need.
A business will then aim to develop a new product that will meet the identified need effectively.
Development of a new product involves a number of different stages:
Idea generation– Research and Development departments try to innovative and design products that are new or better than existing ones.
Development– Businesses aim to have an innovation in their new product that they can point to as a USP. A good example of a product developed with a highly marketable USP was the first bagless vacuum cleaner.
Prototypes and testing– Prototypes are made and then undergo tests to ensure the product is safe, reliable, fit for purpose and one that customers can and will use.
Modifications– After seeing the prototype or early versions in use, alterations can be made to improve the product.
Patents and copyrights– Some products are registered for patents to protect the design from imitation by competitors.
Launch to market– Finally the product is put into production and a marketing and advertising campaign is launched to introduce and sell the product to customers.