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How you classification your products has an impact on your marketing strategy implementation.

I will examine the classifications of products. An explanation of each marketing mix element as it relates to the classification of durable goods, nondurable goods, and services.

A product (a good) is anything that can be offered to a market for attention, acquisition use, or consumption that might satisfy a want or need.

Most products are physical products (or goods), such as shoes, automobiles, skis, mountain bikes, and books. But services—such as marketing services, concerts, and vacations are also products (sometimes called services products).

Marketers have traditionally classified products based on varying product characteristics.

Each product type has an appropriate marketing mix strategy marketing concepts and tools present the major classifications for Consumer and Industrial Products and their marketing strategy implications.

With this background, we are ready to examine company decisions regarding the product mix product lines and individual products.

Durable Goods, Nondurable Goods, and Services

You can classify products into three groups according to their durability or tangibility.

  • Nondurable Goods:  Nondurable goods in one or a few uses. Examples include coffee, soap, and salt. Since these goods are consumed fast and purchased frequently. Therefore, the appropriate strategy is to make them available in many locations, charge only a small markup, and advertise heavily to induce trial and build preference.
  • Durable Goods:  Durable goods are tangible goods that survive many uses. Examples include machines clothing, and machinery. Durable products require more personal selling and service demand a higher margin and require more sellers guarantees.
  • Services: Services are activities, benefits, or satisfaction that are offered for sale. Examples include oil changes for your car and home repairs. Services are intangible, inseparable, variable, and as a result, they require more quality control, supplier credibility, and adaptability.

Consumer Goods Classifications

Consumers buy a vast number of goods and services. A useful way to classify these goods is based on consumer shopping habits, because those habits have implications for marketing strategies.

We can distinguish between convenience, shopping, specialty, and unsought goods.


Classifications of products

Goods that the customer frequently purchases with a minimal amount of effort in comparison shopping. Examples include soda, candy, and newspapers.

Convenience goods can be further divided into impulse goods, emergencies goods, and staples. Staples are products that consumers purchase regularly. For example, one buyer might routinely purchase Heinz Ketchup, Colgate toothpaste, and Ritz crackers.

Impulse goods are purchased with no planning or search effort. These goods are usually available in many retail outlets because customer typically doesn?t look for them.  

You will find candy bars and magazines place next to the checkout counters because shoppers may not have thought of buying them until they spot them in a convenient location.

Emergency goods are purchased when they need is urgent. For example, umbrellas during a rainstorm, salt for icy driveways, and aspirin if you have a headache. Manufacturers of emergency products will place them in many outlets to capture the sale when the customer needs the products.

Shopping Goods

Goods that the customer, in the process of selection and purchase, characteristically compares on the basis of suitability, quality, price, and style. Examples include clothing, appliances, and automobile.

Shopping goods can be divided into homogeneous and heterogeneous goods. The Buyer sees homogeneous shopping Goods as similar in quality but different enough and price to justify shopping comparisons. The seller has to talk price to the buyer.

However, when shopping for clothes, furniture, and more heterogeneous goods, product features are often more important to the consumer then the price if the buyer wants a plain suit the cut, fit, and look are likely to be more important then small price differences.

The seller of heterogeneous shopping Goods must there for carrying a wide assortment to satisfy the individual taste and must have well-trained sales Personnel to provide information and advice to customers.

Specialty Goods:

durable goods
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Goods with unique characteristics and our brand identification for which a significant group of buyers is habitually willing to make a special purchasing effort.

Examples include specific brands and types of fancy goods, cars, audio components, and men suits.

An Audi, for example, is a specialty good because buyers will travel far to buy one. Specialty goods do not involve the buyer and making comparisons. Buyers invest time only to reach dealers carrying the desired products.

The dealers do not need convenient locations, however, they must let prospective buyers know about their locations.

Classifications of products for sporting goods will help keep things organized.

Unsought Goods:

Goods that the customer does not know about or knows about but does not normally think of buying.

New products, such as carbon monoxide detectors and paper shredders, are unsought Goods until the customer is made aware of them through advertising.

The classic examples known but unsought goods are cemetery plots, life insurance, and encyclopedias.

Unsought Goods require substantial marketing efforts in the form of advertising and personal selling. Some most sophisticated personal selling techniques have developed from The Challenge to sell to sell unsought goods.

Industrial Goods Classifications

Companies by a vast variety of goods and services. The useful industrial good classification would suggest appropriate marketing strategies in the industrial market.

Industrial goods can be classified into how they enter the production process and their relative costliness.  We can distinguish three groups: materials and parts, capital items, and supplies and services.

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Materials and Parts:

Materials and Parts: Goods that enter the manufacturer’s product completely. They fall into two classes:  Raw materials and manufactured materials and parts.

Raw materials fall into classes: farm products (e.g., fruits, cotton, livestock, corn, and wheat) and natural product (e.g., crude petroleum, fish, and lumber). Each is marketed somewhat differently. Farm products are supplied by many producers.

They turn over their products to marketing intermediaries, who provide assembly, grading, storage, distribution, and selling services.  Farm products are somewhat expendable in the long run but not in the short run. Farm products perishable and seasonal nature gives rise to special marketing practices.

Their commodity characteristics result in little advertising and promotional activities, which some expectations. From time to time, commodity groups will launch campaigns to promote the consumption of their products–potatoes, milk, and peaches. And some producers brand their products, for example, Chiquita bananas and Sunkist oranges.

Natural products are limited in supply. They usually have great bulk and low unit value and require transportation to move them from producer to customer. They are fewer and larger producers, who often market them directly to industrial customers.

Because the users depend on these materials, long-term contracts are common. The homogeneous materials limit the amount of demand creation activity. Price and delivery reliability are the major factors influencing the selection of suppliers.

Capital Product Items

Capital product items need to have classifications of products.

Goods that enter the finished product partly. They include two groups installations and accessory equipment.

Installations consist of buildings (e.g., manufacturing plants and offices)  and fix equipment (e.g., drill presses, computers, elevators, and generators).  

Installations are major purchases. They are usually bought directly from the producer, with a typical sale preceded by long negotiations.

The producers use a skilled sales force, which often includes sales engineers. The producers have to be willing to design to specification and supply postsale service. Advertising is used, but it’s much less important than direct selling.

The accessory equipment comprises portable factory equipment and tools (e.g.,  Forklift trucks, and hand tools) and office equipment (e.g., Desks and computers).  These types of equipment do not become part of the finished product. They help in the production process.

They have a shorter life than installations but longer life than operating supplies. Although some accessory equipment manufacturers sell direct, more often they use middlemen because the market is geographically dispersed, the buyers are many, orders are small.

Quality, features, price, and service are major considerations in vendor selection. The sales force is more important than advertising, can be used effectively.

Supplies and Services:

product services
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Items that do not enter finished products at all.

There are two kinds of suppliers and services:  Operating supplies (e.g., pens and paper, coal, and lubricants) and maintenance and repair items (cleaning supplies, nails, and paint). Supplies are the equivalent of convenience goods in the industrial field.

They are usually purchased with a minimum effort on a straight re-buy basis in the purchasing department. It’s commonly called an open purchase order or open PO.  

These products are normally marketed through intermediaries because of the large number of customers, the geographic dispersion, and the low unit value. Price and service are important considerations, since suppliers are quite standardized, and brand preferences are not high.

Business services include maintenance and repair services (e.g., computer repair and office cleaning)  and business advisory services (e.g., advertising, management consulting, and legal services). Maintenance and repair services are usually supplied under a contract.

Maintenance services are often provided by small producers, and repair services are often available from the manufacturers of the original equipment. Business advisory services are normally new buying situations, and the industrial buyer will choose the supplier based on the supplier’s reputation and people.

Therefore we see that product characteristics will have a major influence on marketing strategy. The marketing strategy will also depend on other factors, such as a product’s lifecycle stage, competitors’ strategies, and economic situation.

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Wrapping Up for Classifications of product

The classifications of products and their marketing strategy implications are essential to marketing managers. Market structure definition and analysis establish an important foundation for market segment identification and analysis of competitive advantage.

So whether you are launching or marketing a mature product, the classification for durable goods, nondurable goods, and services is critical and will impact your marketing strategies and budgets.

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General FAQ’s

What is the classification of products?

Product characteristics and classification help modern marketers concentrate their efforts using consumer’s buying behavior.


How do you classify products?

Consumers buy a vast number of goods and services. A useful way to classify these goods is based on consumer shopping habits, because those habits have implications for marketing strategies. We can distinguish between convenience, shopping, specialty, and unsought goods.


What are the types of classifications of products?

Types of classification of products include convenience goods, shopping goods, specialty products, or unsought goods. Although these classifications are named as types of products, focusing on how your customers buy these goods is equally essential as you classify products and develop your marketing strategies and programs.

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