Types of Consumer Products

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There are differing classification schemes that companies may use to help develop a product strategy. Non-durable goods are goods normally consumed fairly quickly such as soap, toothpaste and juice. Durable goods normally survive many uses, such as clothing, automobiles and camping equipment. Services are intangibles and include haircuts, tours and automobile repair shops.

Consumer products can also be classified according to how people buy them. There are four classifications generally used:

1. Convenience products
Consumers want these products to be readily available, and will not spend time searching for them. Examples are cigarettes, soft drinks and milk.

2. Shopping products
These are products that consumers are willing to spend time shopping for, in order to get the exact product they want. Examples are televisions, cars, and clothing.

3. Specialty products
Consumers make special efforts to obtain these products and will not accept substitutes. An example is Christian Dior fashions or Cuban cigars.

4. Unsought products
These goods are either new products which the consumer is not yet aware of or is not specifically shopping for at the time. Such products usually require a special kind of promotion to generate sales. An example is a set of encyclopaedias.

The classification of a particular product varies from person to person. What may be a convenience good to a wealthy person could easily be a shopping good to someone with less expendable income.

Understanding what type of product or service you have will assist in making decisions on how to market. For example, if you are selling a specialty good or service, your location may not be as important as other factors in your marketing mix. Why? Because, people will invest the time to obtain the good. However, you will need to let them know about you and where you are!

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