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For this post, you will need to review Chapter 8.2 and then detail items within these four types: convenience products, shopping products, specialty products, and unsought products.
A convenience product typically is a nondurable good or service that consumers purchase frequently with a minimum of comparison and effort. As the name implies, consumers expect these products to be handy, and they will buy whatever brands are easy to obtain. In general, convenience products are low priced and widely available. You can buy a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread at most any grocery store, drugstore, or convenience store. Consumers generally already know all they need or want to know about a convenience product, devote little effort to purchases, and willingly accept alternative brands if their preferred brand is not available in a convenient location.
Whats the most important thing for marketers of convenience products? You guessed itmake sure the product is easily obtainable in all the places where consumers are likely to look for it. Its a good guess that shoppers dont put a lot of thought into buying convenience products, so a company that sells products like white bread might focus its strategy on promoting awareness of a brand name (ever try Bunny Bread? Its white bread at its finest!) as opposed to providing a detailed spec sheet we might expect to find for a smartphone or other durable product.
In contrast to convenience products, shopping products are goods or services for which consumers will spend time and effort to gather information on price, product attributes, and product quality. For these products, consumers are likely to compare alternatives before they buy.
Tablet computers are a good example of a shopping product. They offer an ever-expanding array of features and functions, and new versions constantly enter the market. The shopper has many trade-offs and decisions to make about a variety of features that can be bundled, including speed, screen size, functionality, weight, and battery life. And tablet manufacturers understand your decision dilemma: They take great pains to communicate comparisons to you in their advertisingand, as you might expect, they usually find a way to make their version seem superior.
Specialty products have unique characteristics that are important to buyers at almost any price. When gas prices are down, hybrid vehicles are less cost-effective versus standard cars, yet many consumers still opt to shell out the premium prices to purchase them because of the importance they place on being environmentally friendly. Specialty products often have luxury connotations for which consumers are willing to pay a higher price to achieve a desired imageRolex versus Timex for example. Both keep time quite accurately, but the Rolex mystique commands considerable attention. Rolex justifies its high price when the company points out that because of its high standards for quality and design, it takes about a year to make one of its watches.9
Consumers usually know a good deal about specialty products, and they tend to be loyal to specific brands. Generally, a specialty product is an extended problem-solving purchase that requires a lot of effort to choose, meaning that firms that sell these kinds of products need to create marketing strategies that make their products stand apart from the rest.
Unsought products are goods or services (other than convenience products) for which a consumer has little awareness or interest until a need arises. When a college graduate lands his or her first real job, typically retirement plans and disability insurance are unsought products. It requires a good deal of advertising or personal selling to interest young people in these kinds of productsjust ask any life insurance salesperson. One solution may be to make pricing more attractive; for example, reluctant consumers may be more willing to buy an unsought product for only pennies a day than if they have to think about their yearly or lifetime cash outlay.