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What’s The Difference Between A Product And Service?

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What’s The Difference Between A Product And Service?

OK – so it’s a basic question, but an important one to understand.

What is a Product?

A product can be made up from tangible and intangible elements; a physical ‘good’, service, idea or person! e.g. a TV, bank loan or Lady Gaga. A product is something which meets a customer’s needs and for which they are prepared to pay.

What is a Service?

A service can form part of a product and is intangible e.g. an interest free loan on your new TV or Technical support. There may or may not be a direct charge for the service.

A product can be made up from three levels:

Core product

This is the base product with no brand, packaging or styling e.g. a TV

Actual product

This is the tangible product complete with packaging, styling, branding and quality e.g. a Samsung TV

Augmented product

This is the actual, tangible product with extra services and benefits e.g. a Samsung TV with a five year guarantee, two years interest free credit and technical support. The augmented product also includes the ‘brand’, which are elements other than the branding i.e. the logo, colours ect on the actual product; brand elements include the brand’s personality and brand’s values. It’s often these augmented products which can differentiate you from the competition and secure the sale.

So products and services are different - services are intangible and being commonly included as part of an augmented product.

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About the Author

I've worked in business and Marketing for the past 8 years and have a real passion for it - sadly, the creativity and constant evolution excites me! I founded Simply Digital Marketing in early 2011 after starting my CIM qualification. I wanted something to support my study and a place to pass on my experience to other academics and professionals, helping them succeed with thier marketing ambitions. SDM has since grown bigger than I imagined and I love sharing my findings with you all - I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting. Alex Ashley-Roberts

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