Before we dive into describing the different types of products, let’s start by defining what a consumer product is. Simply put, a consumer product is something that has been purchased by the end consumer or a household for their consumption.
4 Different Types of Products
There are four different types of products as we explore this concept in-depth, these are; ‘convenience products’, ‘shopping products’, ‘specialty products’ and ‘unsought products.’
These are the most frequently bought products which do not require a lot of buying effort, and are often bought immediately without much comparison to other brands. These are purchased often and fall in routine, thus appealing to a large market. For instance, sugar, salt, hair brush, or laundry detergents etcetera fall in the category of convenience products and are low priced and readily available when needed.
Because of not having a high price, companies must sell these products in high volume and quite often to ensure widespread availability. As a result of their simple nature, convenience products do not require complex or information loaded advertisements.
While shopping for these type of products, consumers scrutinize the product price, attributes, and quality more carefully in comparison with other brands. These are less frequently bought and companies selectively distribute these to fewer outlets. In their pursuit to compare alternatives, consumers use a considerable amount of time as compared to convenience products while gathering information.
For example, they would compare the same product category on various websites and compare what price and product offering each has in store. Examples of shopping products include furniture, brown goods and white goods, airline tickets etcetera.
Companies often develop aggressive marketing campaigns to break free from the clutter and generate top of mind recall in pursuit of the larger pie of consumers in the market.
These are the types of products which the consumer is willing to put an effort in while buying as a result of their brand recall or unique characteristics. Specialty products may not cater to the masses but attract a certain segment of the market, for example; hi-end tech products, professional camera equipment, a special type of designer wear which you are not ready to accept the substitute for.
The purchase process not only requires an extra effort but also led comparison because of falling in the niche category. Here, the consumers are brand conscious and brand loyal and are more concerned regarding the quality of their purchases.
Aston Martin is an iconic British luxury sports car, someone who would want to buy this brand of a car would not need to fall in the comparison ritual, checking other brands but would be willing to put an effort perhaps even if it requires travelling from point a to point b, especially for a brand that also allows a customized engine.
These are the kind of products that consumers either do not know about or usually do not consider purchasing until a certain need arises. Examples include funeral services, house alarms, fire extinguishers, life insurance, and even encyclopedias. Due to the nature of these products and services, marketers need to do much more advertising and personal selling to be known.
If the company is able to persuade a consumer about the product’s utility then the unsought product can also be converted into a sought product. Microwave ovens and electric kettles were once considered to fall into the category of unsought products until they became a kitchen staple and their demand increased.