Product Levels: The Customer-value Hierarchy
The marketers need to address five product levels. Each level adds more customer value,and the five constitute a customer-value hierarchy.
1. Core Benefit
The fundamental need or want that consumers satisfy by consuming the product or service.
Example 1: In case of a car Transportation from one place to another. Example 2: The customer in search of a hotel room demand only rest and sleep from a marketer.
2. Basic Product
A version of the product containing only those attributes or characteristics absolutely necessary for it to function.
Example 1: Brand of the car, looks and design of the car etc. Example 2: customer need basic things like bed, bathroom, chair, fan etc.
3. Expected Product
The set of attributes or characteristics that buyers normally expect and agree to when they purchase a product.
Example 1: Decent mileage, proper engine, inflated tires etc. Example 2: If bed, bathroom, fan are the basic product, then clean bed sheet, neat and clean bathroom are the expected products.
4. Augmented Product
Inclusion of additional features, benefits, attributes or related services that serve to differentiate the product from its competitors.
Example 1: After-sale services, insurance policy etc for the car is included in this level. Example 2: beautiful wall hanging, lovely balcony, Television set, etc.
5. Potential Product
All the augmentations and transformations a product that might undergo in the future.
Example 1: In our car example, the features such as May run more smoothly as it wears off a little etc are counted as potential product. Example 2: high speed internet, telephone line etc.
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