People are the most important element of any service or experience. Services tend to be produced and consumed at the same moment, and aspects of the customer experience are altered to meet the 'individual needs ' of the person consuming it. Most of us can think of a situation where the personal service offered by individuals has made or tainted a tour, vacation or restaurant meal. Remember, people buy from people that they like, so the attitude, skills and appearance of all staff need to be first class. Here are some ways in which people add value to an experience, as part of the marketing mix - training, personal selling and customer service.
Most consumer goods are purchased from a retailer, who purchase them from a wholesaler/distributor, who purchase them from the manufacture. If the goods were imported there might be more merchants in this distribution chain. Sometimes, this distribution chain can be bypassed or leapt over. In the security industry, some manufacturers of security systems sell their product directly to end users at the same time as selling them to security installation companies at the same time as selling them to national distributors. The point is that these different distribution channels can provide different levels of profitability and they can quite happily run alongside each other provided a well thought through pricing strategy has been decided upon.
For example a consumer is likely to want only one variant of your product and expect to purchase it immediately. A retailer is likely to want limited stock of a number of variants and not expect to pay for 60 days. A distributor is looking at large volumes of product in all its variants at greatly discounted rates. Your ditribution policy needs to take account of these variables. If it does not, then you will find yourself in a very embarassing position with a customer sooner or later which would result in