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In marketing, a product is an object or system made available for consumer use; it is anything that can be offered to a
market Market may refer to: *Market (economics) *Market economy *Marketplace, a physical marketplace or public market Geography *Märket, an island shared by Finland and Sweden Art, entertainment, and media Films *Market (1965 film), ''Market'' (1965 ...
to satisfy the desire or need of a customer. In
retailing Retail is the sale of goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption ( ...
, products are often referred to as ''
merchandise Merchandising is any practice which contributes to the sale of products Product may refer to: Business * Product (business), an item that serves as a solution to a specific consumer problem. * Product (project management), a deliverable or se ...

merchandise
'', and in
manufacturing Manufacturing is the creation or Production (economics), production of goods with the help of equipment, Work (human activity), labor, machines, tools, and chemical or biological processing or formulation. It is the essence of secondary sector ...
, products are bought as
raw material A raw material, also known as a feedstock, unprocessed material, or primary commodity, is a basic material that is used to produce goods, finished Product (business), products, energy, or intermediate materials that are feedstock for future finis ...
s and then sold as
finished goods Finished goods are goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economic ...
. A
service Service may refer to: Activities :''(See the Religion section for religious activities)'' * Administrative service, a required part of the workload of university faculty * Civil service The civil service is a collective term for a sector of gove ...
is also regarded to as a type of product.
Commodities In economics, a commodity is an economic goods, good, usually a resource, that has full or substantial fungibility: that is, the Market (economics), market treats instances of the good as equivalent or nearly so with no regard to who Production ...
are usually raw materials such as metals and agricultural products, but a commodity can also be anything widely available in the open market. In
project management Project management is the process of leading the work of a team A team is a group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal A goal is an idea In common usage and in philosophy Philosophy (f ...
, products are the formal definition of the project deliverables that make up or contribute to delivering the objectives of the project. A related concept is that of a sub-product, a secondary but useful result of a
production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products (goods and services) * Production as a statistic, g ...
process. Dangerous products, particularly physical ones, that cause injuries to consumers or bystanders may be subject to
product liability Product liability is the area of law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its envir ...
.


Product classification

A product can be classified as
tangible According to the philosopher Piyush Mathur (2017), "''Tangibility is the property that a phenomenon exhibits if it has and/or transports mass and/or energy and/or momentum". Mathur, Piyush (2017) ''Technological Forms and Ecological Communication ...
or
intangible Intangibles or intangible may refer to: * Intangible asset, an asset class used in accounting * Intellectual capital, the difference in value between tangible assets (physical and financial) and market value * Intellectual property, a legal concept ...
. A tangible product is a physical object that can be perceived by touch such as a building, vehicle, gadget, or clothing. An intangible product is a product that can only be perceived indirectly such as an insurance policy.
Services Service may refer to: Activities :''(See the Religion section for religious activities)'' * Administrative service, a required part of the workload of Faculty (academic staff), university faculty * Civil service, the body of employees of a governm ...
can be broadly classified under intangible products which can be durable or non durable.


By use

In its online product catalog, retailer
Sears, Roebuck and Company Sears, Roebuck and Co., commonly known as Sears, is an American chain of department store A department store is a retail Retail is the process of selling consumer goods or Service (economics), services to customers through multiple distr ...
divides its products into "departments", then presents products to potential shoppers according to (1) function or (2) brand. Each product has a Sears item-number and a manufacturer's model-number. Sears uses the departments and product groupings with the intention of helping customers browse products by function or brand within a traditional department-store structure.


By association

A product line is "a group of products that are closely related, either because they function in a similar manner, are sold to the same customer groups, are marketed through the same types of outlets, or fall within given price ranges." Many businesses offer a range of product lines which may be unique to a single organisation or may be common across the business's industry. In 2002 the US Census compiled revenue figures for the finance and insurance industry by various product lines such as "accident, health and medical insurance premiums" and "income from secured consumer loans". Within the
insurance Insurance is a means of protection from financial loss. It is a form of risk management Risk management is the identification, evaluation, and prioritization of risk In simple terms, risk is the possibility of something bad happening. ...

insurance
industry, product lines are indicated by the type of risk coverage, such as auto insurance, commercial
insurance Insurance is a means of protection from financial loss. It is a form of risk management Risk management is the identification, evaluation, and prioritization of risk In simple terms, risk is the possibility of something bad happening. ...

insurance
and
life insurance Life insurance (or life assurance, especially in the Commonwealth of Nations The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 54 member states, almost all of which are former territorie ...
.


National and international product classifications

Various classification systems for products have been developed for economic statistical purposes. The NAFTA signatories are working on a system that classifies products called NAPCS as a companion to
North American Industry Classification System The North American Industry Classification System or NAICS () is a classification of business establishments by type of economic activity (process of production). It is used by government and business in Canada Canada is a country in the n ...
(NAICS). The European Union uses a "Classification of Products by Activity" among other product classifications. The United Nations also classifies products for international economic activity reporting. The Aspinwall Classification System classifies and rates products based on five variables: # Replacement rate (How frequently is the product repurchased?) # Gross margin (How much profit is obtained from each product?) # Buyer goal adjustment (How flexible are the buyers' purchasing habits with regard to this product?) # Duration of product satisfaction (How long will the product produce benefits for the user?) # Duration of buyer search behavior (How long will consumers shop for the product?) The National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) developed a commodity and services classification system for use by state and local governments, the
NIGP Code The NIGP Commodity/Services Code is an acronym for the National Institute of Governmental Purchasings' Commodity/Services Code. The NIGP Code is a coding taxonomy Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or conce ...
. The NIGP Code is used by 33 states within the United States as well as thousands of cities, counties and political subdivisions. The NIGP Code is a hierarchical schema consisting of a 3 digit class, 5 digit class-item, 7 digit class-item-group and an 11 digit class-item-group-detail. Applications of the NIGP Code include vendor registration, inventory item identification, contract item management, spend analysis and strategic sourcing.


Product model

A manufacturer usually provides an identifier for each particular type of product they make, known as a model, model variant, or model number (often abbreviated as MN, M/N or model no., and sometimes as M- or Mk). For example, Dyson Ltd, a manufacturer of appliances (mainly vacuum cleaners), requires customers to identify their model in the support section of the website.
Brand A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Brands are used in business Business is the activity of making one's living or making mon ...

Brand
and model can be used together to identify products in the market. The model number is not necessarily the same as the
manufacturer part number A part number (often abbreviated PN, P/N, part no., or part #) is an identifier of a particular part design used in a particular industry. Its purpose is to simplify reference to that part. A part number unambiguously identifies a part design within ...
(MPN).SOTW, Celebird, et al
"Model Number Vs. MPN"
. ''Google Merchant Center: Help forum''. August 31, 2009, accessed September 6, 2011.
Because of the huge amount of similar products in the
automotive industry The automotive industry comprises a wide range of and s involved in the , , , , and of s. It is one of the world's largest by . The automotive industry does not include industries dedicated to the of following delivery to the end-user, such ...
, there is a special kind of defining a car with options (marks, attributes), that represent the characteristics features of the vehicle. A model of a car is defined by some basic options like body, engine, gear box and axles. The variants of a model (often called the trim levels) are built by some additional options like color, seats, wheels, mirrors, other trims, entertainment and assistant systems, etc. Options, that exclude each other (pairwise) build an option-family. That means, that you can choose only one option by each family and you have to choose exactly one option. In addition, a specific unit of a product is often (and in some contexts must be) identified by a
serial number A serial number is a unique identifier A unique identifier (UID) is an identifier An identifier is a name that identifies (that is, labels the identity of) either a unique object or a unique ''class'' of objects, where the "object" or class ...

serial number
, which is necessary to distinguish products with the same product definition. In the case of automotive products it is called the
vehicle identification number A vehicle identification number (VIN) (also called a chassis number or frame number) is a unique code, including a serial number, used by the automotive industry to identify individual motor vehicles, Trailer (vehicle), towed vehicles, motorc ...
(VIN), an internationally standardised format.


See also

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Builder's plate A builder's plate is usually a metal plate that is attached to rolling stock, bogies, construction equipment, trucks, automobiles, large household appliances, bridges, ships and more. It gives such information as the name of the manufacturer, the pl ...
*
List of fastest-selling products This is a list of the fastest-selling product superlatives. The definition of "fastest-selling" typically refers to sales results in the first week of a product's release, (i.e., which product had the biggest launch). Sometimes, rather than compari ...
*
Manufacturer part number A part number (often abbreviated PN, P/N, part no., or part #) is an identifier of a particular part design used in a particular industry. Its purpose is to simplify reference to that part. A part number unambiguously identifies a part design within ...
*
Product teardown A product teardown, or simply teardown, is the act of disassembling a product, such that it helps to identify its component parts, chip Chip may refer to: Food * Chip (snack type), thin sliced food, cooked until crunchy ** Potato chip, a thin sli ...


References


Further reading

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External links

* * {{DEFAULTSORT:Product (Business) Business terms