Some of the important components of product mix are as follows:
The product mix refers to important decisions related to the product such as quality of product, design of product, packing of product, etc. Another important thing included in product mix is product assortment.
It refers to number of products and items a particular producer offers to the market. For example, the Hindustan Lever is dealing with soaps, detergents, tea, toothpaste, etc. When a firm starts its marketing operations it starts with one product but later on it expands and diversifies its activities by introducing more varieties of product or more lines of products for example, Nirma made its entry with the detergent powder but slowly it got entered into other lines of products such as salt, toilet soap, toothpaste, etc.
A brand is the identification of a product. It can be in the form of a name, symbol, or design etc. The branding is not only done to identify the seller or producer but also to make your product superior than competitor’s product.
Branding is much more than an identification mark. It is a seller’s promise to deliver quality and satisfaction of buyer’s expectations. With brand we can easily identify which all products belong to a particular company. When firms develop good reputations about quality then brand helps them enjoy greater control over the customers and develop brand loyalty.
Various terms related to brand are:
A brand is the identification of a product it can be in the form of name, symbol or design etc. For example, Surf, Dettol, Nike, etc. even various symbols such as etc. are also the brands.
2. Brand Name:
The part of brand which can be spoken is called brand name. In other words we can say it is the verbal part of a brand. For example, Dettol, Surf.
3. Brand Mark:
The part of brand which cannot be spoken but can be recognized is known as brand mark. For example, Maharaja sign of Air India, Pepsi sign of red and blue ball, Nike sign of arrow, Mercedes sign of star, etc.
4. Trade Mark:
A part of brand which is given legal protection is called trade mark. No the firm can use the name or sign for which a company get legal protection.
Qualities Features of a Good Brand Name:
While selecting a brand name attention must be paid to the following:
(i) Brand name should be short and simple. For example, Lux, Dettol, Surf, etc. As long and complicated names are difficult to recognise and remember.
(ii) Brand names should be easy to pronounce as if it is difficult to pronounce the customer will hesitate to demand for it e.g., product names like Heinz etc. are difficult to pronounce.
(iii) Brand name should be suggestive i.e., it must suggest the utility of the product for example, Hajmola suggests digestive property, Ujala suggests brightness, Hair and Care suggests care of hairs, etc.
(iv) The brand name should be unique and distinctive. The brand name should be very different and should not lose its identity for example, Ariel, Tide, etc.
(v) Brand name should be selected after considering its meaning in other languages and cultures for example, the brand name Nova (given to Ambassador Car) means ‘does not go’ in Spanish. Such types of names should be avoided.
Advantages of Brand Name:
1. Helps in Product differentiation:
With branding marketer can differentiate his products from the competitor’s product.
2. Helps in Advertising:
With the brand name advertising become more effective as it not only makes people aware about the features of product but also about brand which can provide these benefits.
3. Differential Pricing:
With established brand name the firm can easily change high price for its product as compared to competitor’s product.
4. Easy Introduction of New Product:
The companies which use their company’s name as brand name then it becomes very easy for such company to popularize the new product it is planning to introduce.
Advantages to Customers:
1. Helps in Identification of Product:
Branding helps the customers to select the products easily as the brand which is giving them satisfaction can be selected easily over the competitor product.
2. Ensures Quality:
Brand name gives quality assurance and customers can buy branded goods with no doubts about qualities of product.
3. Status Symbol:
Use of branded goods adds to status symbol of customers and adds to their confidence level.
The companies always supply the products in packaged form for example, Coke comes in bottle, “Fide in bag, biscuits in wrapper, oil in jar, etc.
Packaging is the basic activity of every company. It can be defined as “A set of tasks or activities which are concerned with the designing, production of an appropriate wrapper, container or bag for the product”.
There are three levels of Packaging:
1. Primary Package:
It refers the immediate packing of product. It remains with product till it is used for example, tube of paste, match box, etc.
2. Secondary Package:
These are additional packing which give more protection. Generally consumers throw that when they start using the product for example, card board box used to keep tooth paste. People throw box when they start using paste.
3. Transportation Packaging:
These are packaging’s used for storing or transporting the goods. This packing gives protection to goods, for example, corrugated boxes used to shift Ruffle Lays, Kurkure, etc.
Importance of Packaging:
1. Rising Standard of Health and Sanitation:
Packing has become essential because of rising standard of health and sanitation. In a packed good there are less chances of contamination of products. People prefer packed products over loose as there are less chances of adulteration in packed product.
2. Self Service Outlets:
The self services outlets are becoming very popular. In these stores generally products with attractive packing are picked by buyers more quickly.
3. Product Differentiation:
Packing help the customers to differentiate between goods on the basis of quality as with the type of packing customer can guess about the quality of goods.
4. Innovation Opportunities:
Recent developments in packaging have completely changed the marketing. For example new packing in soft drinks, chips, biscuits keep them fresh for a longer period. Even milk can be stored for 4-5 days without refrigeration. Scope of marketing is increasing with new innovations in packaging.
Functions of Packaging:
Packaging is an essential function of companies because of following reasons:
The fundamental function of packaging is that it protects the product from damage. Appropriate packaging protects the product from sun, rains, moisture, breakage; insects etc. for example, airtight containers and packets are used for chips, biscuits, jams, and cola etc. which need protection from atmospheric contacts.
Products like television or other appliances need to be protected from damage in transit so they are packed in big board cartons etc.
With the help of packaging the product can be easily identified for example, with the yellow and black packing and alphabet К we can recognise from far off that it is a Kodak product, of red colour and unique shape of coke bottle we can identify it from distances also.
The handling of the product becomes more convenient with appropriate packing. It makes it convenient to store and convenient to shift from one place to other for example, new pet bottles of cold drink has made it very convenient for middle men to transport it, supply it and store it.
Packaging plays a role of silent salesman because it promotes or enhances the sale of the product. The attractive colorful and innovative packing attracts the customers specially if the product is children’s product. Attractive packing always induces the customers to buy the product.
Labelling means putting identification marks on the package. Label is the carrier of information. It provides information like—name of the product, name of manufacturer, contents of products, expiry and manufacturing date, general instruction for use, weight, price, etc.
Labels are attached on the product to provide some information to customer. Product labels can be
(a) In simple tag form as in case of local products like rice, pulses, etc.
(b) Elaborate labels—as used by reputed companies. These are very attractive and give complete information about product to customer.
Apart firm details of product some statutory warnings which are essential for some products must be printed on label. For example, on Tobacco, Liquor it is compulsory to mention that its consumption is injurious to health.
Labels perform following functions:
1. Describe the Product and Specify its Contents:
The manufacturer cannot communicate to each and every customer personally so if he wants to communicate and share some information about the product with the customer it is done through labels. The manufacturer prints all the information related to product such as the contents, price, instruction to use etc.
2. Identify the Product:
The label helps the customers to identify the product from the various types available for example; we can easily identify a Cadbury chocolate from the various chocolates kept in the shelf of a shop by the colour of its label.
3. Help in Grading:
With the help of label products can be graded in different categories for example, Brook Bond-Red Label, Brook Bond Yellow Label, Green Label etc.
4. Promote Sale:
Attractive and colourful labels excite customer and induce him to buy the product. Specially in consumer goods attractive labels increase sales volume.
5. Providing Information Required by Law/Legal Requirement:
The label is also used to fulfil the legal requirement as it is legal compulsion to print batch no., Contents, max retail price, weight or volume on all the products. On some products giving statutory warning is also a legal compulsion and these legal requirements are fulfilled through label.