Business — Banking — Management — Marketing & Sales

Product Factors

Category: Marketing

Product or service characteristics condition channel design. For instance perishable products require particular treatment and the channel necessarily needs the facilities to handle the product in an acceptable manner. This may mean adequate equipment in transit and at the final outlet, but just who owns and operates this equipment can be contentious. Some firms insist on manufacturer control but that can be expensive. Some products require special services at the point of sale. Shoe manufacturers may make a point of stressing fitting services, optical products firms may emphasise the need for qualified advice, fast food companies or various rental firms may underline the need for consistent quality. In all these cases, mechanisms have to be devised to ensure that the service is available and appropriate. Sometimes existing channels may not be able to cope, and new channels might be considered or the possibility of changing current channel behaviour investigated. This could imply training schemes for personnel in the channel. How this is accomplished will be very dependent upon the existing power structure.

The availability of complementary products or services can offer added values to buyers or be part of their established expectations. In either case this could become another important influence upon channel design.

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