5 Product Levels with Examples

Products can be described in many ways. Similarly, each can have multiple levels satisfying the consumer's needs and wants. For a company also, they are quite beneficial, for they make the product attractive.

Below each one of those levels has been described. We also learn how to identify them from just about any product. Philip Kotler was the one who first theorized them.

1. Core Product
This is the product that adds the fundamental value to the consumer. Think of it as the benefit the consumer is buying. One way to recognize the core product is to ask about the main reason why someone wants it. To understand it, let’s ask why a lady buys a makeup set. The straight answer to it is that she wants to enhance her beauty. So here the core product is actually the enhancement. Someone who has a habit of wearing makeup can see this core product as need. This is what makes this level different from the rest. Its keyword is need. But there are tons of companies offering a wide variety of makeup sets and because of this, consumers now want more than what the core offers.

2. Basic Product
All the ingredients and other items which enable the the product to satisfy the core are together known as the basic product. If asked what is in the makeup kit the basic product would be listed as eye shadow trays, lipsticks, mascara and so on. The ingredients that made them also fall within this level. So to identify this level, just ask what the product is made up of. The keyword here is tangible.

The six items shown in the image form the set. Hence, together they are the basic product.
3. Expected Product
The expected product is the set of features the consumer wishes to have from the bought product. Quality is one of the main examples. In our makeup set case, the color of the eye shadows must have good pigmentation. Everything included must be able to stay on for hours. The consumer can also expect some kind of applicator to be included in the set, for most are now normally sold separately. Therefore, to extract expected product, we have to direct ourselves to the keyword, want.

4. Augmented Product
This can be defined as the product going beyond what the consumer imagines to achieve from the purchase. For a company, this means adding extra features to the product. Such objective tends to be expensive, but the benefits are worthwhile and one of them is praise from customers. Such event significantly contributes to the improvement of the company's reputation, and sometimes customer loyalty. In the market also it can be helpful, for it facilitates product differentiation and achievement of competitive advantage. In some cases, it can trigger the sales to increase. The examples of augmented product for a makeup kit can be a surprise gift, samples, coupon for the next purchase, or adding an extra cosmetic inside not offered by other brands. Online sometimes this is done through the offer of free shipping. So to know what can be taken as augmented product just ask what extras are offered to consumers other than what is needed and wanted by them.
This is example of what the consumer can get by buying the set.
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5. Potential Product
This is about the new development of the same product. In this, anything is possible. The next version of it may contain some improvement. Other times, downgrade can pop up. But since potential is included in it we are to expect such elements in the future. This level, thus, is connected to the keyword, change.
Above you can see the levels within the circles. They represent layers. If the examples of the makeup set are arranged within them this is how they would look:
Now if you are asked to identify the 5 product levels from any other example work through it by using the keywords discussed earlier. One of the toughest would be chips. Finding the augmented product from the pack can turn out to be daunting, for most often it might not come with any extras. In a situation like this, look for the price. If it is lower than the original it can be taken as that specific level. 

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