Product variable

The element of the marketing mix that involves researching customers' needs and developing appropriate products.

Core product

The fundamental features of the product that meet the user's needs.

Extended product

Additional features and benefits beyond the core product.

The product element of the marketing mix refers to characteristics of a product, service or brand. Product decisions are informed by market research where customers' needs are assessed and the feedback is used to modify existing products or develop new products. There are many alternatives for varying the product in the online context when a company is developing its online strategy. Internet-related product decisions can be usefully divided into decisions affecting the core product and the extended product. The core product refers to the main product purchased by the consumer to fulfil their needs, while the extended or augmented product refers to additional services and benefits that are built around the core of the product.

The main implications of the Internet for the product aspect of the mix, which we will review in this section, are:

1 options for varying the core product;

2 options for changing the extended product;

3 conducting research online;

4 velocity of new product development;

5 velocity of new product diffusion.

There is also a subsection which looks at the implications for migrating a brand online.

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