As the previous examples show, services are often part of a company's total offering in the marketplace. Five categories of an offering's service mix can be distinguished:
1. Pure tangible good: The offering is a tangible good such as soap; no services accompany the product.
2. Tangible good with accompanying services: The offering consists of a tangible good accompanied by one or more services. General Motors, for example, offers repairs, maintenance, warranty fulfillment, and other services along with its cars and trucks.
3. Hybrid: The offering consists of equal parts of goods and services. For example, people patronize restaurants for both food and service.
4. Major service with accompanying minor goods and services: The offering consists of a major service along with additional services or supporting goods. For example, airline passengers are buying transportation service, but they get food and drinks, as well.
5. Pure service: The offering consists primarily of a service; examples include baby-sitting and psychotherapy.
An increasing number of companies that are known for their tangible goods offerings are now looking to boost profits from services. Consider General Electric, which built its business on the production of goods such as refrigerators and light bulbs. These days, its fastest-growing unit is GE Capital, which consists of 28 businesses ranging from credit cards to truck leasing to insurance. Germany's Siemens is moving in the same direction by setting up a financial services division as a profit center.5
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