The Core Benefit
The first and most basic level of the product/good is the core benefit. This level represents the basic need that the product satisfies, such as hunger, and desire. A product’s core benefit is its reason for being and it’s needs. For understanding these benefits you have to create a product. Companies must concentrate on delivering the core benefit to the customer. And it is this benefit that forms the foundation of the product. And by the way, we buy a product first because of its core or fundamental benefit – the problem it solves or the need it satisfies. For example, the core benefit of a hotel is to provide a place to rest or sleep when away from home
The Generic Product
The second level of the product is the generic product. This level encompasses the physical attributes of the product, including its design, function, and features. The generic product provides a framework for the core benefit and must ensure that the generic product is functional and meets customer needs. Companies must strive to create a generic product that is reliable, efficient, and easy to use. For example, a generic laptop might have a processor, memory, and storage but lack extra features such as a dedicated graphics card or touchscreen
The Expected Level
The third level of the product is the expected level. This level represents the low level of quality that customers expect from a product. Companies must have to aim for meet or surpass customer expectations at this level. So as customers are unlikely to be satisfied with a product that does not meet their expectations. Companies must aim to create a product that is of high quality and delivers the core benefit effectively. For example, a customer might expect a laptop to have a certain amount of memory and storage, as well as a specific operating system.
The Augmented Product
The fourth level of the product is the increased productivity. This level represents the extra benefits that customers receive when he buys a product. Companies must aim to add value to the customer experience. By providing extra benefits such as warranties, customer service, and training. Augmented benefits provide customers with a more complete and satisfying experience and can increase customer loyalty. For example, an augmented laptop might have a touch screen, longer battery life, or a better graphics card than a basic laptop.
The Potential Product
This level represents the future of the product and the opportunities for growth and development. Companies must aim to continuously innovate and improve their products, exploring new technologies and market trends. The potential product represents the endless possibilities for companies to create products that meet the changing needs of customers. For example, a potential laptop might be a product that can also be used as a tablet or one that has virtual or augmented reality capabilities.
The Three Levels of Products: Core, Actual and Augmented Product
We only looked at the five levels of products, which have been updated from the three levels of products. So lets understanding them is still important because it shows how the product’s definition has changed in modern times.
To better understand a product, Philip Kotler proposed examining each product as though it were three separate products. Consumers often believe that a product is simply the physical item that they purchase, but in reality, there’s much more to it. Let’s consider a product as three different products: the core product, the actual product, and finally, the augmented product.
The Core Product
The basic benefit that the consumer wants is the core product. It is the primary reason why the buyer purchases the goods. When you buy a pair of shoes, for example, the main product is the comfort and protection that the shoes give for your feet. When building a product, a marketer must determine the fundamental customer value and ensure that the product offers that core advantage.
The Actual Product
The actual product is the tangible, and physical item purchased by the customer. It’s a physical object that you can see and feel. In the case of shoes, the actual product is the physical shoes itself, complete with colour, design, size, and so on. The product itself is important because it is what the customer sees and connects with.
The Augmented Product
The extra benefits and services that come with the actual product are referred to as the augmented product. These are extra benefits provided to the customer in addition to the primary product and the real product. With the shoes, for example, the upgraded product could contain a guarantee, customer support, or a specific carrying case. Augmented products can make a significant impact in the overall happiness of the client with the product, as well as a source of competitive advantage.