What does poor product mean?

According to Professor C. Merie Crawford (Professor of Marketing at the School of Business Administration, University of Michigan), she defined poor product as "mediocre products with little real differentiation, little value added, and little salability that never sell very well, as well as those that failed".

Moreover, in 'Prototype to Product: A Practical Guide for Getting to Market', Alan Cohen (2015) shared the '11 deadly sins of product development' that commonly undermined product development which may lead to the production of poor products:

  1. putting off "serious" testing until the end of development
  2. assuming we know what users want in a product
  3. assuming that users know what they want in a product
  4. lack of comprehensive requirements
  5. lack of a good project plan
  6. not assigning responsibility
  7. not addressing regulations
  8. the sin of new-feature-itis
  9. not knowing when to quit polishing
  10. not planning to fail
  11. developing technology rather than developing products

Definition of product

According to Professor Philip Kotler, the 'Father of Modern Marketing', a product is defined as "anything that can be offered to a market to satisfy a want or need, and consists of a set of attributes. It includes physical goods, services, experiences, events, persons, places, properties, organisations, information, and ideas", explained Professor Fernando CortiƱas (Associate Professor of Marketing at the IE Business School).

In Professor Kotler's (S.C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management) descriptive definition, it stresses the notion that the product can a tangible object or intangible services and things, especially in the digital age.

In 'Principles of Marketing', Professor Kotler (1996) added that a product has three product levels:

  • core product: the problem-solving services or core benefits that consumers are really buying when they obtain a product
  • actual product: a product's parts, quality level, features design, brand name, packaging and other attributes that combine to deliver core product benefits - it's what the product "is" at the time of being sold
  • augmented product: additional consumer services and benefits built around the core and actual products - all features that go beyond consumers expectations and differentiate our product from competitors

Lastly, products are generally classified into two big categories:

  • B2C consumer products: products bought by final consumers for personal consumption
  • B2B industrial products: products bought by individuals and organisations for further processing or for use in conducting a business

Return to Glossary of business failures or read "Poor Product-Market Fit".

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Last edited on 18 March 2020.