identifying the product components

The learning objective of this activity is for students to examine the photographs & identify as many product components as possible. It is also worthwhile to try to identify the percentage that  each product component represents of the product. Sometimes it is also interesting to  identify other marketing concepts that are evident in the photographs [e.g., product classification, Maslow’s needs etc]. Also , as you work your way through the photographs determine which component is most likely not to be represented – this will surprise you.

There is no one right answer. Someone may identify on component as being dominant whilst another person may identify another. One of the big lessons in this activity is that product components can be dominant and those that are not dominant are generally a determinant component [help determine customer satisfaction].

All products have 5 product components, many have 6 product components, 1 product component is often the dominant [prime] product component – it is handy to think of this as the 561 of product components. It may surprise you to discover that the one that is missing, if it is missing is goods. I mention that this is surprising because people often think of products as goods. Interesting ????

When evaluating a product it is often quite difficult to define each product component. I like to think about it like a ‘cake mix’ because when a cake is mixed and baked it is hard to tell the ingredients – unless – they are missing or vary from the recipe.

The kitchen cupboard

If you go to any market, like the stall above, you will find people selling kitchen utensils and if you explore your own kitchen cupboards and drawers you will find an amazing array of tools. People buy these tools to enable them to better undertake their culinary tasks. This means that although the utensil could be classified as a good the utensil also provides a service.

Do all products have a service component?

The cars in the above photograph  all have the 6 product components. The cars have been selected because they are all quite different. Although it is possible that someone may own different cars for different occasions, generally, we could conclude that the needs and the target market are quite different – and the service they provide is quite different. Although an Aston Martin is often purchased for status it also provides a service – identify the service a car like this provide.

Now look at it from the car dealer’s perspective what services would they have to provide to facilitate and enable an exchange [a sale].

The Cambridge Bar & Grill

The Cambridge Bar offers a good selection of craft beers and big gourmet burgers. It is located in the west end of the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. The building like much of the surrounds is ‘old but modern’ – trendy. There are a number of areas within  the building and this allows for a good mix of music and sport. To me it was the burgers and the busy and friendly staff that made this a nice place to stop and have a break from exploring Edinburgh.

The Raffles Hotel

The British high tea is a tradition that can be traced back to the 19th Century. The original idea was that high tea would be a way of providing hospitality for guests without spoiling the more substantial evening meal. A number of top hotels around the world continue this tradition and most provide a traditional offering. The Raffles Hotel is ‘the place’ for high tea in Singapore and something to put on your ‘bucket list’. Today, Singapore is hardly a colonial outpost, however, they have replicated the theatre of the colonial past.

Inspect the photographs of The Raffles Hotel and identify the 6 product components. How would someone dress for High Tea?

This range of clothing is based on the clothing that Edmund Hillary wore when climbing Mt Everest. The clothing is manufactured by a company owned by his Grandchildren. What components do you believe are evident and which do you believe is the dominant.

Sir Edmund Hillary Clothing

This range of clothing is based on the clothing that Sir Edmund Hillary wore when climbing Mt Everest. The clothing is manufactured by a company owned by his Grandchildren. What components do you believe are evident and which do you believe is the dominant.

Targeting & positioning a product

Do you believe the construction of the product will vary according to the target market and their ability and willingness to pay for the product.

Charmonix, Mont Blanc, France – is an upmarket tourist destination. It is busy most of the year due to the scenic beauty, however, it is most popular in the ski season. Would you agree that this is an experiential product?

Which product component do you believe is the dominant product component in a MSC Mediterranean Cruise.

The Viennese Coffee Shop

Vienna, the capital of Austria, is renown for it cafe culture. Some say that our love affair with coffee began in Vienna in the 18th Century. Throughout the ages the cafes have been the traditional meeting place of artists, politicians and [some famous and others infamous] revolutionaries. The shops have a typical atmosphere and are spotless and have a good selections of cakes – many baked on the premises.

In this photograph we see a typical Viennese coffee shop. Note the cleanliness, the display, the well groomed owner. Although I have visited Vienna before, on this occasion I was travelling on my own after teaching ‘winter school’ in Salzburg.

How different is a coffee and a cake if you are on your own or with a partner or close friend?

The mobile coffee van

Whilst on the subject of coffee, the mobile coffee van is a regular feature at farmers markets, street food events, and even beach carparks. In the Viennese coffee shop example the 6 product components were all identifiiable and also identifiable on the mobile coffee van, howevere, they are quite different.

Compare and contrast the differences between the Viennese coffee shop and the mobile coffee van.

What is also interesting is if you factor in the product layers [core, expected, augmented] you may conclude how a product may have the same core product layer, however, the expected and augmented product layers may be quite different.

Le Bouchon Bistro [Caen -France]

Bistos are small restaurants, with a simple decor, that provide reasonably priced meals that have a home slow-cooked style. The meals are offered via a blackboard menu, the reason being is that meals often reflect the availability of  produce in the market and can be easily eliminated from the menu as the bistro runs out of the ingredients.

Inspect the above photographs [LHS] and identify the 6 product components. Take into consideration how the owners [bottom centre] may influence the total product.

The  image on the [RHS] provides a snapshot of social media comments.

Shangri- La Singapore

Obviously, the above image of the lobby of the Shangri-La has all the qualities of a 5 star hotel. The question Is it a backpackers is to get your attention. The point is that regardless of whether an organisation is 5 star or backpacker quality the target market and the price comfortability of the target market must be congruent.

The Bali Resort

Identify the 6 product components in the above photograph and then through introspection consider the role of other guests in the overall customer experience. Imagine a resort with few guests, then imagine a resort that is overcrowded, imagine if a price discount has attracted the wrong target market, or imagine a resort where the staff are rude and the rudeness is transferred to the guests.

Thankfully the Westin Resort, which is a family resort, is a particularly well run hotel.

The Marina Bay Sands

To state that the rooftop restaurants, bar and pools are way above all others is true in more ways than one. Identify the 6 product components in the above photographs and then compare the offering of the Marina Bay Sands with that of the Shangri-La [above].

Could someone searching for epistemic qualities choose the Marina Bay on one occasion and the Shangri-La on another?

How does the unique product value proposition of the hotel influence communication strategies and tactics.

Munchen Brauhaus [The Rocks – Sydney]

This Bavarian restaurant and bar is located in the historic Rocks area of Sydney. The rock is one of the oldest areas in Sydney and was saved from demolition and then restored; today it is part of the Australian visitor experience. In the photographs we can see how one organisation can attract multiple target markets based on the time of day.

the surf shop

Let’s look at this from a different perspective. Imagine your uncle who has known that you have long dreamed of owning a surf shop has died and in his will has left you sufficient funds to make your dream a reality. Based on this scenario discuss how you would manage the 6 product components to create a unique product value proposition for your customers.

A round of golf

Examine the above photograph. Is this a public or private golf course? If you came to the conclusion that it is a public course you are correct. Those of you who know golf would note the dress standard and the golfing equipment. Regardless of whether it is a public or private course do you believe it would be more satisfying to play wit 3 mates or on your own? What does this about the people component of the product?

Buying flowers

By now we are starting to see the 6 product components in many of the examples. Let’s look at the idea component. When or on what occasions do we buy flowers?

Could flowers be used to communicate [ideas] to someone we love or care about?

Photographic safari

Keen photographers often book a photographic safari. Generally these tours have a local guide who is knowledgeable about animal movements and how to capture the best shot. Imagine you have returned from such a safari and are reflecting on your purchase.

Identify the product components.

The Forbidden City

You are visiting Beijing on business and have decided to take a few hours break and visit the Forbidden City [once forbidden now a popular tourist site]. On your return to your hotel you are scrolling through the photographs on your smartphone and reflect on the 6 product components that you learned in your marketing degree. Do you have any material goods as a result of paying for your admission ticket? Do you think that some people may purchase a souvenir as a memento of the experience?

BTW: If you get a chance this is a great experience.

Travelling New Zealand

Inspect the above photograph. Identify the target market? Not just demographics but also lifestle preferences.

Go to Escape Rentals to search futher – these are not cheap so what is the appeal?

How important would social media be to the traveller? And if you were the marketing manager of such an organisation how imprtant would social media be as a communication tactic?

100% genuine fake

The last slide is a bit of fun, taken on a visit to Bali. Take time to consider why a consumer/tourist may enter this store.


The Netflix series Game of Thrones has motivated many people to visit the locations where the series was filmed. Imagine you have undertaken this tour – what would be the dominant and determinant product components?


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