What is Actual Product? Definition, Features, Benefits, and Examples

What is an Actual Product?

An actual product is a tangible item, service, or idea that a customer buys. It’s level in the product hierarchy that sits between the core benefit and augmented product. The core benefit provides added value, solving consumer problems or enhancing their lives. Although products come with numerous features, they might offer only a handful of actual benefits to consumers.

The actual product is the concrete, physical representation of what people generally associate with a product. When paired with augmented elements like warranties or post-sale customer service, it enhances its overall value. For instance, if reading is the core benefit, a book becomes the actual product.

It includes tangible attributes such as styling, quality, brand, and packaging. While businesses often focus on the consumable product or the product’s idea, neglecting the actual product can impact sales. The actual product encompasses the packaging, logo, and other tangible aspects visible before usage.

Although these aspects don’t affect quality, they can influence purchasing decisions, potentially boosting sales. In essence, the actual product is the touchable, physical representation that fulfills consumer needs and expectations.

Characteristics of Actual Product

Actual products are tangible and touchable items that play a significant role in consumers’ buying decisions. Below are the five key features of actual products.

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  • Tangible Nature: An actual product is something you can touch, see, and use in the physical world. It’s not just an idea; it’s a real, concrete item or service you purchase, like a smartphone or a haircut.
  • Distinctive Features: All actual products have unique characteristics that set them apart. These could include its design, color, size, or brand logo. For instance, a branded handbag may have a signature logo that makes it stand out.
  • Quality and Functionality: The quality of an actual product matters. It’s not just about looks; it’s about how well it performs its intended function. For example, a car’s actual product includes its engine’s performance and safety features.
  • Brand Identity: The brand name associated with the product is a crucial part of its actual product. It can evoke trust, recognition, and reputation. Consumers often choose products based on the brand’s identity and reputation.
  • Packaging: How a product is presented and packaged is part of its actual product. Attractive, informative packaging can influence a customer’s decision to buy. For example, a beautifully packaged gift can enhance its appeal.

Read More: Core Product – Definition

Three Levels of Product

As mentioned above these products sit between the core and augmented products in the product hierarchy. Let’s shortly look at them again:

  • Core Product: Think of the core product as the fundamental benefit a customer seeks. For example, if you want entertainment, the core product is fun or enjoyment. It’s the “why” behind your purchase.
  • Actual Product: This is what you actually get, the tangible item or service. For entertainment, it could be a movie ticket or a game console. It’s the “what” you hold in your hands.
  • Augmented Product: Imagine this as the extra stuff that makes your experience even better. It’s like getting popcorn and comfy seats at the movies or a warranty on your game console. These extras enhance your “what” with added value.

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Benefits of Actual Product

In the world of marketing, actual products act as bridges between what a brand promises and what it delivers. They transform concepts into reality, making marketing more effective and successful. Here are the 5 key benefits of it.

Tangible Representation

These products serve as tangible representations of a brand’s promise. They transform abstract ideas into something you can hold, touch, and use. This tangibility makes marketing messages more concrete and relatable. It’s like turning a dream into a reality.

Visual Attraction

The way actual products look, their design, and packaging play a crucial role in attracting customers. Just as a colorful, eye-catching book cover grabs your attention, visually appealing products draw consumers in. This visual appeal is a powerful marketing tool.

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Product Diversity

These products come in various forms, sizes, and configurations. This diversity caters to different customer preferences and needs. It’s like having a menu with many dishes; customers can pick what suits them best. Marketing thrives on offering choices.

Competitive Edge

In a crowded marketplace, improving the actual product can give a brand a competitive advantage. Better quality, unique features, or stylish design can set a product apart. Think of it as having the shiniest gem in a treasure chest; it stands out.

Customer Satisfaction

Ultimately, these products deliver the core benefits that customers seek. When they meet or exceed expectations, customers are satisfied. This satisfaction is the holy grail of marketing. Happy customers become loyal and spread positive word-of-mouth, driving marketing success.

Read More: 4 Types of Consumer Behavior

Examples of Actual Products

Although we all are familiar with what actual products are and how they look. However, let’s just point out some examples of actual products.

  • Smartphone: The physical device you hold in your hand for making calls, texting, and using apps.
  • Sneakers: The tangible shoes you wear for sports, running, or fashion.
  • Laptop: The physical computer you use for work, entertainment, or browsing.
  • Toothpaste: The tangible tube containing the paste you use for oral hygiene.
  • Couch: The physical sofa in your living room for sitting and relaxing.
  • Refrigerator: The appliance you have in your kitchen to keep food cold and fresh.
  • Backpack: The physical bag you use to carry books, laptops, or supplies.
  • Wristwatch: The tangible timepiece you wear for telling time and accessorizing.
  • Headphones: The physical set you put on your ears for listening to music or calls.
  • Television: The electronic device you have in your home for watching shows and movies.

These are real, tangible items that you can see, touch, and use in your daily life. They represent the “physical” side of products.

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