Product and Distribution Management

1 fast-paced module 1 Week 1 Quiz

Companies provide products or services to customers in exchange for money. By adding features and characteristics to their products they make products more attractive to potential customers.


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In this course we explain two classifications of products: Consumer products, which are products that are bought and used by the final consumer; and Business products, which are products that have not gone through the final production stage, and that are used in the manufacturing of another product. Managing products for an organisation is complex as products consist of various levels. Each level, individually, but also combined, satisfies the different needs of the consumer.

A core function of marketing is to develop a product strategy which involves deciding which product to sell to which target market. To develop a product strategy, the company must determine what its product line and product mixes are and must manage each product through various stages, from being initially introduced in the market, up to the time that the product is not in demand anymore and sales of this product drop.

It is important that company products are continuously updated or that new products are continuously developed. This module introduces you to a five-step process for developing a new product. Once products are developed, they need to be branded. A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one marketer’s product as distinct from other products. Branding involves creating a unique name and image for the product in the consumer’s mind, mainly by means of advertising.

Branding can be valuable for a company as it can be a signal of quality. It also helps the shopper to identify their preferred product and decreases the effort of the consumer to make a purchase decision. Equally important is a carefully thought out distribution strategy which includes the process of moving items from the producer through intermediaries to the buyer. This supply chain, if effectively managed, can become a competitive advantage for the company. It can ensure that the company has a continuous supply of raw materials or finished products which can either be used in the manufacturing process or can be placed on shelves for customers to buy.

What you will learn:

  • Classifying products and product levels
  • Product strategy, lifecycle and new product development
  • Functions of distribution channels, intensity of market coverage and types of intermediaries
  • Structures of distribution

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