Module MM060

Product Policy (Marketing Mix I)


Module authors

Ko de Ruyter

Maastrich University
The Netherlands




Debbie I. Keeling

Loughborough University

Learning objectives

After you attended this module, you will be able to:

  • Know that products can be approached as ‘bundles of benefits';
  • Know the elements of the product mix;
  • Differentiate between products and services;
  • Differentiate products and brands;
  • Differentiate between brands and private labels;
  • Discern the different steps in the product development process;
  • Explain the product life cycle and which marketing tactics work most efficiently in what stage.

1. Introduction
2. Products vs. services
3. Product vs. brands
4. Brands vs. private labels
5. The product development process
6. The product life cycle (PLC)

Workload units 1
Read excerpt Product Policy


Why Open School of Management believes that knowing the instruments of product policy is important

Product policy describes the set of rules that govern how a product or service is promoted to a target audience. This set of rules may also attempt to manage how the item will be perceived or accepted by the intended audience. The types of goods considered range from convenience goods to shopping goods.


Why study product policy?

Product policy is relevant for any organization that provides a product or service to consumers. When you know your target audience, you'll be able sell your products or services without investing significant funds. Every company that is concerned about finding customers willing to buy should consider a product policy and learn how to identify a target audience. While this may seem rudimentary, it's actually a good practice to have.


Module overview

When taking courses to learn more about product policy, there are a few things you can expect to learn. At the end of the module, students should know about products and the elements of the product mix. They should also be able to differentiate between products and services in addition to products and brands and brands and private labels. They should also be able to discern the different steps in the product development process. Students should also know what the product life cycle is and which marketing tactics work best in each individual stage. Here are some of the details of what you might learn.

Products Versus Services

In classes, students will learn to differentiate products from services. Basically, products are tangible goods that can be sold to a target audience. Services are intangible actions that can be sold to consumers. For instance, an example of an intangible good is a cleaning service or an air conditioning repair service. An example of a tangible good is a television or a mobile phone.

Products Versus Brands

Students must also understand products versus brands. Products are the goods that are sold to consumers in exchange for some financial remuneration. Brands describe the feelings evoked by a person when they see a logo or a product in a store. A products brand will distinguish it from its competitor's products, services, or even concepts. Brands should be communicated succinctly and easily.

Brands Versus Private Labels

Private label products or services are typically manufactured by a company, but labeled under another company's brand. These goods and services are available in a wide range of industries and can range from cosmetics to food.

Brands, on the other hand, delineate the competition's products from your company's products or services. Nearly, everyone all over the world can describe Coke's brand or Nike's brand. That's when the marketing company has done its job well. Marketers must try to delineate its products and services to ensure that it's doing its job properly.

The Product Development Process

The product development process involves the process of finding ideas for new products and services. The process may involve everyone in the organization or just a few stakeholders. New products may be produced and sold for a reasonable price when the proper marketing strategy is established. Some of the strategies to be mastered during this process include: the brainstorming process, idea confirmation, product development, and commercialization. Each of these concepts is necessary to master in order to have a viable and competitive product in the industry.

The Product Life Cycle (PLC)

The product life cycle is a business technique that will list the stages of the product in stages. The product life cycle describes each stage of the product's lifespan. Product life cycle management (PLM) is another area that should be mastered during coursework, which is the management of PLC data gathered and used in various aspects of business.

Concept development involves evaluating the spending habits of the organization. This may include the costs of materials, production costs, initial market research, potential profit, and target customers.

Actual product development includes the design and manufacturing stage. This stage is also the time for the company to provide more-detailed financial projections and begin to ramp up for production. Companies should also begin testing the product in the laboratory and monitor actual usage conditions.

The commercialization phase of product development will promote adequate production of the product to ensure adequate inventory. The retail outlets also require a sufficient marketing campaign to ensure that the products will sell and appeal to consumers. The commercialization phase requires several steps, but the outcome is worth it.


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