Products and Services

In the ever-evolving world of Marketing, it’s important to both completely understand and possess the ability to differentiate between offering a product, service, or both. Everyone consumes both products and services, whether they realize it or not. From shopping for groceries to vetting the right pest control solutions, both products and services impact the daily lives of most.

Being able to tell the difference between a product and a service is vital to successful marketing strategies. Including just the right information to the right audience is more than just analyzing metrics. Highlighting what your product or service has to offer prospecting customers exudes both professionalism and knowledgeability.

What are the Differences Between Products and Services?

Even though products and services are often found delivered in tandem, there are very clear differences between the two. Many products are closely connected with services, and many services are aligned with like products. For Marketing purposes, as well as purchasing purposes, it’s very important to understand the difference between a tangible product and an intangible service.

  • Senses vs Gut Feeling:

    • Think, object, something with mass. A product appeals to sight, touch, taste, smell. It’s much easier to be able to demonstrate what you’re offering, providing customers with multiple sources. This allows customers to make informed purchases, with the right expectations.
    • Marketing services is a little, no, a lot, different. Services must be presented on an emotional level. It’s much more difficult for customers to obtain as much information as they’d like before purchasing a service. They can’t feel or test out a service, often forcing clients into making decisions based on their gut feelings.
  • Physical Need vs Building Relationships:

    • Product shoppers are generally searching for something tangible they either need or want. Whether it be a new highchair for the baby or fresh bananas for the fruit bowl, products are pulled from the shelves wicked fast because they can create an experience for the shopper immediately. Instant gratification.
    • Service shoppers typically have a specific service in mind and must search through customer testimonials or reviews to gauge the capabilities of the service providers. Whether it’s getting a massage or going to a Dr. appointment, services play a big role in our everyday lives. A product is inanimate, a service has the potential to spark a relationship.
  • Single vs Multiple:

    • Next time you go to the grocery store, sneak a peek down the toothpaste aisle. The sheer number of choices can sometimes prove overwhelming. But that’s not the case with most services.
    • Although most service providers have different service plans for their clients to choose from, the service provided generally stays the same.
  • Returning Products vs Services:

    • Returning a product to a seller or store is generally a smooth process. This isn’t the case for services. If a product doesn’t perform or act as a customer expects it to after purchasing, it’s easy enough to either send the product back in the mail or stop at the store on your way home from work that week.
    • If you’d like to dispute the quality of a service, it’s a little more difficult, but still a possibility. Services are consumed as they are purchased, it’s hard to reverse that process.
  • Servicing Today vs Selling Tomorrow:

    • Products have a shelf life. Some products, like blankets, can stay on the shelf for years. Other products, like strawberries, should be washed and consumed within a few days. If a day goes by and products don’t sell, it’s not a detriment to the business.
    • When a service provider doesn’t provide services on one day, they will never reclaim that time wasted. There isn’t a shelf life for services.

To summarize, products and services alike impact the daily lives of most of the population. Although often intertwined, products and services are very different from each other.

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