Quick marketing checklist for consumer products

In marketing textbooks, consumer products are often shown classified into one of four classes – namely, convenience products, shopping products, specialty products, and unsought products. This is a very old marketing model that is still current and relevant today.

There are several articles on this website discussing the specific marketing implications and marketing mix guidelines for each class of product. Please refer to Related Topics at the end of this article.

This article is essentially a summary of the various other articles, which discuss the marketing implications for each per class of consumer product.

Quick Marketing Checklist

Level of purchase involvement

Convenience products: Very low, relies upon repeat purchases
Shopping products: Moderate, consumers will shop around
Specialty products: High, consumers are seeking out a particular solution or brand
Unsought products: Low, consumers see no need or benefit for the product

Extent of customer loyalty

Convenience products: High, due to habitual loyalty
Shopping products: Generally low, consumers may switch brands for each decision
Specialty products: High, emotionally committed to the brand
Unsought products: Quite low, as it is an unsought product

Importance of product

Convenience products: Quite high, consistency of the product and easy ability to recognize are important
Shopping products: High, tends to be a decision made on product quality or brand reputation
Specialty products: Critical, as consumers are seeking out an exact solution
Unsought products: Varies, product quality is important for products new to the consumer

Importance of brand

Convenience products: Quite high, as the consumer considers the brand to provide reassurance
Shopping products: Less important, as the consumer usually selects the retailer first
Specialty products: Critical, as the reputation of the brand, is the prime driver in the consumer seeking it out
Unsought products: Somewhat, consumers will be more receptive to well-known brands

Value of product line extensions

Convenience products: Quite valuable, as consumers are often seeking variety
Shopping products: Somewhat important, as consumers will have different personal preferences
Specialty products: Less valuable, as too many product line extensions may dilute brand equity
Unsought products: Limited, as consumers see little value in the existing offerings anyway

Price sensitivity

Convenience products: Moderate, due to habitual loyalty
Shopping products: Somewhat, as price could be the differentiating attribute in a purchase decision
Specialty products: Very low, product and brand and are far more important attributes
Unsought products: Quite low, as the consumer’s reluctance to purchase is usually not price based

Responsiveness to sales promotions and discounts

Convenience products: Quite high, discounts are a key component to gaining switchers
Shopping products: Moderate, consumers may be attracted by a special deal
Specialty products: Quite low, due to reduced price sensitivity
Unsought products: Quite low, as the product is not sought after anyway

Importance of the place mix

Convenience products: Critical, as intensive distribution is required for success
Shopping products: Critical, getting the product into relevant to retailers is the key marketing challenge
Specialty products: Quite important, appropriate exclusive distribution is required
Unsought products: Important, often direct channels are needed to sell this style of product

Role of logistics

Convenience products: Enormously important, given the number of retailers involved
Shopping products: Somewhat important, as products to not have a fast turnover
Specialty products: Low importance, consumers are willing to wait for this style of product
Unsought products: Moderate, the product needs to be delivered ASAP in case the consumer changes their mind

Role of retailer relationships

Convenience products: Important for the large channels, such as supermarkets
Shopping products: Very important, as retailer penetration is the key to success
Specialty products: High, solid retailer relationships (partners) are fundamentally important
Unsought products: Low, as unsought products are not popular with retailers

Responsiveness to promotion and advertising

Convenience products: Strong, as consumers will generally respond positively as brand is important
Shopping products: Relatively low, as the retailer controls the customer
Specialty products: Low, except for high-quality image building advertising
Unsought products: Critical, aggressive forms of promotion, such as direct marketing, are fundamental to success

Examples of each product class

(Please see separate article for more examples)

Convenience products: Toothpaste, bread, soft drinks, fast food, groceries
Shopping products: Home furniture, entertainment devices, clothes, shoes
Specialty products: Rolex watch, specialist medical advice, wedding dresses
Unsought products: Charity donations, insurances, new to the world products


The consumer products classification system
How products are classified in the consumer products classification system
Examples of the different classes in the consumer products classification system
Why the consumer products classification system is used
The marketing mix for convenience products
The marketing mix for shopping products
The marketing mix for specialty products
The marketing mix for unsought products

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