Business Basics Program

Products and Services

Product

We have all used many products which we think of by name or brand and not as a product. Jeans are a product as is toothpaste and food you eat.  If you look around your home, school, neighborhood, websites and on TV; you will see many products.  If you think of things as products and the needs they satisfy (why you would use the product), you will start to understand products and why we develop products.

It is obvious that there are many products, but have you ever thought of asking yourself why and how certain products and services evolved.  This may not sound like a real fun thing to do, but it will help you understand more about products and services.

Think of factors such as age of people, where they live, how much money they make, habits, culture and other factors that you can think of that may effect what people buy and where they buy it.

Example: If you were to come up with a dog hair cutting service business in an area where people did not have dogs, your service would not do well.

Why do we have products?

  • to satisfy a need 

  • in the hopes of satisfying a need that may not be recognized by people (create a market)

Product tips to help you think about developing a product.

See our Just For Clicks Business Game Product Tips to help you understand how to develop a product.  Try and develop your own, KODIP, kid's online digital information product.

Services

There are many examples of services that are provided to you daily. A bus ride is a service, a haircut, grass cutting, cleaning, teaching, etc.

Activity;

  • List some services that you can think of,

  • Review those services and think of other services that these existing services could provide.  Example - a video store maybe should have books on movies,

  • Think of services that you would use that you don't think are available,

  • Research services in the phone book, internet, shopping malls or as you pass by stores. Try and understand what they do and how well they do it.

Product and Services

There are many cases in which products and services are offered together.  If you buy a piece of software (product) and call the 1-800 number to ask a question (service) you have a combination of product and services.  Many companies that provide services to you will try and take advantage of the opportunity of having you as a customer to sell you a product and vice verses. For example; when you buy a car from a car dealer they will try and get you to use their service department for repairs to your car.  

There will be times when it is unclear if something is a product or service, so for our discussions it is not to important. There may be legal issues which are different for product and services and different warranty and safety regulations and issues etc.

Research and Development

You should appreciate that products and services take time to discover, develop and take to market.  

Has anyone ever asked your opinion on a new product, and existing product or service. If we go back to basics and remember that a product satisfies a need, then it would make sense to try and understand peoples needs.  One way is to ask people.

Activities:

  • Get some tips on market research from one of our e-mentors.

  • Do some research on your own by talking to kids about existing products and new products.

You never know, you may be on your way to a great new product or service discovery!