part three: the marketing mix. chapter 7 service products. an opening challenge.
You are the marketing manager for a company that makes office furniture. Despite being one of the best recognised brands in your home, business-to-business market, you have recently lost a couple of big orders to a foreign rival whose prices are much lower. To make matters worse, their furniture is just as well designed and as good quality as yours. Their brand name is as well recognised too. The production manager has shown that there is no way your company can match their low prices. You need a way to make customers value your products more highly.
What are the possibilities?
‘A service is an activity which benefits recipients even though they own nothing extra as a result.’ (Masterson and Pickton, 2010: 241)
‘[A service is] The production of an essentially
intangible benefit, either in its own right or as a
significant element of a tangible product,
which through some form of exchange,
satisfies an identified need.’ (Palmer, 2005: 2–3)
(Berry et al., 2002)
‘The environment in which the service is assembled and in which the seller and customer interact, combined with tangible commodities that facilitate performance or communication of the service.’ (Bitner and Booms, 1981: 56)
(photo courtesy of Dave Pickton)
(Parasuraman et al., 1988)