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Five Product Levels

When you develop a new product or service, the key importance is given to the fact that he was able to meet the desires and needs of customers. It is equally important to far exceed their expectations, achieving the wow effect. This puts in front of you a few questions. How can consumers’ expectations? How to beat the competition? And what particular product or service should thus be distinguished? Philip Kotler and Kevin Keller developed a model that will help to answer these questions.

About five levels

In 2003, Kotler and Keller, marketing experts, presented a model of the five levels of the product in the textbook entitled «Marketing Management».

This model identifies five ways in which you can add value to virtually any product. The higher the level, the more valuable the product in the eyes of consumers – it will exceed their expectations and gain a significant competitive advantage.

Five levels:

The main advantage.
The base product.
The expected product.
Complemented product.
The product with potential.
Use this model for both new and existing products. You can also change your marketing message to your customers, based on the information obtained in the process of reflection.

The main advantage

It’s the benefits that customers receive from your product at the most basic level.

For example, when you buy a raincoat, the main advantage is that you will stay dry in the rain. When buying a car, then so will be moving from place to place in a short time.

The base product

On the second level you turn the main advantage of real product and define the basic functions that it should have.

If you continue the consideration of the above examples, a raincoat should be waterproof and have a hood to the head remained dry. The machine should have the same doors, engine, wheels and a solid frame, so you can manage it.

The expected product

Expected product – a set of properties or functions, the presence of which the consumer expects when buying a product. This is in addition to the functions of the base product, which you have defined on the second level.

For example, rain can be formed of a material through which air enters. Thus a person does not sweat and has a presentable appearance.

The client can count on the fact that the car will be airbags, anti-lock brakes and built-in navigation system. Reliability and long-term guarantee, for example, have for the customer great value.

complemented product

At this level you anticipate the expectations of customers. This is where you can gain a competitive advantage.

Manufacturer of raincoats can use lightweight materials, as well as pockets in which moisture will not fall.

the car manufacturer can create side-curtain airbags, high quality wheels or samorazmorazhivanie windscreen.

The product with the potential

At this stage, we should consider the possibility of transformation of the product, which will occur in the future and other functions and features that increase its value.

In our example with a raincoat manufacturer can offer its storage case or a new design, which will get a great overview of the hood when equipped.

An extension for a car can become a free application for your smartphone, the new model of the engine, consuming less gasoline or a navigation system that uses voice recognition.

Using the tool

How can we use the model proposed by Kotler and Keller?

Levels 1, 2 and 3

If you develop a new product, look at it from the consumer’s point of view, in order to ensure that it meets their needs and desires. If this does not happen, you can not get the benefits of the fourth and fifth level, because hard to exceed the expectations of man, when basic needs are not satisfied. When developing the marketing strategy should take into account these three levels in the first place.

level 4

You need to understand how it is possible to surprise the consumer, offering him more than he wanted to. Perhaps, in addition to the product should offer him quality service and support and expand possibilities of standard functions?

level 5

At this level of innovation necessary to help to extend the ‘wow’ effect. Modern consumer is difficult to surprise, so we need to do everything possible to offer a product that will help a person to get a memorable and a new experience.

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