Chapter 6 – Product Strategy & New Product Development: Creating Offerings

6.8 Discussion Questions and Activities


  1. How do the product-dominant and service-dominant approaches to marketing differ?
  2. Do “product-dominant” and “product-oriented” mean the same thing?
  3. What is the difference between a technology platform and a product line?
  4. Does a product line have to be built on one technology platform?
  5. What is the difference between product depth and product breadth?
  6. What are the four types of consumer offerings? How do they differ from one another?
  7. Is it possible for cemetery plots or caskets to be a shopping good or a specialty good? Or are they always unsought goods?
  8. What types of offerings do businesses buy? How do the offerings differ in terms of how they are marketed?
  9. As you learned early in the chapter, consumer offering can belong to different categories depending on how the buyer wants to purchase them. Is the same true for business offerings?
  10. How do brands help companies market their products?
  11. What is the purpose of a brand extension?
  12. Name the basic types of packaging used in marketing.
  13. What is a brand manager?
  14. How do brand managers differ from category managers?
  15. What is a market manager?
  16. Which type of manager has the most marketing responsibility?
  17. What are the seven steps in the offering development process? What are the key activities in each step?
  18. Who are lead users?
  19. How should a company evaluate new ideas? What are the criteria?
  20. How does quality function deployment work?
  21. Explain what a firm that sells a product with a limited life cycle (such as software) should do in each stage so there is not a lot of inventory left over when a newer version is introduced?
  22. Explain why the marketing costs related to a product are typically higher during the introduction stage and why companies must generate awareness of the new product or service and encourage consumers to try it.
  23. Explain why and when penetration and skimming pricing are used in the introduction stage.
  24. What stage of the life cycle is a product in when the company cannot meet the demand for it and competitors begin to enter the market?
  25. What different strategies do firms use to extend the life cycles of their products throughout the maturity stage?
  26. How did Kraft extend the mature stage of the product life cycle of Wheat Thins crackers?
  27. Explain the difference between harvesting and a divesting when a firm enters the decline stage.


  1. How is marketing capital equipment different from marketing MRO offerings?
  2. What are the marketing implications for your company if buyers stop viewing your primary offering as a shopping good and begin considering it a convenience good? How would you respond to the change?
  3. Can you market unsought goods? If so, how?
  4. How does packaging add value for consumers and retailers?
  5. If consumers find the most value in the services of your offering rather than the tangible product, how will perishability, intangibility, variability, and inseparability influence your marketing? Be specific for each characteristic.
  6. Choose two of the different marketing jobs or positions described and compare and contrast the challenges associated with each. One position should be one you would want while the other is one you would not. Why did you pick one over the other?
  7. Describe three decisions that would be made differently from a product-dominant approach when compared to a service-dominant approach. What is each decision and how would it be different?
  8. When would a product orientation be useful? Why?
  9. Describe an example of a core product where there are many different augmented products and the augmented products are considered very different by the consumer or user.
  10. The text says that branding is much more than labeling or packaging. Provide some examples where you believe the product did not live up to the brand. Using examples to illustrate how consistency works, discuss how the offering and the desired brand image have to be consistent.
  11. Who owns an idea? If a customer comes up with an innovation involving your product, and your company thinks that innovation can be commercialized, who owns the new product?
  12. Assume you come up with an idea for a new electronic product you think your fellow students would really like. How would you go through the product development process? How would you accomplish each step within that process?
  13. Select a product you are familiar with and explain the stages of the product’s life cycle and different ways in which a company can extend its mature stage.
  14. Why, given the availability of good research practices, do so many new products fail?
  15. What has been Apple’s pricing strategy throughout their products’ life cycles? If you made iPhone copycat products, what would your price have to be in order to compete successfully?
  16. What are the risks associated with beta testing? What criteria would you use to select customers when needing a beta test?
  17. This textbook is an open-source text, meaning your professor can modify its contents. Further, multiple delivery mode (online, print black and white, print color) is a relatively new concept for textbooks. What type of screening process would you expect to have been used in developing the concept of open-source, multimode texts? How would that screening process differ from the screening process used to assess this specific book’s potential? Describe what you think those two processes would look like. If you don’t think the screening process would differ, why?
  18. You’ve got a really great idea for a new online business. But you need capital to get the business going and when you ask investors for money, they want to know if you’ve done a market test and what the results were. Why are they asking for market test results? What are the risks associated with a market test? Are there other ways you can answer their real concerns without doing a market test?
  19. What characteristics of a product would make it a good candidate for a phased launch? What would make the product a good candidate for a worldwide launch?
  20. The product life cycle, the BCG matrix, and the GE matrix have all been criticized for leading to early harvesting of older products and overinvesting in new products. Why did that happen when these tools were applied?


  1. Identify three television commercials designed to persuade buyers to view the products being advertised as shopping items rather than convenience items. What is similar about the strategies employed in the commercials? Do you think the commercials are successful? Why or why not?
  2. Identify a product for which packaging adds value and describe how that value is added for the consumer. Identify a second brand for which the organization uses primary packaging to distinguish the brand at the point of purchase, and describe how the package contributes to the branding. Do not use brands used as examples in the chapter. Finally, identify a pure service brand and describe how that service is “packaged.”
  3. Select two brands that serve the same market but are not discussed in the chapter. Using print advertising, screen shots from Web sites, and stills from commercials (use screen shots from streaming video), assemble supporting material that helps you describe what each brand stands for and how consumers view each brand. Is one brand better than the other? Why or why not?
  4. Take two existing offerings and combine them to create a new one. What type of offering is it? To whom would you sell it? What new benefits does the product offer, and how would you communicate them to potential buyers? What evidence could you generate to predict the likelihood of the new offering being successful?
  5. Identify two new consumer products sold in a grocery store or by a mass merchandiser such as Walmart. Explore the strategies used to introduce each of the products and which strategy you feel will be most successful.
  6. Identify three products that are sold in international markets and explain any differences in how the products have been changed to meet the needs of consumers in the international markets.


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Principles of Marketing, 1st Canadian Edition Copyright © by Anthony Francescucci, Joanne McNeish, Nukhet Taylor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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