The most important meaning of a product is what it means to the customer. Pen, for instance, may be a product to the manufacturer, but to the customer, it means a device for writing. What the producer considers as the consumer’s benefit may be at variance’ with what the consumer actually sees or perceive. Awa (2002) defined a product as anything one receives in an exchange transaction-a complexity of tangible and intangible attributes, including functional, social and psychological utilities or benefits. Tangible as used in the definition refers to the visible items (e.g. ruler) capable of offering attributes that satisfy the needs of the consumer. Intangible relates to the invisible but felt items such as services that satisfy the consumer’s needs.
A product strategy is the foundation of a product lifecycle, and its execution plan for further development. As firms develop their product strategy, product leaders zero in on target audiences and define key product and customer attributes. All great products start with a clear strategy that is customer and market driven. Strategy not only ensures that you work on what matters. It is also essential so that you can communicate what matters to our team and organization. The main purpose of a strategy is to provide the product manager with direction so they can guide their product team and manage the firm over the planning period. Strategies also help product managers communicate product’s value to cross-functional teams and key stakeholders, who want to know how products will achieve high-level business objectives. Product strategies can be a tool of competitive advantage and a crucial strategic marketing process, which is adopted by organization in order to provide products that, satisfies individual customer’s needs. In satisfying individual customer’s needs, quality has become a major differentiating factor among variant of products (Shammot, 2011). As a result, customers are willing to pay more for products that cater for their individual size, taste, style, need or expression. According to Abu (2012), a firm may be able to differentiate its product from the product of its competitors and thus be able to establish a competitive advantage. His generic strategies describe how a firm pursues competitive advantage across its chosen market scope. There are three generic strategies; lower cost, differentiated, or focuses. The firm can choose to pursue one or two types of competitive advantage, either via lower costs than its competitors or by differentiating itself along dimensions valued by customers to command a higher price.PRODUCT STRATEGIES AND CUSTOMER LOYALTY OF FAST FOOD SERVICE FIRMS IN PORT HARCOURT
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