A better approach?
I have previously suggested that there are no real universal differentiators between goods and service products. The Product-Services dichotomy initially created by Shostack and perpetuated by far too many marketers is not only logically and intellectually challenged but of no particular practical use by either goods marketers or service marketers. It is production or transactional based and not useful in a modern relational marketing context.
The tradition of trying to separate”products” and “services” forgets that both are inseparable in the genetics of an offer and therefore should not be thought of as separate entities. Value offers (products) – represent a bidirectional relationship.
In the midst of all of this, keep in mind that the real point of importance will always be what value a customer puts on an offer. The real importance of reassessing the “product/service” position is to give a better focus to creating better value perceptions by buyers and users.
A more useful concept is needed.
Many of the factors so far mentioned are important not only in the marketing of a service product but also in the exchange of any value offer/product. Marketers should focus on all the salient factors involved any particular product rather than trying to create artificial concepts to separate categories of product.
One of the difficulties is the use of “service terminology” which is limited and does not help with its understanding. The current concept group want to see it as a separate product form. I see it as:
Services in all its forms is where value comes from up to the subjective perception of value by the buyer-user. (Including any value adding services performed by the user/consumer.
It may be better (re)describing services as activities that add value throughout the value adding chain (raw material to end use; rock to pet rock; idea to religion). All these value adding service activities as can be referred to as Value Adding Services (VAS). The value adding activities can be seen as nodes in the value adding chain.