We explain what a product in economics is, its types and characteristics. In addition, the product in chemistry and mathematics.
What is a product?
In the world of economy and business , a product is the good or service obtained at the end of the production chain , that is, from the transformation of raw materials into processed goods or services to be provided.
Everything around us has been produced in one way or another, natural or artificial, thanks to human intervention. Even if the latter is limited to collection or extraction. And for that reason, today, practically everything is a product, comparable to a good.
In the commercial circuit, the products are elaborated, distributed and finally consumed by the natural persons and legal persons that need them, in exchange for the payment of their price in money or credit.
To do this you must compete with the other products of other companies . Therefore, marketing or marketing is responsible for making it visible, considering it one of its “four P’s” or fundamental aspects: product, place, price and promotion.
However, products as such can be objects of a very diverse nature, tangible or intangible, from goods, services , ideas, experiences, events, property rights or actions in a company, to name just a few examples.
Products can be classified as tangible or intangible, depending on whether they are physical things or not. On the other hand, according to their purpose or “purchase situation”, they are classified as:
- Goods consumption . Limited usability, they are consumed quickly and have a short life, such as food, fruits, food, etc.
- Services . Activities, uses and benefits that are consumed at the time of lending, such as haircuts, housework, home appliance repairs, etc.
- Commonly used goods . Those products that are part of the usual basket and are consumed quickly, such as textiles, shoes, etc.
- Emergency goods . Products that citizens consume in extraordinary situations, but which are normally available if necessary, such as fire extinguishers, spare parts, etc.
- Durable goods . Products with a very long life cycle, whose need for replacement covers years or even decades.
- Specialty goods . Those goods with very particular characteristics destined to a hyperspecific consumer market, such as medical supplies, military technology , etc.
Characteristics of a product
Most products have some of the following attributes:
- Formulations and ingredients . Those substances and materials from which they are made, and which should normally be reflected on the packaging, so that the consumer can know what he consumes. This is particularly true in the case of consumer goods, since in other types of goods it is not as important, as in steel products.
- Dimensions and physical characteristics . The products have a set of physical characteristics (size, density , thickness, etc.) that characterize them, especially those produced in series, and which normally obey standardizations such as ISO standards , for example.
- Components and functions . All products serve something, that is, they satisfy some need, either thanks to their specific components (as in the case of medicines and their active ingredients), or their general formulation.
- Packaging and presentation . Every product is offered in some type of packaging or container, that is, in a container that protects it until it reaches the final consumer. In some cases, such packages or containers may themselves be the product.
- Fineness and relative scarcity . All products are finite, that is, they require a continuous and constant elaboration process, without which they would simply end. This means that they are relatively scarce, although the need we have for them may be, in general, infinite.
Virtually everything around us is a product : from the canned and processed food we consume, the cleaners and detergents we use to clean our homes and the drugs with which we fight the disease, to the utensils with which we cook and eat, the tools and The furniture of our home.
Even basic services ( electricity , telephony, Internet , sewage and garbage collection) are products that some supplier supplies us. Everything we pay for is, in one way or another, a product.
Product in chemistry
In chemistry, the term product with a different meaning than the one we have exposed so far is used. In this case, the substances that are obtained through a chemical reaction of some kind are called a product , in which two or more reagents are involved to form a product. This term is used regardless of the nature of the chemical obtained.
Similarly, in the field of mathematics it is usual to talk about product. In this area, the term is used only to refer to the result of certain logical-formal operations, such as multiplication or certain binary operations used in very specific contexts.
The use to call the result of multiplication is perhaps the most common, as evidenced by the adage that states that “the order of the factors does not alter the product.”