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Product Functionality versus Product Design 2 Essay

In every organization, the role played by marketing is a very critical one. It is marketing that determines whether or not the organization will sell its products or if it will bangle up things and fail to make a profit (Baker 2003). As such, it is critical that a lot of emphasis is placed on marketing. However, it is also how the marketing is approached that will determine whether it will succeed or not.

To do effective marketing, the nature of the market ought to be considered because unlike in monopolistic or highly regulated markets where one can afford to sell with minimal marketing, free markets call for a lot of strategic marketing (Kotler 2009). It is on this basis that I believe the design of the product as opposed to the function ought to be given the most priority in marketing.


Free markets are characterized by, among other aspects, a large number of sellers that sell identical or closely identical products (Kotler 2009).

This makes it very difficult for marketers to make sales unless they devise strategic marketing plans. This is because the level of competition is very high and only the best placed seller will get to attract customers. Therefore, the design of the product comes in handy here. If the product is well designed and is appealing, then it will get noticed faster (Cravens 2002). A point in question here is that these free markets, which are the current order all over the world, are full of identical goods. Read about Brand imitation

Functionality is therefore not as important a factor when selecting the products for all of them plays the same function. The issue is getting the customers to choose a certain product from many others that do the same work. The answer is design. The better designed the products, the more likely that they will be purchased (Proctor 2000). Product differentiation is a good way of doing this. The marketer can make the products to be more appealing by making them unique. People have innate tendencies to be attracted to good, unique, and lovely things.

That ought to be the marketing secret – utilizing what is natural to make sales. Customers, before caring to ask the cost of a product, will get attracted to it by what its appearance is. The more attractive it is, the more it will attract customers and the more sales that will be generated (Kotler 2009). Little wonder then that leading retail chain stores like Wal-Mart invest a lot in packaging. Once a customer is attracted to the product, it becomes a lot easier to convince one to make a purchase (Gilligan 2009).

Therefore, product design is more important than its functionality.


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Marketing is very important in the life cycle of any product. If marketing is done successfully, then the product is likely to become a leading brand in the market in spite of the competition. Given that free market systems have become dominant in the world today, it is critical that good marketing strategies are adopted to overcome the stiff competition brought about by presence of identical goods or those goods that are close substitutes.

The appearance or design of the product, therefore, is a more important aspect than its function because it is the design that will draw the customer to choose a product from many similar or identical ones.

Word count: 560


Baker, MJ 2003. The marketing book. Butterworth-Heinemann Cravens, D 2002.

Strategic marketing management cases. McGraw-Hill/Irwin Gilligan, C 2009.

Strategic Marketing Planning. Butterworth-Heinemann Kotler, P 2009.

Principles of Marketing. Pearson Proctor, T 2000.

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