What Is the Consumer Product Classification System, and Why Is It Important for Your Business Marketing Strategy?

To effectively do marketing today, business owners need to have a user-friendly website and use the marketing tools available, but more importantly, they need to understand the general principles of AT buying behavior. This is where consumer product classification is one of the most effective tools.

It is clear that some products are bought more often, others rarely or occasionally, and then there are the spontaneous decisions of customers. Why do they happen, and is there a pattern? Australian pioneer of marketing research Hume F. Winzar began his research on this topic in 1991.

Consumer goods categories

All products intended for personal use are called consumer goods. They vary in purpose, characteristics, cost, etc., but are divided into four categories based on the general attitude of the buyer toward them. These classifications of consumer products include:

Household items

Consumer goods are the most commonly purchased items. Without any motivation or consideration other than choosing the best choice from competing but similar offers.

When you compare cheap products, the effort to buy them is minimal. These consumer goods have relatively low prices. Thanks to their wide distribution, they are available according to the wishes and needs of the consumer. Includes:

  • Food;
  • Personal care products ;
  • Alcohol and tobacco;
  • Medication;
  • Newspapers, magazines, etc.

In this group we can also distinguish most impulse purchases – goods that are usually bought without prior planning. Since most of them have low prices, prices and discounts are not important factors. The customer will not switch to another brand for a few cents savings. At the same time, increasing brand awareness is an important aspect. Increasing brand awareness is therefore an important marketing challenge.

For the category of impulse buyers, manufacturers use mass advertising strategies. Mainly through consistent and sustained advertising tactics.

Goods to be purchased

Pre-selected items are bought less frequently. Consumers usually plan their purchase in advance by comparing them on basic features, design and cost.

These products should be divided into two categories: similar and dissimilar, since they are sold using different marketing methods. The buyer considers that the former products are of equal quality but differ significantly in price, which the seller must of course justify.

The latter are strongly distinguished from each other by their characteristics of use (colour, style, shape, etc.). If you are organising the sale of these products, you will need a wide range for all tastes, and salespeople who can give you good advice.

The most common examples are:

  • Clothing and accessories ;
  • Furniture;
  • Electronics;
  • Devices;
  • Communications and other services on request.

Consumers need to spend more time and effort gathering information and comparing options. These products have higher prices and are sold in fewer outlets. These are usually one-time purchases that have a larger impact on the budget. Marketers promote these products through personal sales and various advertising campaigns.


Special-demand goods – Products with unique features or exclusive branded items for which people are willing to spend extra time and money. As a rule, the suppliers of these products do not have to go to much trouble to organise distribution. Often the seller only has to inform the consumer about the main features of the product or service.

These products have distinctive features and a brand identity, but require considerable effort to reach a purchase decision. Here are some examples of these product categories:

  • legal and other professional services ;
  • Jewelry and luxury products ;
  • Luxury cars;
  • Branded clothing;
  • Luxury perfumery, etc.

These products are often developed or prepared for specific customers. The most expensive cars in the world are a typical example: Mercedes-Benz Maybach Exelero and Bugatti Veyron. These products are exclusively distributed and available in a limited number of outlets. The buyer is willing to charge for years to get these cars, spend time negotiating with dealers, overpay and travel to other countries.

The Bugatti, for example, can only be bought officially in a limited number of countries. The advertising strategies for these products are precisely tailored to the specific needs of the customers.

Goods not for sale

Passively requested goods are goods that the buyer does not know or rarely considers under normal circumstances. This means that consumers only want to buy them when there is a specific need.

Some of the more prominent examples include:

  • Health Insurance ;
  • Training Materials ;
  • Home alarms and sensors ;
  • planned maintenance of various systems, etc.

The prices of these products and the way they are distributed vary, and promotional strategies require more aggressive marketing efforts than for other types of products. Product category marketing is considered the most time consuming in this case, as it is difficult to interest a large number of customers in their services/products if they do not have a specific need for them at that time.


When people become accustomed to living in a pandemic, their buying habits adjust to their basic needs. Although panic buying has subsided in some countries, consumers are still stocking up.

This change in behaviour has led to increased demand for a number of product categories. On the other hand, marketers are still trying to use product classification systems to develop a universal marketing strategy. However, this approach must be comprehensive.

For successful sales management, it is important to consider current demand, customer feedback and the product life cycle. Moreover, people have different relationships with the same product categories at different points in their lives.

frequently asked questions

Why is product classification important?

Breaking products down into meaningful categories helps marketers determine strategies and techniques to promote a company’s product or service. There are many types of classification. This allows marketers to rank products based on frequency of use.

What is the classification of products and items?

Product classification or product taxonomy is a kind of economic taxonomy that organizes products for different purposes. But not only products can be referred to in the standard form, there are also sales practices in the form of Incoterms and industries that can be categorized.

Why do marketers need to understand the classification of the commercial product they are selling?

Product features and classification help marketers align their efforts with consumer buying behavior. Your company can use these buying habits to develop marketing activities for a clearly defined target group.

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