Product and Social Product

20/05/2020 0 By indiafreenotes

A product is the item offered for sale. A product can be a service or an item. It can be physical or in virtual or cyber form. Every product is made at a cost and each is sold at a price. The price that can be charged depends on the market, the quality, the marketing and the segment that is targeted. Each product has a useful life after which it needs replacement, and a life cycle after which it has to be re-invented. In FMCG parlance, a brand can be revamped, re-launched or extended to make it more relevant to the segment and times, often keeping the product almost the same.

A product needs to be relevant: the users must have an immediate use for it. A product needs to be functionally able to do what it is supposed to, and do it with a product quality.

A product needs to be communicated: Users and potential users must know why they need to use it, what benefits they can derive from it, and what it does difference it does to their lives. Advertising and ‘brand building’ best do this.

A product needs a name: a name that people remember and relate to. A product with a name becomes a brand. It helps it stand out from the clutter of products and names.

A product should be adaptable: with trends, time and change in segments, the product should lend itself to adaptation to make it more relevant and maintain its revenue stream.

Social Product

A social product is something that benefits the largest number of people in the largest possible way, such as clean air, clean water, healthcare, and literacy. Also known as “common product,” social product can trace its history to Ancient Greece philosophers and implies a positive impact on individuals or society in general. It also provides the basis for charity or philanthropic work.

The capitalism-based definition of business states that companies exist only to provide the maximum possible return to shareholders. This has often not run parallel to serving the common product in ways such as promoting clean air and water or financial independence for all citizens. As corporations focus more on corporate sustainability efforts and social responsibility in recognition of a de facto social contract with the public, their business models may expand to include more work to promote social product in their day-to-day strategies and operations.

Social Product and Corporations

The decision of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the wealthiest person in the world, to allocate a significant sum of his wealth to solving some of the world’s most intractable problems is an example of work benefiting the social product. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation runs programs to alleviate and cure diseases such as HIV, malaria, neglected tropical diseases, and more in developing countries.

Corporations keen to promote an image of themselves as socially conscious and responsible have created programs that seek to highlight their work toward social product. Aside from the positive feelings such programs generate, doing work that benefits the social product can give a company a sense of purpose and passion. That can help with productivity, innovation, and growth, as employees who believe in their company’s mission tend to invest more of their effort and passion into their work. Working toward a social product also has the effect of building bonds with the community. In helping a community or group of people, a company may hope that their effort is rewarded with sales.

Corporate investment in the social product can also help a company build and maintain its brand and its identity, as well as loyalty. A product example of this is the Newman’s Own brand, which discloses clearly on its label, “all profits to charity.” Those charities include ones related to ecology, conservation, and religious causes, among others.

Social Product and Social Media

Increasingly, social product has been connected with social media in that its definition has expanded to include a shareable deed or sentiment. Social media platforms are becoming a part of the social product in that they are an efficient way to educate the public, and advocate and fundraise for programs that support the social product. It also means that individuals, not just governments, corporations, or charities, can advocate for social product.

Aristotle described the common product as “proper to, and attainable only by, the community, yet individually shared by its members.”

Example of Social Product

As climate change becomes a mainstream issue, oil companies have increasingly come in for criticism due to their role in polluting the atmosphere. They have created separate divisions in order to promote their environmental image. For example, Total, France’s biggest petroleum major, allocated 4.3% of its budget to investing in renewable energy technologies in 2018. Equinor, Norway’s biggest energy company, plans to spend between 15–20% of its budget on renewable energy by 2030. British Petroleum has created a separate division to invest in renewable energy ventures.

  • In recent times, social product is used to refer to corporate initiatives that aim to enhance the social contract of corporations by promoting practices that are better for the environment and overall society.
  • Corporations gain employee trust and loyalty by providing them with a sense of purpose and loyalty in their work.
  • Social media has become an important tool to promote social product