Product Attribute: Definition & Explanation

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  • 0:05 Definition of Product…
  • 0:16 Tangible Attributes
  • 0:44 Intangible Attributes
  • 1:17 Attributes and…
  • 2:12 Application to Marketing
  • 2:37 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shawn Grimsley

Shawn has a masters of public administration, JD, and a BA in political science.

Even if you don't know it, you make buying decisions based upon product attributes. In this lesson, you'll learn what product attributes are and also learn related concepts. You'll have a chance to take a short quiz after the lesson.

Definition of Product Attributes

A product attribute is a characteristic that defines a particular product and will affect a consumer's purchase decision. Product attributes can be tangible (or physical in nature) or intangible (or not physical in nature).

Tangible Attributes

Tangible attributes can include such product characteristics as size, color, weight, volume, smell, taste, touch, quantity, or material composition.

For example, when you want to buy a new car, you might consider tangible attributes such as its size, color, and material composition. If you are looking for a 2-door, red sports car with a leather interior, you are searching for a product based on its tangible attributes.

Intangible Attributes

Intangible attributes may include such characteristics as price, quality, reliability, beauty or aesthetics, and je ne sais quoi (an indefinable, elusive pleasing quality).

Again, if you are looking to buy a new car, you might also consider intangible attributes such as price, quality, and safety test scores. If you want a new car that is relatively inexpensive but has garnered high marks on performance tests, you are searching for a product based on its intangible attributes.

Attributes and Consumer Preference

Attributes are the usual criteria by which a consumer will make a buying decision. Consumers have needs and wants. A need is something that a consumer must have, while a want is something that is desired, but not essential. A consumer will compare her needs and desires against the attributes of products available and select the product that best matches the needs and wants of the consumer.

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