What is a Core Product? Definition, Importance, and Examples

The product we buy is an actual product as well as an augmented product but these products are made up of a core product. Whenever a consumer buys a product he buys an either actual or augmented product.

So, where the core product stays? Let’s find out what it is, why it is important, and some examples so you can better understand what actually the core products are.

What is Core Product?

A core product is a fundamental service or benefit a product offers to its buyers. It includes the primary benefits consumers get when they buy or use the product.

Let’s take an example – when you buy a toothbrush, the fundamental benefit you will get from it is cleaning the teeth. So the core product of a toothbrush is to clean the teeth, not the color, shape, and size it offers.

Core products, in fact, are the concept only they are not developed yet. It is the idea that you have that your product will offer to your buyers.

This consists of the actual reason why consumers should buy your product and what benefits they will get after buying.

For example, if you are planning to make a biscuit, you think it primarily will satisfy consumers’ needs, which is the core benefit it will offer. When you actually produced it and give it a physical look, it is now an actual product. And, if you add extra features to the biscuit that is termed an augmented product.

Five Levels of Product

To better understand what a core product is, let’s dive into different levels of the product. Philip Kotler, an American Marketing Author has provided us with five different levels of a product.

Core Benefit

Here, core benefit means the core product. It is the primary benefit the product will offer to consumers. It is the primary needs or wants consumers will satisfy by purchasing the product.

Also Read: What is Actual Product?

Let’s follow the previous example – you are planning of making a biscuit – you are now just in the idea stage of making your product. Your product’s i.e. biscuit’s core benefit will be satisfying consumers’ hunger needs.

Generic Product

Here, generic product means actual product. This is the product consumers actually buy and use to satisfy the purpose of their buying.

For example, when you produced the product i.e. biscuit, and make it recognizable through packaging, designing, and adding other attributes, now the product is ready to use.

Expected Product

This includes the set of attributes or characteristics consumers usually expect from a product. Here, what consumers expect from your biscuit is good taste, good packaging, etc.

Augmented Product

It includes the additional features that you offer in your product in addition to the actual product. For example, you may offer discounts, offer biscuits in many shapes, colors, etc.

Potential Product

As the name suggests, the potential product includes the augmentations and transformation that a product might undergo in the coming days. It includes your idea to add extra features to your product but you have not added it to the product yet.

Also Read: What is Augmented Product?

Importance of Core Product

The other levels of product, such as actual and augmented have actually no meaning if the core product does not come with them.

The core benefit is what every consumer looks at when they are buying any items. In addition, here are the main reasons that explain the importance of these products.

Solves Customers Problems

Core products are what satisfy the actual needs and solve the actual problems of consumers. Core products are the reasons consumers buy actual products.

Base For Actual and Augmented Products

Core products are the base for the actual and augmented products. Considering the aim or benefits of the core product the actual and augmented products are designed and marketed.

Base For Marketing

Actual products are the main factor for marketing in any firm. Packaging, designing, or any other additional features are the secondary attraction for people, first, they look at the primary benefits of the product.

Source of Benefits

The main reason consumers buy any product is the main benefit that the product provides to them. Hence, the core product is the main source of sales and benefits to businesses.

Also Read: Kotler’s 5 Levels of Product with Examples 

Examples of Core Product

Let’s see some examples of core products.


As previously mentioned above, let’s again consider the example of a toothbrush. The core product of a toothbrush is its ability to clean teeth. The additional features it offers such as different colors, shapes, designs, durability, and even discounts while buying are its augmented parts.


The core product of the light bulb is the light or brightness it offers. The main thing a lightbulb offer is a brightness to the consumers. Additional features can be added to the lightbulb such as discounts and warranties which are its extended products.


Let’s take an example of a restaurant. The core product of the restaurant is the food and comfort it provides. A friendly environment, good customer service, etc. are the restaurant’s additional features.

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