Product is the first element in the marketing mix. Various decisions are involved in the Product element such as:
- Quality of product
- Safety of product
- Packaging and Branding Issues
- Product Warranties
There issues are of vital importance and does have certain ethical obligations associated to it:
- Quality of product: The demand for high – quality products is of key issue. It is a general responsibility of the business to ensure that the quality of a product measures up to the claims made about it and to reasonable consumer expectation.
- Safety of product: the business should give safety the priority warranted by the product. However, the business often base safety considerations strictly on cost. If the margin of safety can increased without significantly disturbing budgetary considerations, then it is fine but if not then safety questions appears.
Two factors by safety are associated with cost which cannot be ignored:
- The seriousness of the injury the product can cause.
- The frequency of its concrescence.
When a product scores high on both the seriousness and frequency tests, it warrants the highest priority as a potential safety hazard.
The safety of a product can also be ensured by monitoring the manufacturing process itself by the business. The companies should also periodically review the working conditions and competence of key personal.
The safety engineers should ensure product safety.
- Packaging and Branding Issues: Ethical issues in product also involve two other major attributes of product i.e. the Packaging and Branding Attribute.
It is an ethical responsibility of the manufacturer to provide clear, accurate and adequate information regarding the labeling and packaging of products. Nothing is more misleading than environmental labeling. Manufactures label products as “biodegradable”, “environmentally safe” or “recyclable” without defining the terms.
The packaging should be such that the manufacturer’s real is ensures and that the product quantity should also be exactly measured and provided.
There should not be any misleading information regarding the quantity and quality of the product.
- Product Warranties: one way that business assumes responsibilities to consumers for product quality and reliability is through warranties, which are obligations to purchasers that sellers assume. The ethics relates to two kinds of warranties.
- Express Warranties: are the claims that sellers explicity state for example, that a product is “shrinkproof” or will require no maintains for some years. The moral/ethical concern of the business is whether a product lives up its statements. Express warranties include assertions about the product’s character, assurances of product durability, and other statements on warranty cards, labels, wrappers and packages or in the advertising of the product.
- Implied Warranties: incluse the claim, implicit in any sale, that a product is fit for its ordinary, intended use. The law calls this the implied warranty of merchantability. It’s not a promise that the product will be perfec rather it,s a guarantee that it will be of passable quality or suitable of the ordinary purpose for which it is used. Implied Warranties are more specific.
Thus, the ethics demands that the manufactures must fulfill the product warranty needs.