As we discussed in the What is Marketing? Tutorial, customers seek to obtain something of value from marketers in exchange for their willingness to give up something they value, generally money. What customers obtain are solutions to their needs or, stated another way, they receive benefits. For customers, benefits drive their purchase decisions. Consequently, at the very heart of all product decisions is being able to determine the core benefits a product should provide.
In some cases these core benefits are offered by the product itself (e.g., floor cleaner) while in other cases the benefit is offered by other aspects of the product (e.g., the can containing the floor cleaner that makes it easier to spread the product). Consequently, at the very heart of all product decisions is determining the key or core benefits a product will provide. From this decision, the rest of the product offering can be developed.