The Commodity Approach : The commodity approach involves the examination of the marketing system for each of a number of specific commodities. It takes as its focal points individual products. The manner in which individual products are marketed is stressed in this approach. The approach embraces a discussion of
(a) The resources and conditions of supply of the commodity ;
(b) The nature and the extent of the demand for it ; (c) The channels used in the distribution of the commodity ;
(d) The functions performed by the various links in the chain of distribution ;
(e) The price, brand, advertising and other policies developed in the marketing of the commodity ;
f) The special features of marketing significance peculiar to the commodity.
Advantages of the Commodity Approach: The main advantage of the commodity approach is its concreteness of all facts relating to a specific commodity. In this approach of the study of marketing, sufficient background information is obtained on the factors of demand and supply. The variations in the character of the commodities and the effects of slight variations on the marketing structure are given due recognition. The students acquire a special understanding of marketing of certain products by using this approach.
Disadvantages of the Commodity Approach: The commodity approach suffers from the following disadvantages :-
(a) It results in excessive repetition.
(b) It is time-consuming. In order to deduce all essential principles of marketing by this method and to cover the entire field adequately, more time is required than provided for in the average marketing curriculum.
(c) It tends to over-emphasize the differences in commodity characteristics upon the marketing system . Identical channels of distribution and similar marketing techniques are used for many commodities. The similarities in the marketing of most products are by far greater than the differences.
Because of the above reasons, the commodity approach has been modified. Attempts have been made to deal with classes of commodities that are closely related instead of dealing with specific individual commodities.