The Four Service Marketing Myths
The authors challenge the prototypical characteristics that have been identified as distinguishing services from goods — intangibility, inseparability, heterogeneity, and perishability. The authors argue that these characteristics (a) do not distinguish services from goods, (b) only have meaning from a manufacturing perspective, and (c) imply inappropriate normative strategies
I found this interesting because these attributes are at the very heart of everything I’ve read on the topic. Services obviously aren’t tangible. The act of producing a service is inseparable from the act of consuming the service. No two service encounters are alike by virtue of the different individuals involved. Finally, services are perishable; they exist only in the moment of delivery.
To my surprise, Vargo and Lusch do a good job of tearing these arguments apart. They’ve changed the way I think about services. If you don’t have access to the Journal of Service Research you can probably find a copy on Google.
[via New Service Creation]