When a manufacturer designs a product to offer to the market (goods or services) he/she will consider first what are the customer needs to be addressed, what benefits will satisfy these needs and thus what features the product design should contain so as to deliver these benefits. The good manufacturer will employ this process of product definition, in the order above. Manufacturers stand at the top of the supply chain and can use a variety of sales, marketing, and physical distribution systems to connect their products with customers.
Since the marketing channel is such a comprehensive concept which forms the relationship between the manufacturer, the distributor and the consumer, every aspect of the marketing channel affects the products or services mix, the distribution mix, or the communications mix.
Suppliers and distributors have a great influence on the success of a firm. Distribution issues come into play heavily in deciding brand level strategies. In order to maintain one's brand image, it may be essential that retailers and other channel members provide certain services such as warranty repairs and carrying a large assortment of accessories.