Have you ever bought a product that just blew you away with all the additional features and benefits it came with? That’s what an augmented product is all about!
An augmented product is a regular product upgraded to include additional benefits and features beyond its physical components. These benefits are usually intangible and may come in the form of extra services, warranties, or even personalized support.
This type of product augmentation is a smart marketing strategy businesses use to make their products stand out from their competitors and give their customers more value for their money. It’s like adding an extra treat to an already yummy ice cream sundae!
It’s important to note that an augmented product is not a new type of product; instead, it’s the same product but with added value. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into what an augmented product is, the different levels of product augmentation, and more.
So, let’s get started!
What Is an Augmented Product?
Augmented Product Definition:
An augmented product is a product that has been enhanced with additional features or benefits to differentiate it from competitors’ products. It can include exclusive features, free delivery, or samples. Many technology companies use product augmentation to add extra features and offer free accessories to stand out.
An augmented product is a product its maker has enhanced with additional features, benefits, or services to add value to the original product. Product augmentation aims to differentiate the product from competitors and provide customers with valuable benefits.
Any added feature or offering can be a part of an augmented product, as the goal is to attract more customers by providing incentives and add-ons that competitors lack. The augmented product concept allows creators to thrive in a competitive marketplace.
In the product cycle, a product can go through different versions, with the core, actual, and augmented products being the most common. While augmenting a product doesn’t fundamentally change the actual product, it aims to increase its value in the eyes of consumers.
The augmentations do not intend to change the product’s function or core features. The augmented product sometimes refers to as an extended product since you make no core changes to the actual product.
An augmented product typically includes attributes such as warranties, credits, return policies, and additional benefits. It also includes custom packages, all of which contribute to the product’s overall value in the eyes of the consumer.
Levels of Product
Creating a successful product requires more than just designing a physical item. It involves understanding the customer’s needs, designing a product that meets them, and providing additional value that differentiates the product from competitors. This process involves three levels of a product that you must consider.
The first level is the core product. It refers to the real benefit the customer expects from the product. Before developing a product, marketers must identify the core customer value.
Understanding what customers want helps them create a product that meets their needs. For example, a car manufacturer must realize that customers may buy a car for transportation, convenience, and comfort.
The second level is the actual product. It refers to the product’s physical attributes, such as the brand, features, design, quality, and packaging. The actual product is what the customer sees, touches, and feels. It must meet the customer’s needs and expectations.
A product that meets these requirements will succeed in the market. For example, a car with safety features, comfortable seats, and advanced technology will meet the needs and expectations of the customer seeking transportation, convenience, and comfort.
The third level is the augmented product. It refers to the additional benefits or services that the customer receives beyond the actual product. These benefits can enhance the product’s value and differentiate it from competitors.
The augmented product may include after-sales service, warranties, delivery, installation, financing, and customer support. Marketers must identify the augmented product that adds value to the customer and differentiates the product from competitors.
For example, a car dealership that offers free oil changes, roadside assistance, and a loaner car during repairs may enhance the car’s value and differentiate it from other dealerships.
In creating an augmented product, each level plays an important role. The core customer value is the foundation for the actual and augmented products.
The actual product must meet the customer’s needs and expectations. In contrast, the augmented product must provide additional benefits that enhance the customer’s experience and differentiate the product from competitors.
Augmented Product Features
Now that you have understood the augmented product definition, let us look at the features.
Augmented product features go beyond the core benefits of a product and include additional services and benefits that attract customers. Some standard augmented product features include:
- Promotions and Freebies: Coupons, discounts, and freebies are incentives that encourage customers to try a product and make additional purchases. They create a sense of urgency and help maintain customer engagement with a brand’s products.
- Additional Services: Providing other services with purchase is an attractive augmented product feature. For example, a customer may receive free installation services when purchasing a washer and dryer from an appliance store.
- Technology Upgrades: Technology companies often offer augmented products with added features, such as unlimited photo storage for a phone.
- Product Warranty: A warranty is a common way to augment a product, assuring customers that the product will be repaired or replaced within a specified period if it fails to meet the promised standard.
- Installation Services: Providing free installation services by technicians is another way to augment a product, commonly used for products like washing machines, TV sets, and other appliances.
- Free Delivery: Many brands offer free delivery as an added benefit to customers, especially in the furniture industry, for high-value purchases. Restaurants and e-commerce stores also offer free delivery for specific purchases or on special days.
- Refund Policy: Some businesses offer a refund policy within a specified period if a product fails to meet customer needs or expectations.
- Product Updates: Software products and online services often provide free and timely product updates to ensure customers have the latest features and functionality.
- Product Trials: Offering free trials is a popular way for online services to attract new customers. Users can test a service for a specified period before committing to a purchase.
- Free Samples: Retailers often offer free samples to customers who make a particular minimum purchase, encouraging them to try new products and potentially make future purchases.
Developing an Augmented Product
Developing an augmented product requires careful planning and consideration to ensure that the product meets the needs and expectations of the target market. Let us look at a few critical factors you must consider while developing your augmented product.
Developing an augmented product requires a thorough understanding of the target market. Marketers must first identify the ideal customer persona and create a product that resonates with them.
It involves understanding the customer’s needs, preferences, and pain points to create a product that meets their expectations.
Core Customer Value
As mentioned, identifying the core customer value is crucial to creating a successful augmented product. It refers to the real benefit that the product provides to the customer. Marketers must understand this value to develop a product that satisfies the customer’s needs.
The expected product is the essential product offering that meets the customer’s expectations. It could be a physical product or a service. Marketers must ensure that the desired product is of high quality and meets the customer’s needs to create a strong foundation for the augmented product.
Augmented Product Features
Augmented product features go beyond what a customer expects and provide additional benefits to the customer.
These features include product warranties, installation, free delivery, refunds, updates, product trials, and free samples. Marketers must carefully select these features to incentivize customers to try a product, maintain engagement, and increase their lifetime value.
Benefits of Augmented Products
In the present-day competitive market, businesses need to set themselves apart from their rivals to remain relevant and thrive. Offering augmented products is an effective strategy that can help achieve this objective.
Augmented products have additional features or benefits beyond their basic functionality. In this article, we will delve into the advantages of augmented products.
Customer Retention: Keep Them Coming Back for More
One of the critical benefits of augmented products is their ability to increase customer loyalty and retention. Consumers are more likely to return to a business that offers added value without charging them extra.
Companies can make their customers feel valued by offering enhanced products that create a sense of exclusivity. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of repeat purchases and brand loyalty.
Brand Awareness: Let Your Customers Do the Talking
Word-of-mouth marketing is still one of the most effective forms of advertising. Augmented products can help businesses spread brand awareness through positive customer experiences.
Customers who receive something extra for free are more likely to spread positive word-of-mouth about their experiences. This strategy leads to increased brand recognition and a more extensive customer base.
For example, a new ice cream parlor can attract more customers by offering free samples during its first few days of opening. Positive reviews and word-of-mouth advertising can result in more customers visiting the store, driving business growth.
Product Differentiation: Stand Out From the Crowd
Product differentiation is a classic benefit of augmented products. It is a proven way to gain a competitive advantage over brands that do not offer additional benefits.
For instance, a famous car dealership in a town may feel threatened by a new car dealership startup offering customers free car inspection. By offering augmented products, businesses can distinguish themselves from their competitors and attract new customers seeking added value.
Enhanced Customer Experience: Go the Extra Mile
Augmented products ultimately elevate the customer experience, making them feel like they are receiving something extra. Adding a small perk can go a long way in making your business popular with customers.
Starbucks is an excellent example of this. They offer more than just coffee; they provide customers free water, WiFi, and a comfortable atmosphere. Even if customers don’t spend much money, they leave happy and are likely to return in the future.
Increased Revenue: The Ultimate Goal
Ultimately, the objective of any business is to increase revenue and drive growth. Augmented products can help companies achieve this goal by increasing demand and customer loyalty, sales, and higher profit margins.
The benefits of product augmentation, such as repeat customers, brand awareness, and better customer experience, can lead to sustained growth and increased revenue figures.
Successful Examples of Augmented Products
Successful global companies have employed various product augmentation strategies to differentiate their products from competitors and increase customer loyalty.
Let us look at a few augmented product examples.
- Apple: Apple has created a thriving ecosystem around its products, providing customers with additional services and features such as iTunes, iCloud, and Apple Pay. They also offer excellent customer support services, including the Genius Bar, where customers can get assistance with any technical issues.
- Amazon: Amazon has implemented a wide range of product augmentation strategies, such as their Prime subscription service that includes free shipping, access to streaming media, and discounts on certain products. They have also developed their line of products, such as the Amazon Echo and Alexa voice assistant, which integrate with their existing services and offer customers a more seamless experience.
- Nike: Nike has employed product augmentation by developing personalized and interactive customer experiences through their Nike+ app. The app provides features such as customized coaching, workout tracking, and social sharing, enhancing the product and building a community around the brand.
- Coca-Cola: Coca-Cola has augmented their product by creating unique packaging, limited edition bottles, and exclusive flavors only available in certain regions. This strategy creates exclusivity and excitement for customers, increasing brand loyalty.
- Google: Google has augmented their search engine with additional features such as Google Maps, Google Drive, and Google Translate, which have become essential tools for many people. By offering these extra services, Google has maintained their dominance in the search engine market while diversifying their product portfolio.
An augmented product is an innovative way for businesses to add value to their products and differentiate them from their competitors. By providing additional features and benefits, companies can enhance the overall customer experience and create customer loyalty.
An augmented product strategy can be a game-changer in today’s highly competitive market. Remember, the success of an augmented product lies in understanding the core customer value and providing additional benefits that resonate with them.
So, go ahead and augment your product to give your customers more value for their money!
While augmented products can incur extra costs, it’s not always the case. Additional perks like in-store financing or free delivery may be included without raising the price. Some businesses may even use product augmentation to stand out and charge more. However, the cost varies depending on the augmentation and company.
Yes, various customer segments may get targeted when marketing augmented goods. Enhancing a product with features and services is a common tactic to set it apart from comparable products offered by rivals and to cater to various customer groups. The product’s “augmented” aspect, which improves the product’s total value proposition, includes these extra features and services.