An augmented product is added to a competitor's products to stand out from its competitor's products. The product may have been enhanced with exclusive features or can refer to free delivery or samples. Technology companies augment their products frequently by adding additional features and offering free accessories. E-commerce stores offer free delivery and samples. Product augmentation isn’t always tangible — product augmentation can refer to benefits too.
There are three levels to a product: the core product, the actual product, and the augmented product. It’s important to note the differences between the levels.
You may think that this is the physical product, but it’s actually the step before. What is the main benefit or need of this product? What purpose does it serve, and how will it make the customer’s life easier? Will the product make them healthier, save them time, or keep them safe?
The product team must turn this intangible core product into a physical one. However, it also refers to the design, packaging, product features, and branding, which are all encompassed in the actual product. Every feature should be thought of strategically and line up with the core product.
This is everything added on after the actual product is made. Again, each add-on should tie back to the need of the product. These augmentations don’t alter the product per se, but they should add value to the end product.
Many brands give away travel-sized samples of products for the customer to try. They can also be a way to gain feedback from customers on a new product.
A popular augmentation is offering discounts. However, some businesses only offer them to new customers. Try to reward loyalty with discounts for repeat customers, so they feel valued.
A popular choice for e-commerce businesses, free delivery is a great way to add value. If you offer it when customers spend a certain amount, many will increase their basket spend to reach the threshold.
Another intangible product is exceptional customer service. Putting the customer at the forefront of the business and ensuring they feel valued is an important way to augment your product and set it apart from the competition.
Some products, such as software, require updating frequently. Offering previous customers free updates provides a good user experience.
For high-value items, an extended warranty can be included or purchased for a longer time period. Providing a warranty in case of faults or issues with the product helps show your customers that you stand behind your products.
Again, for larger household items and tech products, free installation can be a huge time saver for the customer. It means the customer can relax, knowing an expert is setting up their product.
For most products, it’s common courtesy to provide refunds or exchanges. Faulty goods should always be refunded, but credit notes and exchanges can be suggested for other returns.
Another popular augmentation for software is a free trial. Many customers like to sample a product before subscribing, so let them try out your full software for a short time or create a pared-down version people can try for free.