An incremental product is the result of on-going improvement and development, via a series of small upgrades or improvements. This process is known as incremental product innovation and, quite often, the original product is still functional, with a newer version also available, too.
When you really think about it, very few products can truly be classified as “new”.
Instead, most products — whether digital or physical — are improvements or evolutions on existing ideas and solutions. Whether it’s the phones in our pockets or the cars on our driveways, these technologies are always being improved and upgraded in small ways. This is incremental product innovation in action, and it’s the business equivalent of evolution.
Incremental products are essential to modern consumer behaviors, whether customers are aware of it or not! Here are the key benefits of incremental product innovation:
Support for new technology is added to existing products. For example, Bluetooth in car stereos or Wi-Fi on laptops.
Incremental products are more cost-effective for the brands who develop them. These smaller changes are more affordable to develop, yet still deliver tangible improvements to the products for consumers.
Incremental product innovation ensures that competition remains high across all sectors. For example, if one SaaS platform adds a certain feature, it’s usually not long before its competitors do the same. This is a good thing for the end user, and keeps the market moving.