What is Augmented Product? Definition, Features, Benefits, Examples, and Strategy

What is an Augmented Product?

An augmented product refers to a product that has been enriched by its seller through the inclusion of extra features or services, setting it apart from similar products offered by competitors. These enhancements often encompass intangible benefits or add-ons that go beyond the core product.

For instance, cosmetics companies might offer complimentary makeovers or travel-size samples as augmented features to their products. Augmented products can manifest as added benefits or exclusive services that strengthen the primary product. This approach allows sellers to provide clients with added value at no extra cost, such as offering warranties.

In essence, an augmented product represents an original product that has been amplified by the manufacturer with supplementary features, benefits, or services to heighten its value. This strategy helps products distinguish themselves in the market while delivering extra advantages to consumers.

Augmented products come in various forms, including tangible items like free samples or intangible perks like extended warranties. They are instrumental in attracting customers and enhancing the overall appeal of a product.

What is Product Augmentation?

Product augmentation also called augmentation of products means a process of enhancing a product by adding extra features, services, or benefits to make it more attractive to customers.

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These additions go beyond the core product, like warranties, free installation, or discounts, and aim to provide added value without raising the price. It’s a strategy to stand out in a competitive market, offering customers more than just the basic product.

Augmentation involves three product levels: the core product (main benefit), the actual product (tangible form), and the augmented product (extra perks). Ultimately, product augmentation boosts customer satisfaction, loyalty, and a company’s competitiveness.

Characteristics of Augmented Product

Augmented products come with various features and attributes that are directed to attract more customers. Here are the five key features of augmented products.

Value-Adding Features

Augmented products are like gifts with purchase. Think of them as bonus features or services that sweeten the deal. For instance, when you buy a smartphone, the augmented product might include free earphones or a protective case.

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Competitive Edge

Augmentation helps products stand out in a crowd. It’s like putting a shining spotlight on your product in a dark room full of similar items. This extra charm makes customers choose your product over others.

Enhanced Customer Experience

Augmented products elevate the overall shopping experience. Imagine you buy a new TV, and the store offers free installation. This not only saves you time but also ensures the TV works perfectly from the start.

Differentiation from Competitors

Augmentation sets your product apart from rivals. Imagine a burger joint that offers free fries with every burger. It becomes the go-to place because of that little extra.

Increased Customer Loyalty

When customers feel they’re getting more value for their money, they come back for more. It’s like making new friends by sharing your toys. Augmented products build trust and loyalty, keeping customers coming back for the long haul.

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Three Levels of Product Hierarchy

In 3 levels of product hierarchy, the augmented product comes after core and actual products. Let’s shortly look at them:

  • Core Product: Think of the core product as the fundamental benefit a customer seeks. For example, if you want entertainment, the core product is fun or enjoyment. It’s the “why” behind your purchase.
  • Actual Product: This is what you actually get, the tangible item or service. For entertainment, it could be a movie ticket or a game console. It’s the “what” you hold in your hands.
  • Augmented Product: Imagine this as the extra stuff that makes your experience even better. It’s like getting popcorn and comfy seats at the movies or a warranty on your game console. These extras enhance your “what” with added value.

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Benefits of Augmented Product

The main purpose of augmented products is to attract more customers and increase sales. In addition to this, the following are the five key benefits product augmentation offers to businesses.

Boosted Sales and Profits

Augmented products are like magnets for customers. They draw people in because they offer something extra. When you offer bonuses, warranties, or free trials, it’s like giving them a taste of a delicious dish before they order. This increases sales and profits because more people want what you’re offering.

Loyal Customer

Augmented products are the secret sauce for building a fan club. Imagine if your favorite pizza place not only delivered your pizza but also threw in a free dessert. Customers love these surprises. They keep coming back, and they bring their friends. That’s how you build a loyal fan base.

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Marketplace Dominance

Augmented products help you become the model of your industry. When you offer something extra, you stand out. It’s like being the superhero in a sea of regular folks. This dominance helps you achieve your marketing goals by becoming the go-to brand in your niche.

Positive Brand Image

Augmentation polishes your brand image. It’s like putting a shiny coat on your car. When you consistently offer added value, your brand becomes associated with quality, trust, and excellence. This attracts more customers and helps you reach your marketing success faster.

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Augmented products are the talk of the town. When customers get something unexpected and delightful, they can’t help but tell their friends. It’s like a ripple effect, spreading the word about your awesome offerings. This word-of-mouth marketing is like having an army of promoters working for you.

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Examples of Augmented Products

So far we understand what augmented products are and how they work. However, let’s just point out some examples of augmented products.

  • Tech Gadgets: Smartphones bundled with free screen protectors or phone cases.
  • Coffee Shops: Loyalty cards with a free coffee after a certain number of purchases.
  • Car Dealerships: Free maintenance services for the first year of ownership.
  • Shoe Brands: Shoes with a one-year warranty that covers repairs.
  • Software Companies: One-month free trials of premium software packages.
  • Fitness Trackers: Inclusion of personalized training plans.
  • Fast-Food Chains: Combos that include a free dessert.
  • Online Retailers: Free returns and exchanges for clothing.
  • Hotels: Complimentary airport shuttle services for guests.
  • E-book Subscriptions: Access to exclusive author interviews and content.
  • Credit Cards: Extended warranty protection on purchases.
  • Grocery Stores: Loyalty programs with discounts and free products.
  • Streaming Music Services: Curated playlists and personalized song recommendations.
  • Smartphone Manufacturers: Bundling free headphones or chargers.
  • Car Manufacturers: Free roadside assistance for a specified period after purchase.

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Strategies For Product Augmentation

To effectively augment products, start by understanding your target audience’s needs and preferences. Conduct market research to identify which enhancements would resonate most with your customers.

Next, ensure that the augmented features align with your brand’s values and core product. Communicate these extras clearly in your marketing materials, emphasizing how they benefit customers.

Finally, regularly gather feedback to fine-tune your augmentation strategies based on customer input, keeping your product offerings fresh and appealing. In addition to this, follow these 4 strategies:

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Value-Added Services

Enhance your product with valuable services that improve the overall customer experience. For instance, if you sell electronics, offer free installation, setup, or troubleshooting services. These extras make your product more appealing and user-friendly, increasing customer satisfaction.

Warranties and Guarantees

Provide assurances to customers through warranties and guarantees. This strategy instills confidence by promising repairs or replacements if the product encounters issues within a specified period. It demonstrates your commitment to quality and reliability, reducing purchase hesitation.

Exclusive Bundles

Create bundles that combine your product with complementary items. For example, if you sell cameras, bundle them with memory cards, camera bags, and tripods. Bundles not only increase the value proposition but also encourage customers to buy more.

Loyalty Programs

Implement loyalty programs that reward repeat customers. Offer discounts, free products, or access to exclusive content based on the customer’s purchase history. These programs incentivize loyalty, turning one-time buyers into long-term advocates.

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