The ‘augmented product’ became a valuable addition to the marketer’s toolbox back in the 80’s, and stands the test of time.
In a largely service-oriented economy, augmented services can lead to new sales of core products, share-shifts, and more.
Examples of augmented services include:
- In the hotel sector: the core product is a ‘safe and clean room’, which is ultimately augmented by things that aren’t necessarily directly connected to the core service (of a bed), which can include: wifi, breakfast bars, fitness services, spas, etc.
- Starbucks has augmented their core product – a good cup of coffee – with services that aren’t necessarily connected to the core product – items include: music, gift cards, pre-paid cards, and lollipops
There are 4 levels to the process:
- Excel at core-service delivery
- Excel at feature delivery
- Upsell of aligned benefits
- Include aligned benefits to develop sustained cross-sell opportunity and loyalty building
The first two levels need to be nailed down first
There’s no point in moving forward unless the first two levels are nailed-down:
- The inner/core level, in which the business delivers its core benefits with flawless execution and good, but not necessarily loyal customer satisfaction.
- The next level focuses on the features necessary to support the delivery of the core benefit. Things like ‘answering the phone quickly’, ‘accurate billings’, ‘data entry’, and other block-and-tackling elements needed to deliver good-quality (but not necessarily customer ‘wowing’ quality).
Augmentations begin at level 3
Augmentations to your core service can include include:
- Product level branding
- Service/performance warranties
- Other services that are meaningful to the customer, but are not necessarily directly connected to the core product.
The big wins come at Level 4
Significant opportunity for sustained growth can be realized by providing aligned services to augment your core service:
Here are some suggestions:
- Integrate a Roadside Assistance platform into the sale of every car insurance policy
- Integrate a thematically-aligned Consumer Savings platform into the sale of every policy, to communicate your understanding of your customer’s needs, and desire to act as a partner in not just protecting their losses, but protecting the household budgets
- Integrate a consumer-centric ‘ticketing’ service, much like CAA’s outlets that provide discounts on entry fees to Disney, theatre tickets, and more.
- Integrate a direct-to-consumer total-budget savings program (this is where Simone Group can help).
- Provide financial planning and estate planning services to your CU Members