Does product augmentation matter?

Introduction to the student activity

Product augmentation is one of the three (sometimes five, depending upon the model being used) levels to describe a product.

At the center of the model is typically the core customer need or core  value being offered– in other words, what is the customer truly buying? Understanding of the core need/value is helpful for identifying indirect and substitute competitors.

At the next level of the product level model, is the actual product – how it has been physically constructed. This is how a consumer would describe the product or service.

And finally there is the product augmentation, where additional benefits are provided, outside of the design of the product.  For more information on these concepts, please review this article on the three product levels The Marketing Study Guide.

Student Exercise – Is product augmentation important?

Here is a promotional ad for the car brand Kia. As you can see it is a relatively straightforward ad, promoting its seven warranty on all its new cars.

You should note that it does not discuss any features of the car, except for showing three models. However, the centerpiece message is clearly the warranty.

This indicates that Kia believes that this is a key point of difference (differentiation) and will allow their car brand to win greater market share.

However, as we know, people have distinct car brand preferences and are buying a car – not a service/repair warranty?

Discussion questions

  1. In which of the three levels of a product (core need/value, actual, augmentation) would this warranty be classified to?
  2. Why do you think the brand is using this to help differentiate their products, rather than features of the car itself?
  3. Do you think that this is an effective strategy in winning market share?
  4. Is there a likely target market that this sort of offer would appeal to?
  5. What recommendations would you have for Kia if you were their communications/promotional mix advisor?
Related activities

How this Product Augmented?

Using the Product Levels

Product Levels/Dimensions