Whole product is exactly what you understand, but the impact and scope is much wider than you can imagine.
Any product, saas or app that we use is being used by every other user in a different way or may be similar. But sometimes, products are used by users in a different scenario or use cases for which the product is not meant for. This is how the “whole product” is defined.
In B2B we talk about the product to prospects in various aspects, and the prospects always evaluate the product from various verticals.
Products introduced inside the company are meant to become a part of the existing processes inside the organization, the people who will interact with it and also the standards being implemented by the organization.
So how do you strategize if a product can be a part of the prospect’s organization?
The whole product concept helps you figure out all the scenarios where your product can be a fit and what is the scope for the product in future as well.
Understanding “The whole product concept”
This concept is covered in following stages: the core product, generic product, expected product, augmented product and potential product.
Before we start to talk about it in detail, make a note for yourself that you have to focus on “BENEFITS” not “FEATURES”. Alot of us while building the products, get so inclined and restricted to only think about features and what is there on the screens that we actually forget about the customers perspectives and end up with a complex product which might lead to failure.
- The core product: When you build something based on your vision, if it is a MVP which clearly only talks about the benefits that the customer will get and which aligns to your vision behind the product. This is the lowest version of the product that you are building but exactly does what it should do to qualify the vision and this is where you put the most value in the product.
- The generic product: This is where you are playing currently, the product, app or saas that you are building. It is the composition of all the features that you are putting inside the product. Along with the core features, the value added services that you are providing as a part of the product, the branding, colors, themes, styling, quality and packaging.
- The expected product: This is the product that the consumer thought they were buying when they bought the generic product. It is the minimum configuration of products and services necessary to have any chance of achieving the buying objective. To achieve a goal or use case from the product, you assume the product to have all the capabilities to help you achieve that. But in many cases, the product is dependent on other products as well to form up the whole system to help you achieve the use case. Eg, to use Adobe products, you need a high configuration device to support the product. So most of the times, consumers feel demotivated about the product if they need to take care of the dependencies.
- The augmented product: This is very important for a consumer to make their buying decision. The augmented product describes in what all ways or scenarios the product will work or can work in future. These functionalities or benefits are those which are fulfilled by the product outside the product as a part of the ecosystem. So the consumers always try to align what all they can achieve from this product in future.
- The potential product: Most of the B2B clients always look for the potential in a product to make a decision in the choices they have for the same product. They look for integrations, modular parts or upcoming features in the product. Consumers look for the roadmap of the product, how well it aligns to the future requirements of the companies and how well it will be a fit in the future as well.
The concept helps you and your consumers to make sense of the product. It helps us realize that the core or the features of the product plays a partial role in closing any deal or becoming the choice of the customers, it’s mostly about the added advantages of the product because this drives the experience and interest of the consumer in the product.