What is an incremental product?
An incremental product results from the development and improvement of an existing one by making minor upgrades while it’s on the market. The process is known as Incremental Innovation. It doesn’t involve taking significant leaps in technology or substantially impacting the market. As long as a change improves quality and reintroduces novelty, the final product can be called an incremental product.
Very few products on the market are ‘new.’ Most digital or physical products are better versions of the previous concepts. A good example is incorporating new technologies such as Bluetooth capability in computers and cars. Product teams don’t have to develop entirely new products to introduce the technology. Besides, consumers are already used to the product, so they get a similar incremental product but additional features.
When to Focus On Incremental Products
Every product team has to produce incremental products at some point. Failure to do this means losing a competitive advantage in the market. Product managers should start focusing on total products when the scale of the products allows for it. When the scale grows, it is the most financially correct time to invest in incremental innovation and avoid losses.
Incremental innovation also depends on the maturity of specific areas of your business. Incremental products are based on what already exists and your feedback for it. After releasing new products, product management teams must determine their reach and obtain feedback from the consumers. This information helps them make changes and incorporate the latest technology as the users prefer.
Benefits of Incremental Products
Incremental products are beneficial to consumers and organizations that produce them. Some of the key benefits are:
- In a rapidly changing market, innovation failures are high, and many businesses can’t afford to take risks. Developing new technology can ensure higher success rates, but it takes a lot of investment. Product managers are more focused on balancing risks with the nature of the market. Incremental products require making small, continuous, and precise advancements in production without putting an organization’s sustainability at risk.
- Most technological advancements are meant to fit existing products, and incremental products support new technology. Good examples are Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities added to previously disconnected devices like printers. They were invented as independent technology, but when entrepreneurs incorporated them into phones and computers, they grew in popularity and are now among the standout features of these products.
- Another critical advantage of incremental products is that they facilitate ongoing competitiveness in business. By improving their products, organizations create better versions of their products while continuing to profit from the previous ones. These innovations pressure their competitors to develop their versions as everyone looks to retain their market share and customers by staying top-of-mind in the industry with the latest updates and features.
- Incremental Products are cost-effective. An incremental strategy won’t break the bank, so a business can make minor enhancements without allocating considerable financial resources.
Incremental innovation enables product managers to improve products by making small-scale developments. When made consistently, these modifications can affect customer retention and improve the competitive advantage.