Marketers often surround their actual products with goods and services that provide additional value to the customer’s purchase. While these factors may not be key reasons leading customers to purchase (i.e., do not offer core benefits), for some customers the inclusion of these items strengthens the purchase decision while for others failure to include these may cause the customer not to buy. Items considered part of the augmented product include:
- Guarantee – This provides a level of assurance that the product will perform up to expectations and, if not, the company marketing the product will support the customer’s decision to replace, repair, or return the product for a refund.
- Warranty – This offers customers a level of protection often extending past the guarantee period to cover repair or replacement of certain product components.
- Customer Service – As noted in the Managing Customer Tutorial, these services support customers through such methods as training, repair, and other types of assistance.
- Complementary Products – The value of some product purchases is enhanced with add-ons or complementary products. Such items make the main product easier to use or use in more situations (e.g., laptop carry bag), provides more protection (e.g., cellphone case), or extends functionality (e.g., portable keyboard for tablet computers). Complementary products can also include services. For instance, receiving free tire rotation for the life of the tires. .
- Availability – How customers obtain the product can affect its perceived value depending on such considerations as how easy it is to obtain (e.g., stocked at nearby store, delivered directly to office), the speed at which it can be obtained, and the likelihood it will be available when needed.