The total product concept is how companies and salespeople can analyze a product and market and sell it more effectively. The concept delineates a product using the following four dimensions: the generic, the expected, the augmented and the potential product dimension.
The generic product dimension provides the most essential benefits that address the basic purpose of a product. At this level, it’s important for the customer to realize the basic definition of a product and the needs it meets.
The expected product dimension indicates the basic features a customer takes into consideration when buying a specific product. Products that accomplish nothing more than their base, expected functionality are sold at low prices and marketed accordingly.
The augmented, or value-added, product dimension is where a company or a salesperson analyzes all the features and advantages of a product that go beyond its basic functionality. The added value and the extra benefits are reflected in the higher price range of such products.
The potential product dimension considers the future of a product and the ways it can be further improved. Through market research and the analysis of customer needs, a company can update a product once the added value of the previous dimension becomes the norm that customers expect.