Potential product entails all the changes and enhancements an actual product could go through in the future so that it could perform better. These modifications and transformations are signs a company is continuously improving and innovating its products, thereby creating and/or sustaining its brand and brand loyalty. For example, when QWERTY keypad mobile phones were a thing, touchscreen devices were not around. But the technology was eventually adopted and implemented into mobile phones. A touchscreen therefore was the “potential” when phones with keypads were in their prime.
A potential product entices and reinstates customers’ confidence in a product or brand. It ensures a product doesn’t stagnate and stays abreast with industry trends and competition. Consumers buying a software application because they know the program would be supported with future upgrades is an example of buyers investing into the software’s “potential”. At times, such potential upgrades are promised by the seller and there are also instances when businesses try to pleasantly surprise their patrons with unannounced updates. For example, extension of official software support is a pleasant surprise.
A potential product can be a huge success or turn out a complete dud. For example, when Samsung came up with big screen mobile phones, it was a potential it tried that was welcomed by buyers and later embraced by the industry. The phablet worked because it came during a time when tablet computers were selling well.
LG, on the other hand, didn’t meet a similar fate when it tried to mainstream modularity with its LG G5 smartphone. The concept was not well-received as the modular components were expensive and also switching between modules was a task. Moreover, the modularity didn’t seem to address any particular customer requirement.
The key takeaway here is to incorporate changes into a product only after considering what the customer wants. In other words, it’s important to look at things from the customer’s point of view and learn what’s trending. Forward-thinking firms function under the notion that they can always offer more to their customers potential-wise.