Adaptable products live longer


Products deliver value to customers. Sometimes product values are fixed and can not be changed, while sometimes values can change. If values can not be changed eventually products cam become obsolete. If product values can change and add values, then they can have a longer life and be more competitive.

Below are examples of products that live longer by changing and adding values:

Aspirin was invented in 1897. Since then it was used by billions of people. With all the data collected on its use, its manufacturer Bayer AG, has noticed many new values. Each new value extended the market and life of the Aspirin. Pharmaceuticals have the capacity to be extended especially due to constant research that follows the use.

Adidas Originals
Adidas Originals are reproductions and updates on sport performance footwear and equipment from the middle or second half of the past century. They have been promoted as fashion and urban clothing. While they are not relevant as sports equipment, they have been much more profitable as fashion items. As time passes they are predisposition with celebrities and campaigns allowing them to generate long-term revenue.

Facebook is a digital product which changes constantly. Although recently there has been a slowdown in its creativity, in previous years Facebook has been very active in adding new features which made it more and more valuable to its customers – both users and advertisers. Digital projects in general are very flexible and allow rapid changes and additions of values extending the lives of products and brands.

Iron Man
Intellectual property such as characters and stories can be recycled and updated indefinitely. Customers are still enjoying thousand years-old tales. Some companies, such as Disney, are very good at building their IP products by constantly adding new more contemporary values and licensing them to merchandisers or making merchandise themselves.

To design products which might have a long-term life it is important to immediately include the possibility of changing and adding values. Product, in a way, must act as a platform for delivering values, and not a set of fixed values which can not change. This way long-term competitiveness is maximized and risk is minimized. Sometimes a dying product can be saved by changing its values as well.

Written by: Nikola Tosic
Publishing date: 23 Jan 2019