Complementary Products

I was going to write a blog about the wonderful world of Personal Video Recorders (PVR’s) A.K.A Foxtel IQ, TiVo, My Sky… when it got me thinking. In the world of Product Management, what have PVR’s done for the subscription TV industry?

A PVR is essentially a complementary product to your TV subscription that can completely change your everyday viewing experience. I now have a library of great TV to watch when I want to watch it (with control over the ads), I can pause a program if the phone rings or rewind something if I missed it. Functional features of the PVR mean that customers are consuming more of their subscription TV product.

The PVR has created a greater value proposition which has lead to an increase in the potential market for pay-TV subscribers and the increased ‘stickiness’ of an existing customer.

A loose definition of a complementary product might be a product that is used in conjunction with an existing product to enhance the user experience. If you have a better definition – feel free to submit it.

There are many examples of complementary products according to our definition above – hands free kit for mobile phones, remote controls (when they were first invented), iPod capable BMW’s or a subwoofer for your stereo.

If complementary products can deliver benefits such as increased revenue, customer acquisition and retention, surely as a Product Manager we should consider how complementary products can help us with the product portfolio(s) we work with.