Assistant Professor of Marketing Nga Ho-Dac, Ph.D., and Professor of Marketing Minu Kumar, Ph.D., both from the Lam Family College of Business at San Francisco State University, along with Indiana University-Bloomington Professor of Marketing Rebecca Slotegraaf, Ph.D., define a new category of products called “continuous improvement products” and investigate an approach to market them successfully in their new article published in The Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science (JAMS).
They describe continuous improvement products as follows:
"Firms are increasingly creating products as assemblages of hardware, software, and data that can be upgraded post-purchase (Hoffman and Novak 2018; Vargo and Lusch 2016). The pervasive rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), push technology, and cloud services has also enabled firms to create products and services that can be repeatedly improved after a consumer’s initial purchase, through hardware, software, and data modifications. For example, the Tesla Model S, Samsung Family Hub refrigerator, and Phillips Hue Lightbulbs all use remote software releases from the firm to add improved features and functions post-purchase. Machine learning and AI (artificial intelligence) products such as chat bots, facial recognition, and self-driving cars continuously receive upgrades from the firm to improve their functionality over time. Smart farming solutions that include IoTs, sensors, geo-positioning system, big data, and robotics (e.g., unmanned drones) are also continuously improved post-purchase via software upgrades, data upgrades, or hardware modifications."