In recent years, we’ve learned about friending, showrooming, tweeting, pinning, blogging, twerking (oops, how did that show up here? ๐Ÿ™‚ ), and a whole lot more.

Today, we can add “upgradia” to our lexicon. It’s really a concept that’s been around for a while, but only now can a term for this practice be added added to our marketing vocabulary. And it is a key emerging concept for marketers and product managers.

According to

“The old model of physical consumption โ€“ purchase, use, declare obsolete, discard โ€“ is being overturned by a new model: one founded on constant improvement, upgrade, and iteration.”

“UPGRADIA: Driven by consumers’ thirst for quicker, more seamless access to the new (in ways that are cheaper, more sustainable, and more participatory) and facilitated by emerging technologies, the constant stream of upgrades and iterations typical of the digital ecosystem is coming to the world of physical objects.”

What is driving upgradia? has identified several factors, including these:

  • Infinite Newism — “The digital-inspired expectation of perpetual, instant upgrades meets new physical world technologies”
  • Relentless Product Evolution
  • More for Less — “Upgrades satisfy consumersโ€™ deepest desires: less money, less guilt”
  • Hacker Chic — “The status and excitement of DIY [do-it-yourself] upgrades”
  • Every Object Connected — “Turning โ€˜dumbโ€™ objects โ€“ think TVs, cars, and more โ€“ smart is the key upgradia innovation.”

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7 Replies to “Upgradia: Another Term for the Marketing Vocabulary”

  1. I feel that having the ability to upgrade products that one buys makes the consumer feel like the product will last longer and be able to keep up with the rapid changing times. Often, especially in technology, things come and go so quickly that its almost impossible to keep up with what is new. By providing the consumer with a way to upgrade what they already have, they feel as if they can keep up with the times all the while saving time and money. In addition, being able to upgrade a product is so much easier than buying a completely new item.

  2. Very interesting concept to think about. As a consumer, I can certainly relate to wanting the newest thing. I think this comes from our belief that the “newest version” will be the best. I know many people who are waiting to get a new phone for when the iPhone 6 is released! I personally have not even heard anything about the iPhone 6! We have this deep rooted trust and expectation in these brands such as Apple that they will produce something better, smaller, slimmer, brighter, cheaper, faster etc. Additionally, every time I turn on my iPad I will have to update my apps. This is an example of upgradia because I am not paying for anything when I upgrade- I am getting a better version of something that I paid for once. Sort of like a “living document” except it is a “living payment” and it is much appreciated.

  3. I agree with both commentators. In today’s (especially younger) consumers’ philosophies, newer is always better.

    I absolutely agree with Rachel with her example about the iPhone 6. I will be purchasing a tablet in the next week and all I have done as far as research goes is Google “newest Apple tablet”. Now I am sure that I am not the most educated buyer but I think that I represent a very prevailing trend in consumer psychographics. I think this is a very marked departure from older generations like my parents’. I was telling my mom the other day about how I was getting tired of my phone and I felt that it was getting slower and I could not wait till my contract was up and I got a new phone and she was arguing that a good phone should last at least 5 years. I realized that I have been ingrained with the mindset that as a product gets old, it gets worse. This is why my faith in my laptop’s ability (which in reality is as excellent as ever minus a dead battery) is wavering and every time I step into Best Buy, that MacBook Pro looks at me extremely seductively.

    The factors that you mentioned are interesting too especially “hacker-chic” and “more for less”. I completely relate to the excitement of DIY upgrades and “more for less”; I think these factors also increase consumer lifetime value because the customer adds personal value to the brand and the product the longer he/she has it and upgrades definitely increase the life of a product

  4. This new term shows how different society is today from society only fifty years ago. We have so many terms for upgrading technology, creating better technology, etc. The ability to upgrade products can help keep those products on the market for longer. For example, the iphone has been around for a pretty long time but the upgrades in the looks and technology are what has made it able to stay around and stay so popular.

  5. Personally, I think upgrading products rather than replacing them is a brilliant idea. If people really love a product they want to have it for as long as possible. Having to replace, say a phone, just because the technology is “outdated” is such a bother. Learning the new controls and where everything is on the new phone is a hassle and nobody truly enjoys doing this. Apple is the perfect example of a company doing nothing but upgrades. Their computers are essentially the same, but “better”, the iPods, iPads and iPhones are the same/similar to their original designs, but they are just up to date with better, faster, more efficient technology. In my opinion, I think it is great that all of these products are so similar, because it saves me time on learning new products. I know I am willing to go buy an iPad before I would say buy a Kindle, simply because I know how the iPad works because I have the iPhone. Upgrading products rather than replaces them also gives people the feeling of a connection with a company and the sense that they have the same phone for longer periods of time, for example. I think it’s great!

  6. Currently, with new technology being developed daily, we are more susceptible to falling behind than ever before. Apple and Google are producing new versions of phones and software throughout the year; therefore, the phone you purchased a month ago has a fraction of the capabilities of the new version. It’s not surprising that many companies are now offering packages wherein you can use a phone, computer, video game, etc. for x number of weeks, months, or years and finally upgrade afterward. People do not want to be “stuck with” an old version or model of something when everyone else is up to date. The timeline for planned obsolescence has drastically shrunk and will most likely continue to shrink in the foreseeable future.

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