Downgrades are harder than upgrades. We saw this yesterday. Thanks to all the comments, I realize we have to discuss both technical capability and positioning.
Yesterday’s post sets the stage for the capability conversation. I wanted to migrate from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 10 Home. Pro is for the professionals/ companies, and Home is for home users. They both belong to the same generation of software. Microsoft has an offering to migrate from Home to Pro. But it has none for Pro to Home. This is the offering gap – available for upgrades but not for downgrades.
This lack of “downgrade-able” offerings is common across services. I wonder if it’s time to change this.
Digital Companies seem to be doing better. A Netflix HD customer can choose to downgrade to standard resolution or mobile-only plans. WordPress.com allows two-way movement across all their four tiers (free / freelancer/business/ enterprise). They support – even encourage – customers to move across levels as their needs evolve.
Is it time to pick a lesson from our Digital friends?
When you buy anything from a Digital company, you are branded cool. What you purchase is irrelevant. Moving to a lower tier is, therefore, a feature. However, traditional companies have “status” attached to offerings (think Platinum credit card), so it’s harder to position two-way mobility. Given the market need today, perhaps it’s time for them to reconsider. And the first step is to configure an offering.
So that’s it for today. Let’s close with two questions:
- Should we design products and services to go both ways?
- How do we position “downgrades” to make them acceptable? Minimalist and sustainability are two planks; what else?