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Complementary Product

This article covers meaning & overview of Complementary Product from marketing perspective

Published by MBA Skool Team in Marketing and Strategy Terms Last Updated: April 02, 2023Read time:

What is Complementary Product?

A complementary product is a product whose use is directly related to the use of another base or associated product such that a surge in demand for one product results in an increase in demand for the other.

In terms of economics, if the price of one good is reduced, it results in the increase of demand for both products. Similarly if the price of one good rises and consequently reduces its demand, it might reduce the demand for the complementary product as well.

Often the complementary product can be assumed to have little or no value when consumed alone. But when it’s paired with another product or service, as a combination they offer much greater value to consumers.

Let us consider the example of cars and car tires. For simplicity, let’s also assume that all cars use similar tires. In the absence of cars, car tires have no value and vice-versa. To understand the financial implications, let’s use the demand supply curve. Suppose the initial price of car tires is P and the quantity demanded is Q- corresponding to a demand curve D for cars. If for certain reasons the price of car tires comes down to P*, the quantity demanded goes up to Q*. If we go by the demand-supply curve and assume the supply of cars to be constant, we can easily claim that the demand curve would shift and the demand for cars would also go up from D to D*.

When tubeless tires had not become commercially viable, even tubes and tires could be considered complementary products although tubes are replaced more often than tires.

Some more examples could be:

- Poster colours and paint brushes

- Canvas sheets and oil paints

- Cheeseburgers and burger buns

- Playstation 3 and PS3 compatible game CDs


Hence, this concludes the definition of Complementary Product along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team which comprises of MBA students, management professionals, and industry experts. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

Browse the definition and meaning of more similar terms. The Management Dictionary covers over 1800 business concepts from 5 categories.

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