Product-services: a specific value proposition
This chapter reviews terms and definitions mainly used in the sustainability-oriented literature and explores how the business literature tries to describe business systems. The idea of serviceless products or productless services is thus flawed. In reality there is a spectrum from product-dominant entities to service-dominant entities. 'Product-service' and 'product-service systems' are terms that are hardly used in the mainstream business literature. Usually, what business puts on a market is described as an 'offer', 'offering' or 'value proposition'. The chapter looks at the definitions of product-services and their 'production' systems in the more sustainability-oriented literature, and the terminology used in business literature, a few things stand out. What the sustainability-oriented literature calls the 'system' is nothing more and nothing less than the combination of the value network, technological architecture and revenue model. Putting a product-service on the market rather than a product hence implies first and foremost an innovation of the value proposition.