Product Life Cycle

Product Life Cycle

A graphic visualisation of the ‘life cycle’ of a product that shows the relationship between sales and time. It can also be drawn to compare time, costs and revenue etc.

The product life cycle is an important concept when developing a marketing strategy, each stage should suggest the emphasis of marketing effort.

Introduction

Raise awareness through advertising

Sell into supply chain

Target early adopters

Product might only offer basic features

Growth

Still need to generate high levels of awareness – possible develop Brand

Ensure high levels of coverage in supply chain – build relationships to create barriers

Consider reduced price to grow share

Develop product range to offer more features

Maturity

Prior to maturity there might be a period of shake-out Do you stop in the market or move to another?

Protect market share

Rationalise product range

Decline

Harvest profits

Remaining customer base migth be less price sensitive

Rationalise distribution

The life cycle stage is an important characteristic to consider when developing marketing strategies. Tools such as the Boston Consulting Group Matrix rely on an estimation of the stage in the life cycle that a product or strategic business unit (SBU) has reached.

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