Product Life Cycle: Definition, Theory & Stages

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Meaning:

A product, when it is new, advances through an arrangement of stages from incubation to development, maturity, as well as decline. This progression is identified as the product life cycle and is linked with alterations in the marketing condition, consequently affecting the marketing methodology and the marketing mix.

Definition:

Product Life Cycle is defined as, “the cycle through which every product goes through from introduction to withdrawal or eventual demise.”

Product Life CycleImage Title: Product Life Cycle Stages

The life of most products can be divided into five key stages:

a) Development

b) Introduction

c) Growth

d) Maturity

e) Decline

The above diagram depicts a typical Product Life Cycle.

Stages of Product Life Cycle

1. Introduction phase

In the introduction phase, the business firm tries to fabricate product awareness plus create a market for the product. The effect on the marketing mix is:

  • Product branding as well as the quality level is launched and intellectual property protection like trademarks and patents are received.
  • Pricing is perhaps low diffusion pricing to get market share speedily, or elevated skim pricing to recuperate development expenses.
  • Distribution is specific until shoppers show acknowledgement of the product.
  • Promotion is intended for pace-setters and early on accepters. Advertising correspondences look to construct product awareness and educate possible purchasers about the product.

2. Growth phase

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In the growth phase, the firm tries to construct brand fondness and augment market share.

  • Product quality is kept up and additional characteristics plus backup services may be included.
  • Pricing is kept up, as the firm benefits from rising demand with modest competition.
  • Distribution channels are included as demand boosts and consumers acknowledge the product.
  • Promotion is intended for a wider audience.

3. Maturity phase

At maturity, the steady increase in sales reduces. Competition may show up with products that are alike. The principal aim at this stage is to preserve market share even as profit is maximized.

  • Product attributes may be upgraded to distinguish the competitors’ product.
  • Pricing may be lower in light of the new rivalry.
  • Distribution turns into more exhaustive and inducements may be presented so that preference can be promoted over rival products.
  • Promotion underlines product differentiation.

4. Decline phase

As sales decline, the business firm has quite a lot of alternatives:

  • Preserve the product, probably restoring it by including new attributes and discovering new applications.
  • Harvest the product – diminish expenses and keep on offering it, conceivably to a reliable niche section.
  • Ceasing the product, selling remaining stock, or offering it to an alternate firm that is eager to proceed with the product, is another option.

Applications:

The Product Life Cycle idea helps advertising managers to arrange alternate marketing schemes to deal with the challenges that the products are liable to confront. It additionally helps to check sales returns and contrasts them with those products which have the same kind of life cycle.

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