Every product has a life cycle. And every product class has a life cycle. The life cycle is generally broken down into four parts. A graphical representation of the Product Life Cycle is shown below:
The four stages are defined as: (From a business to consumer B2C point of view.) (Added links for further explanation of each stage.)
- Introduction– Here the company tries to educate the consumer about how the product works, why its needed and work on distribution of the product.
- Growth– Now that consumers know more about the product, companies try to build brand loyalty and increase their market share.
- Maturity– Sales begins to slow and competitors appear to have the same or similar product. Companies are trying to defend market share.
- Decline– A product may become obsolete, need to be revamped or just continues to make sales. Some products do not face being obsolete.
The picture shows one way a product life cycle may evolve. Sometimes it may cycle back and forth between maturity and growth due to innovations of ideas. Where is Your product on this curve? Just because it is in the Introduction or Decline stage, doesn’t mean you should or shouldn’t be marketing the product.
In future posts I will talk about each stage in more detail.
Know the Life Cycle,