Lesson 1: introduction to the product life cycle

Welcome to Lesson 1. In this section, you will learn some fundamental concepts of Life Cycle Management.

Before we start, your virtual assistant has something to say. Scan the QR code here on the right to have a quick overview about the page layout and the course structure.

The Product Life Cycle (PLC) is a sequence of stages from introduction to growth, maturity and decline through which most products progress.

The PLC has a significant impact on marketing strategy, the marketing mix and on New Product Development (1).

The different stages of a PLC curve are well described in the following video:

1. Introduction

  • product branding is established
  • intellectual property protection are obtained
  • pricing strategy defined
  • distribution channels identified
  • marketing strategy defined

Example: Microsoft HoloLens, a pair of mixed reality smartglasses developed and manufactured by Microsoft.

2. Growth

  • product quality is maintained and additional features and services may be added
  • pricing is maintained
  • distribution channels are added as demand increases
  • promotion is aimed to a broader audience

Example: 3D printers are now in this stage:

3. Maturity

  • Product features may be enhanced to differentiate the product from competitors
  • pricing is maintained
  • distribution becomes more intensive
  • promotion emphasizes product differentiation and new features

Example: iPhone. Over the past 10 years it has gone through a number of functional and aesthetic changes as Apple has sought to defend the product’s market position: 

4. Decline

  • Maintain the product on the market possibly adding new features to find new users
  • Reduced pricing
  • Discontinue the product, liquidate remaining inventory

Examples: Compact cameras are defenitely in the decline stage.

Product life cycles are getting shorter for different reasons:

The effect is is well depicted in the following picture:

Product life cycles are getting shorter
Figure 1: Product life cycles are getting shorter

References

01) Geracie, G and Eppinger, S 2013, The Guide to the Product Management and Marketing Body of Knowledge

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