Product Life Cycle can be defined as a sequence of stages a product moves through from its launch to its withdrawal from the market. The time a product spends in each stage of the cycle is different for every product.
A cycle can be made up of various phases which have been split up as follows: Introduction, Growth, Maturity, and Decline. In the diagram below you can see what this looks like:
Every stage has its own peculiarities and requires an appropriate marketing mix adjustment, which we will elaborate on later on in this article! First, though let’s go over the 4 types of products again quickly:
Product Life Cycle & Product Classifications – An Overview
The Product Life Cycle starts at the introduction stage where a product is launched into the market. After that, the product will enter the growth phase, followed by the maturity and decline stages. Every stage has its own peculiarities which are discussed below in detail!
While consulting for my client I was asked to research how to implement successful product marketing mix strategies – specifically, whether they should focus on one strategy or use all four throughout their new product development process. After some research, studying case studies, and relatively limited testing/iterations, I concluded that it depends on what type of products you’re selling. One thing is clear though: There isn’t one perfect recipe that applies across the board for every type of product!
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to product marketing mix strategies. Different customers and different industries require varied mixes in order to meet their needs and expectations. It’s up to the company selling them to choose how they go about doing so, but we feel that each of the four elements outlined in our Product Marketing Mix Model (Product, Promotion, Price, and Place), should be used in different stages of a new product launch.
So below you’ll find an outline of each stage along with some great advice from numerous industry leaders! Additionally, I’ve included my own case study research with results on whether or not these strategies worked within the context of the product itself – all done through quantitative and qualitative data analysis.
The stages outlined are not set in stone, but are simply a model to help you understand the progression of a new product launch. A successful strategy will take into account all aspects of the market, competitors, and most importantly the company itself. As is most often the case with business, there is no one size fits all solution.
All information below has been taken from reputable sources online and offline including websites, books, and magazines – most notably ” Product Launch Hazards: A Guide for Creating Successful New Products” written by Jim Novo.
New Product Introduction (NPI) Stage
During this stage, it’s important that you’re clear on what your product is going to offer consumers over your competition along with an understanding of the underlying benefits. It’s equally important to have an idea of what you want your new product to do for your business.
Before launching a new product, it’s important that you’re able to answer some key questions about it, including – what are its primary features, what type of customer is it aimed at, where will it be sold and how will the consumer benefit from using it?
The answers to these questions might be different depending on who you speak with but should reflect the same general points. This is because when developing a brand new product there are plenty of different perspectives that require consideration.
Product Life Cycle for many businesses, the launching of a new product is one of the most important events in their history. It can be difficult to know if your idea is good enough, but you should always endeavor to launch something that has value for the consumer because it should reflect well on your business.
The four stages are:-
– Product development – When you have an idea for a new product, you need to consider what other companies are doing in similar markets and how they’ve achieved success or met with failure. You should start this process by having an idea of what you want your new product to do for your business. This will allow you to determine whether there’s room in the marketplace for another brand offering something similar or if yours simply isn’t strong enough to claw its way in.
– Product Design – This is where you need to develop a prototype of your product that you can show off at trade fairs or give to retailers.
– Test Marketing – You’ll need to test market your product, which will allow you to see if it appeals to the right people and whether there are any possible problems with it. Think about how they use it, what they like about it and what improvements could be made.
– Go for Launch! Appraisal – Once your product has been through all four stages, you should have a good idea of the value of releasing the product into the marketplace. If this is positive (and hopefully higher than break-even) then go ahead! If not, go back and see if you can solve any of the problems identified.
If you want to minimize risk when launching a new product, you need to ensure that it has been thoroughly tested. This means taking it through four stages: Developmental Testing, Product Testing, Go for Launch! Appraisal and Market Research.
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