The 6 Stages of the Product Life Cycle

May 1, 2020

As business owners, it’s essential to understand how your marketing tactics and strategies will change over time with the 6 Stages of the Product Life Cycle. Understanding the cycle is the key businesses need to make decisions on how to grow and mature in the marketplace.

Stages of the Product Life Cycle

Development

Introduction

Growth

Maturity

Saturation

Decline

 

1.Development

The development stage is the research phase or the foundation before a product is even introduced in the market. Typically this stage involves investors, prototypes, test product effectiveness, and strategies for their launch. This stage requires a spend money, to make money kind of attitude before it can make an introduction.

2. Introduction

Three words: marketing and advertising. During the introduction stage sale is low and  there is slow demand for the product. Investing in product awareness and reaching out to potential customers is a crucial stepping stone for the next stage -growth. 

3. Growth

In this stage, there is an increase in demand and profits are growing which means potential competitors want in on the success. The growing phase is where marketing tactics change from getting customers to buy-in to the product to establishing a brand presence so consumers choose them over developing competitors. Once the product is recognized it leads to the next stage- maturity. 

4. Maturity

The maturity stage is where sales begin to level off and competitors become more efficient to stay in the game.This stage is also the most profitable due to the decreasing cost of production while having an increase in sales. Learning the mistakes made in the introduction and growth stages is how a company will move on. This means your product features will have to be enhanced, prices might be lowered, and distribution becomes more intensive for the next stage -saturation.

5. Saturation

Congratulations, the product has made it this far! The saturation stage is where a portion of the market has been taken over by competitors and sales do not grow or drop.It is also when you want your product to stand out the most so you don’t enter the decline stage. This is the phase where marketing tactics shift to different features, brand awareness, price, and customer service. Failure to make your product a preferred brand in the marketplace will experience the next stage- decline. 

6. Decline

This is the end. In this stage consumers might lose interest in your product as time goes on. Normally, a company will either discontinue their product, sell their company, or innovate their product in some way. However, companies have been successful in extending their Product Life Cycle. Those that continue implement new advertising strategies, reduce their price, explore new markets, or adjust brand packaging.

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