The product life cycle is the period from the conceptualization stage until removing the product from the market. While products may stay in the maturity stage, their decline or removal from the market is inevitable. The concept of product life cycle helps the individuals involved, such as the management, sales, and marketing teams and product marketing consultant, to decide various factors that can help increase the product’s sales.
Thus, it becomes essential to understand the various stages of the product life cycle if you want to reap maximum benefits. In this blog, we will discuss the six stages involved in the product life cycle.
This phase involves researching before the product is introduced to the market. This is one of the lengthiest stages in the cycle. It involves multiple tasks such as arranging funds and investors, stakeholder analysis, prototype development, and strategizing the product launch. This stage consists of a lot of capital investment, and there are no immediate returns. Thus, businesses should be financially capable during the development stage. Shortage of funds can delay or even halt the product development and launch.
This is where the product is launched in the market and available for the target customers to use. During this stage, the marketing and sales team create awareness about the product. They try to ensure that the product gains maximum exposure. In the initial stages, the demand for the product is low as not many people are aware of it. The demand for the product increases gradually with time.
Companies can use various channels for marketing, such as traditional marketing or digital marketing. In traditional marketing, they can make use of human resources to market the product. The digital marketing strategies include SEO, SMM, and SEM.
The product sees the growth stage once the consumers have accepted the product and are satisfied with it. This helps you recover the initial investment and earn profits, helping in the growth of the business. However, in this stage, the competition from other brands increases. Thus, the marketing needs to shift accordingly. You will need to focus on creating a marketing strategy such that the customers will choose your products over your competitors. You will also need to add more features to the product or provide after-sales support to keep the growth.
After the initial growth period, the product reaches the maturity stage. During this stage, the sales remain constant. To remain competitive and ensure high product sales, you will need to reduce its price or adopt other aggressive strategies. The maturity stage is also when the products are the most profitable. The production cost reduces during the maturity stage while the sales keep increasing.
The marketing strategies during the maturity stage need to focus on showcasing your product different from the competitors. You learn from the mistakes made in the previous two stages and create a new strategy accordingly.
This is the penultimate stage in a product life cycle. During this stage, the sales of the product will neither increase nor decrease. Saturation usually happens due to competitors launching similar products and their sales eating into your portion. The competition reaches the highest level in the saturation stage.
To maintain the product’s sale, you will need to adopt similar marketing strategies in the maturity stage. You would want the product to be preferred by customers to prevent it from entering the declining stage.
Unfortunately, if the customers don’t like your product and the sales start declining, the product enters the decline stage. During this stage, you will have to decide whether you want to continue with the product or not. If you wish to continue, you will have to come up with new features that can help increase sales. Similarly, you can provide discounts on the product, adjust brand packaging, or offer extra rewards on the product purchase.
For example, a smartphone company will provide discounts on the sale or provide easy payment options to make the product more lucrative. However, the product doesn’t need to surely make a comeback from the decline stage by adopting new strategies.
Companies usually have multiple products at different stages of the product life cycle simultaneously. They need to adopt different strategies depending upon where the product currently is on the life cycle. This is so that they can retain the product’s quality and ensure customers continue to enjoy it. Whether you are developing a new product or working with an already introduced one, you can use this guide to craft your marketing strategies accordingly.