What is the product life cycle and its stages?

ciclo de vida del producto

In the world of commerce, the sales of a product represent the success or failure of a good or service. Now, if you have a sales plan, you need to take into account that from the time the product is launched until it is withdrawn, it goes through different stages which is called the Product Life Cycle.

But what exactly is product life cycle? And more importantly, what kind of marketing strategies can you apply at each phase? Below, I’ll explain everything you need to know in order to give your good or service a successful life in the marketplace.

What is product lifecycle?

Before fully developing this topic, you need to know that the life cycle is simply the stages in which a product is born, develops, matures and dies in the market. That is to say, from the moment it is introduced to the world of commerce, it begins to go through this cycle; it is something similar to human life. From the moment we are born, we inevitably start a life process that ends in death.

When you launch a good or service, you know in advance that it will not last forever. This means that a good marketer must take good advantage of the boom in order to generate good revenue. This situation is similar to our own life, although we know that we will die, we must take advantage of each stage of life.

Importance of the life cycle

To understand what is the product life cycle, you must know that a product has an expiration date in the market is of vital importance, because, even if your product is innovative, the truth is that with the passing of time, the consumer gets bored of it.

So in these cases it is necessary to take advantage of each stage, and even apply some strategies to extend its useful life, this is beneficial because you will be able to plan and project realistically.

A well-founded analysis of the stage you are in will allow you to apply the right marketing mix strategies to optimize your resources and achieve profit success. At the same time, knowing that you are approaching the last stage will give you the opportunity to better prepare for the final phase so that your financial status will not be pitiful.

Stages in the life cycle of a product

The life cycle of a product is based on four stages, with the third stage being the most important and where it is pertinent to apply some tools to squeeze the most out of its usefulness.

Release

This first stage of the product life cycle is the birth into the world of marketing, i.e., it is not the conception in the mind of the supplier, rather it is the phase in which it is introduced to the market.

This stage involves a series of risks in which it is necessary to take into account advertising, in order to make consumers want to get it. Remember that no one knows the product, they may not know why they should buy it, advertising is vital at launch.

The launch stage is full of uncertainty, because if it is not properly exploited it can mean its immediate death. It is important to note that the returns are very low, so you must resist the challenge to stay afloat.

For this stage to be truly successful, you need to take consumer feedback into account. An open and agile mind is required in order to make some quick change that can produce greater acceptance.

Growth

Evidently, after the presentation of your product, a second phase in the product life cycle arises in which, consumers get to know what you offer and, consequently, sales increase. To take advantage of this stage, it is necessary to keep the customer satisfied with good production.

An interesting aspect is that during the growth, experience has been gained in its production, therefore, the costs become lower than in its initial stage. Competition may start to emerge, so you need to get noticed by consolidating your brand.

Some entrepreneurs have launched derivative products to the original in order to give the consumer options and differentiate themselves from the competition, others have made some modifications to it in order to meet the needs of existing demand.

Maturity

In this phase of the product life cycle, you achieve top sales and positioning, in other words, you consolidate your brand in the market. It is the most stable and longest stage, even so, although sales stay afloat, it starts to slow down until it reaches a point where it stops.

In marketing matters, this is the stage where more strategies must be applied to maintain good revenues despite the ups and downs of the same.

One highlight is that some entrepreneurs start to reduce some manufacturing costs as a strategy to keep the same profit margin, this in turn leads to the last stage.

Declive

This stage of a product life cycle or phase is the saddest, however, it is important to be aware that it will come. Simply consumers stop buying, in fact, your product starts to be replaced by another one that is more attractive.

It is also possible that, if you had trouble reducing production costs, then you start to see less profit and, therefore, even if there is some demand, the product has to be taken out of circulation.

In the product life cycle, some decide to revive the product, but the truth is that few has succeeded at this stage, in fact, it is very difficult after the consumer has lost interest. For this reason, it is best to consciously withdraw it.

To do this, specialists recommend minimizing investment as much as possible. You can give the product at a discount that gives you an honorable withdrawal.

How to extend the life cycle of a product

At the maturity stage, some entrepreneurs decide whether they should continue with the product or schedule its retirement. It is a very personal decision, but it is clear that introducing a new product is not an easy task, so it is preferable to extend the life cycle, this is achieved by delaying the decline.

At the maturity stage a series of strategies are implemented to keep the product of interest to the consumer, which are as follows:

Release

In order that customers do not get bored with the product, in the product life cycle, an innovation of the original is launched on the market. That is, the brand is maintained, but the features may be different.

This is a somewhat risky strategy, because at the maturity stage there is already some preference for what you offer, so loyal customers may not agree with the innovation, however, it may be just what the more apathetic consumers were hoping for.

Update

This strategy in the product life cycle is less risky than the previous one because it is the same product, but with a brand change. This is beneficial, because it makes the product look like a current and fresh proposal. (Some add some improvements.)

Advertising at maturity

Because you must keep consumers’ attention, it is timely to make fresh and interesting advertising that manages to engage the consumer within the life cycle of a product. This allows the product to continue to stay in the customer’s mind.

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