Once upon a time, there were some products which were very popular and the most sought after by the consumers all over India. Few of such products were iconic success stories that started a wave of marketing and created history in the minds of the consumer those days. But such products have vanished suddenly without leaving a trace in the market and the minds of the consumers. To name some, Ambassador, Vanaspathi Dalda, Pagers, Scooters, VCRs/VCPs, Gramophones etc.
By looking at the above mentioned examples we assume products to have life cycles just like human-beings. Human beings move through various phases like birth, growth, maturity, decline and death. Similarly products have their own life cycle, commonly known as Product Life Cycle. And, Product Life Cycle Management is the succession of strategies used business management as a product goes through the following stages of its life cycle:
• Product development: Here the company finds and develops a new product idea. It involves idea generation to analysis, production and commercialization
• Introduction: This is a stage where a new product is launched commercially and made available for the purchase. Here the promotional expenditures are high and sales growth tends to be low. The profits are also usually negative or very low.
• Growth: Here the firm observes a rapid growth in sales. Prices remain the same and profits increase rapidly as promotional costs are spread over the diversified market. Here we also see that the firms reduce their manufacturing costs due to experience curve effects and in turn resulting in higher profits.
• Maturity: This is a stage of saturation where the product’s rate of growth slows down and the firm attains stable sales in the market irrespective of the promotional activities. Maturity stage is the most common stage for almost all established companies. Here the competition is more intense by the companies trying to maintain their market share.
• Decline: This is the last phase of any product, wherein the brand name and corresponding sales decrease eventually. Here a lot of investment is made on re-launching the product by adding additional features to enhance the customer expectations or even liquidate the product from the market.
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