Product Life Cycle: Definition and Stages

Product life cycle denotes the timeframe from when a product is introduced to the market to when it is removed. The product life cycle includes four primary stages: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline.

Introduction

The introduction stage constitutes launching a product and presenting it to the consumers. It involves creating awareness and reaching consumers to inform them about the new product. The sales and demand are considerably low because people are yet to learn about the product.

Growth

At the growth stage, consumers are aware of the product and are increasingly purchasing it. The phase is characterized by growing demand, increased production, growing sales, and increased profits. Furthermore, competition intensifies at this stage as other brands observe the success and start imitating. As companies experience growth, they initiate expansion efforts by opening new distribution stations and adding support services such as customer care and delivery.

Maturity                                            

Maturity is the peak of a product. The company is generating steady profits but cannot grow or expand beyond this point. The maturity stage is characterized by a reduction in marketing and production costs. Because a business or product cannot grow beyond the maturity phase, it might be forced to reduce prices to retain customers and remain competitive. A company can also differentiate products to keep consumers interested.

Decline

The decline stage is characterized by a drop in sales, production, and profits. The product no longer appeals to consumers at this stage regardless of marketing, differentiation, pricing, or distribution efforts. It is almost impossible to revive a product because it has become obsolete or the market has new and better offerings. The product loses its market share to the competitors.

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