Product Life Cycle

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1. Introduction

It has been well established that Product Life Cycle (PLC) concept has a significant impact upon business strategy and corporate performance. Since the term was first used by Levitt (1965 ) in an Harvard Business Review article “Exploit the Product Life Cycle” the concept has been widely accepted and applied by marketing practitioners all over the world. The product life cycle concept is one of the most quoted and most frequently taught elements of marketing theory. According to Mercer (1993: 269) the influence of the product life cycle can be seen in other theories, from new product development, positioning & differentiation and portfolio analysis.

Since its adoption by marketing, the product life cycle (PLC) has achieved universal acceptance because of its appeal and wide application.

According to Weber (1976: 12) the product life cycle concept provides an intuitively appealing and readily understandable framework of analysis for considering future growth opportunities and pitfalls. As time passes sales increase slowly at first (introduction phase), then more quickly (growth phase), then once again more slowly (maturity and saturation phases), and finally decrease (decline phase). This assignment discusses the importance of repositioning and differentiating for an organization’s products or services using the concept of Product Life Cycle (PLC). It also critically analyses the actual practice an organization undertakes to repositioning or differentiating it products. Based on the critical analysis a set of recommendations are provided for the selected organization to improve its overall positioning & differentiating efforts during the various stages of PLC. Within this context, the organization that is selected is Bahrain International Retail Development Centre (BIRD) which is one of the leading corporate training providers in Bahrain.

2. Discussion

2.1 Description of the selected organization- BIRD

Bahrain International Retail Development Centre (BIRD) is a sister concern of Bahrain Duty Free. It is a joint venture between Bahrain Duty Free & Air Rainta International, set up since 2001. It is one of the leading corporate training providers and broadly caters to Management Development, Retail, Customer Service/Sales, Purchasing & Supply Management & Business English training areas or categories. Within each of these training areas or categories it provides a range of courses that are tailor made training programme to assist the participants in their professional development right from entry to higher levels. In addition to customized training programmes, it also designs & delivers a range of open programmes workshops on relevant topics/ areas on a regular basis.

BIRD in the last seven years approximately has successfully conducted a range of such effective training programmes for leading organizations in Bahrain such as Bahrain Duty Free, Batelco, Bin Hindi, Y K Almoayyed & Sons, Al Hawaj, Jashanmals, National Motors, Al Rashid Group, Garmco and many such leading & reputed organizations in Bahrain.

2.2 Key issues facing BIRD

BIRD has positioned itself as a quality training provider with emphasis of satisfying the client training needs through innovative training programmes that have quality in every aspect right from design to delivery. However though it is able to meet its client needs satisfactorily it be profitable it faces key competition from other training providers.

Further BIRD operates in a price sensitive training market. The entire training market is fragmented with many competitors trying to capture each other market share purely on price. However what needs to be established that whether the training market is mature or BIRD’s products are mature. There are few companies which are actually quality conscious but they are not enough to justify the revenue generated by BIRD. Majority of the clients or companies want new training at reasonable prices. In...
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