Product Life Cycle
Products play an essential part in our lives. Products are divided by their tangible and intangible attributes which is offered by the wholesaler to end consumers (Business dictionary). Throughout our lives, products play a key role in satisfying not only the needs and but also the desires of consumers. Today, we are living in a world that has a wide variety of products ranging from the basic needs of life such as food, clothes and household appliances to luxury items such as Smartphone and tablets. The existence of products is not only to satisfy the needs and desires but also to satisfy the demands of consumers or customers. Products have a huge role to play in generating profit for any business-oriented organization. This is because a product greatly contributes to the revenue of the business organization. In addition, a product also helps create long term relationships between an organization and its customers because once the customers are genuinely satisfied with the product, they may be loyal to that particular brand of the product and continue to patronize it again in the future. Just like a human being, every product on the market has to go through a life cycle and the length of each product’s life cycle is different from one another (Kerin, Hartley & Rudelius, 2009) .For instance, consumer products such as facial cleansers have shorter life cycles compared to business products like fax and copy machines. The period of time a product remains competitive in the market illustrates the product life cycle. The product life cycle (PLC) is one of the most familiar concepts in marketing and is defined as a concept that provides a way to trace the stages of a product’s acceptance in the market from the introduction of the product to the declination of the product. A product progresses through four major stages which are introduction, growth, maturity and decline (Lamb, Hair, McDaniel, Summers & Gardiner, 2009).
The first stage of the product life cycle is the introduction stage where a new product is first launched and enters the market (Kotler & Armstrong, 2012). Having said that, not all products launched during this stage enters the market because some of them are still going through the product planning process in the introduction stage (Bengu & Kara, 2010). According to Bengu and Kara (2010), during this stage, the marketing efforts is focused on identifying the customers needs and specific product characteristics before the product enters the manufacturing stage. In this stage, the company needs to commit to spending a lot of money on the distribution and promotion in order to inform the customers of the new product and get them to try it. Aggressive promotion and distribution is needed in this stage because some of the customers may not know about the new product. In return, the company probably does not gain any profit because of the low sales but high expenses. Other than that, as product and manufacturing flaws are identified in this stage, the company puts in a lot of effort to correct and develop in mass-production economies that leads to high production cost. In the introduction stage, sales normally increase slowly as the consumers start to know about the product and try it. Once the product moves from the introduction stage and sales begin to grow, it enters the growth stage. For example, the introduction stage for the iPhone begun when it was first announced in January 2007 then released in the following June 29. During this stage, only a few customers know about the iPhone and Apple needs to do an aggressive promotion in order to tell the customer about their product.
When the new product satisfies the market, it enters the second stage of product life cycle. The second stage is the growth stage in which sales start climbing quickly. This is because, once the customers begin to recognize all the products in the market due to effective promotion and...
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