Kellogg’s Product Lifecycle

Topics: Marketing, Product life cycle management, Marketing research Pages: 6 (1405 words) Published: April 14, 2011
Kellogg’s Product lifecycle

Link to case study

Overview: a case study focusing on the development of Kellogg’s Special K brand

Learning objectives:
➢ to understand the product life cycle
➢ to understand the value of market research
➢ to examine extension strategies.

Introduction (2 minutes)

Introduction to the lesson: you will look at the product life cycle and how marketing may change at different stages. Then you will consider the decline stage and how firms such as Kellogg’s may react to this.

The case focuses on Kellogg’s Special K brand and considers how the marketing of this has changed over time. Marketing is not static – it must be developed as market conditions and customer expectations change.

Product life cycle (10 minutes)

The product life cycle shows the typical stages that a product goes through in its life.

What are the main stages in the conventional life cycle of a product?

Marketing activity will change in nature at different times of the product life cycle to meet the different objectives at different times.

At what stages of this product life cycle is it most important to inject marketing activity?

Student task: working in teams consider “How might marketing vary at different stages of the product life cycle?” Put students’ ideas on the board for notes.

Marketing research (10 minutes)

Market research is often undertaken before marketing decisions are made.

Why did Kellogg’s engage in marketing research before deciding how to inject new growth into Special K?

Special K Red Berries is a variant of Special K why was it important to check that the two products were not competing in a major way?

Student task: working in teams discuss how Kellogg’s might undertake market research to decide whether to inject new growth into Special K.

Marketing and other functions (10 minutes)

A business is made up of different functions. The decisions in one area affect the activities of other parts of the business- they are interrelated.

Why was it important to create marketing plans for Special K that fitted with production plans?

Student task: what are the other functions of a business apart from marketing and production? Explain how these might be affected by marketing activities.

Extension strategies (17 minutes)

When sales start to slow up or even decline firms may use extension strategies to boost them again. For example they may try to increase the usage of their products, the number of occasions they are used or the numbers of users.

How did the development of Special K Peach and Apricot extend the brand still further?

What was the significance of the Special K bar in injecting further dynamism to the product life cycle.

Did the development of variants – Special K Red Berries, Special K Peach and Apricot, and Special K bars destroy the market for the original Special K product in the UK?

How has the extension of the Special K Brand been a global success story?

Review (1 minute) You have considered the stages of the product life cycle ( but remember the duration of these stages and the shape of the product life cycle will vary from product to product). You have considered how Kellogg’s revived Special K and the factors it might have taken into account before deciding whether to go ahead.


Explain how the product life cycle may vary between products.

2.Is it possible to continually extend a brand to increase the life cycle of a product?


Product lifecycle

Questions and Answers

What are the main stages in the conventional life cycle of a product?

The main life cycle stages are:

1.introduction to the market
2.the growth of the products sales
3.the mature stage in product sales
4.eventual decline.

At what stages of this product life cycle is it most important to inject marketing activity?

When a product is first introduced to the market it is necessary to engage in a...
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