Lifebuoy in India: Product Life Cycle Strategies

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The PLC concept is very useful to marketers and brand managers for many reasons. First of all, the concept establishes that products follow a life cycle that starts when they are launched, from there they will grow and will, one day, die. However, the most important advantage of this model is that it divides the life of a product in several stages with different characteristics, mostly based on the sales level and growth: introduction, growth, maturity and decline.
This division allows managers to have some insights on which strategies can be taken, according to the behavior of the sales of a product. Also it may help predicting how the competition will act and what will be the future growth tendencies for the product.

Nevertheless, it is important to underline that the PLC model cannot predict the duration of the several phases as they vary from product to product. Also there isn´t a completely clear relationship between the sales of a product and the stage it is in. A decline in sales, for example, doesn’t necessarily mean that the product is in the decline phase as the decrease may only be temporary because of exogenous factors. If it is so, the product can be considered to be on the wrong stage. Finally, the common strategy for each stage may not be the only solution for a specific product. Therefore, caution is needed when planning strategies for each product.

2. How did Lifebuoy strategies in the early stages of its PLC enabled the brand to become a leader?

When Lifebuoy was introduced in the market, its positioning was a ” promise to kill germs and keep the body healthy”, addressing one of the main problems the Indian market had: the plagues, and therefore exploring the market need for hygiene and health protection. Lifebuoy main strategy was to have low prices and low promotion, in order for the ones that were affected by the plague problem, rural and poor people, to be able to purchase the product. These two factors helped the brand to face a high

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