Throughout our history whatever we invent, create or produce has had a life cycle, this cycle could be long lasting or short term. Money is one product that has had the longest product life cycle, so are various agricultural and natural resources. These products have changed, but still exist after thousands of years.
Other products become fashionable and then fade away, only to become part of another product or trend. The music industry is one example of this, as Rock ‘n’ Roll in its pure form has evolved into the various genres of modern music today.
Gimmicks are products that have a short life cycle, often victims of changing fashions that occasionally make a comeback, and the Internet is often the marketplace were the product life cycle can be short, and forgettable.
So what are the five Stages of a Product Life Cycle?
A new product is introduced onto the Marketplace, few people know about it, and its success is rarely guaranteed. Much time and money is invested in promoting this product, and there is either no profit or even a net loss during this period.
The product starts to grow in popularity, sales increase as advertising starts working and others start to imitate your product. Profits increase, and your product steadily becomes a success.
Your product becomes an established part of the Market, but sales start to increase slowly as competition and pricing factors take place. At this stage advertising costs are at their highest, whilst profits may start to drop. The market for your product could reach saturation point.
Sales start to fall, as your product loses its appeal. Profits drop as production is often cut, competition in the marketplace gets stiffer as advertising is cut and plans are made to shelve the product in the future.
Innovators take your product and may incorporate it into a new product. This has happened to the humble FM radio and Camera which you find as a basic feature on most hand phones. The decline of the original product has just lead onto the use of it on a very new product.
The product Life Cycle may not end it changes, especially in this century of fast moving technology. Traditionally products faded away into the memories of their users, but have often become part of a new product, that faces the same decline in the future.