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Product life cycle management

The conditions a product is sold under will change over time. The Product Life Cycle refers to the succession of stages a product goes through. Product Life Cycle Management is the succession of strategies used by management as a product goes through it's life cycle.

The stages

A Typical Product Life Cycle
Products tend to go through five stages:

Management of the Cycle

The progession of a product through these stages is by no means certain. Some products seem to stay in the mature stage forever (eg.: milk).
Marketers have various techniques designed to prevent the process of falling into the decline stage. In most cases however, the life expectancy of a product category can be estimated.

A marketer's marketing mix strategies will change as their product goes through its life cycle. Advertising , for example, should be informative in the introduction stage, persuasive in the growth and maturity stages, and be reminder oriented in the decline stage. Promotional budgets tend to be highest in the early stages and gradually taper off as the product matures and declines. Pricing, distribution, and product characteristics also tend to change.

Market evolution

Market Evolution is a process that parallels the product life cycle. As a product category matures, the industry goes through stages that mirror the five stages of a product life cycle:

Technology life cycle

The underlying technology subsummed within a product or product category can go though similar stages. This is typically referred to as the
Technology lifecycle.

See also

Finding related topics

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