What is the product lifecycle?

As a Product Manager, one of your responsibilities would be to develop a product lifecycle to help determine the project schedule, price points and launch strategies.


But what exactly is a product lifecycle?


A product lifecycle includes all the phases that a product goes through right from when it's introduced to the consumers until it is removed from the market. We can break this lifecycle into 4 stages:

  • Introduction

  • Growth

  • Maturity

  • Decline




Stages



Let us explore these four stages in brief:



1. Market Introduction


We start by developing a go-to-market strategy for the product, often running marketing/advertising campaigns to increase awareness about the product among the target audience. Sales and profitability is not the primary target in this phase and grows slowly.


2. Market Growth


Also called the 'Takeoff Stage', this stage can be characterised by increasing demand and expansion. There is a lot of feature tweaking and changes in pricing at this stage as competitors become aware of your presence. Marketing focuses on growing market share.


3. Market Maturity


By now, the product has an established presence in the market. The production/maintenance cost also reduces significantly due to the economy of scale. Pricing and product differentiation become all more critical at this stage.


4. Market Decline


Like every other 'lifecycle', the product will inevitably face the decline stage. This primarily happens due to changes in consumer behaviour or innovative alternatives entering the market. Eventually, the product has to either be retired from the market or re-designed to suit the changing needs of the modern-day consumer.



Can you think of an example and elicit its 'product lifecycle'?



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