Product Life Cycle

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Product Life Cycle
Introduction: This paper aims at analysing the usefulness of the Product Life Cycle (PLC) concept to the marketers. It will describe the different stages of the PLC concept and their respective implications on the marketing mix and the strategies which can be adopted during the different phases.

Every new product right from its entrance in the market till its elimination from the market goes through a certain sequence of stages known as Product Life Cycle. There are four stages popularly addressed by the product life cycle which are: Introduction, growth, maturity and decline recognized as distinct stages in the sales history of a product (Kotler, 1984).[pic]

Different Stages of Product Life Cycle

Each stage of
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The second is in terms of manufacturers attempting to secure as many distribution outlet possibilities as possible, as the product has now lost its innovative appeal. In distribution terms they move from exclusive, then to selective and finally to intensive distribution. The philosophy of the latter is that maximum exposure at the point of sale is probably as important as brand awareness.

o Promotion: During this phase promotion tends to change from one of creating awareness to one of attempting to create an identifiable brand. Promotional expenditure is probably still quite high. Competitors will know the perceived weaknesses of your product, so they can emphasize the strength of theirs. Although it might seem that being in the market first is a good policy, it is also a high risk policy. Unless the company is large enough to sustain a costly failure at this stage, or has other products to fall back upon, then such a policy is very high risk indeed.

Maturity and saturation are dealt with together, because the ‘maturity’ phase is the phase where the product’s sales level off to a gradual peak over a longer period (often years or decades). The ‘saturation’ phase is from its peak, gradually downwards to the phase where sales start to decelerate towards the ‘decline’ phase. In fact, many marketing authors miss out the ‘saturation’ phase altogether and class all of this phase as ‘maturity’. During this
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