Product Life Cycle Essay

Chapter: – 7. PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE: -Successful new products may not last forever, during its life. Sales /profits generated for by-product may vary. -Variance depends on the market demand for product changing needs level is described by demand cycle curve such as: -Demand may also decline due to a change in technology. -Based on demand for a product it may be possible to create a concept that provides insights of the product’s competitive dynamics. This is called PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE. -PLC concept implies: ?Products have a limited life.

?Product sales pass through distinct stages with each stage posing Challenges/Opportunities/ Problems. Profits rise/fall during different stages of product life cycle. ?Products require different marketing/manufacturing. / finance/ purchase/ HR strategies at each stage of Product Life Cycle. -In most cases historical/ empirical data shows the sales/profits of a product as following a pattern (as per diagram) -Pattern is: – Product Life Cycle curve is typically divided into 4 stages: • Introduction: ?Product introduced in market.

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?Slow sales growth. ?No profits as expenses are high. ? Growth: ? Period of rapid market acceptance. ? Profit increases. ?Maturity: ?Sales growth slows down. Profits stability then decline to fight competition. ?Decline: ?Sales decreases ?Profits decreases -Stages are marked by changes in rates of sales growth. PLC concept can be used to analyse: ?Product category (liquid/oral care/ skin care). ?Product form (white liquid/paste/cake). ?Products(vodka/ toothpaste/ soap). ?Brands(Smirnoff/ Colgate herbal/ Lux). -Product categories have largest PLC’s. Many product category stay in maturity stage of PLC indefinitely. – Product forms follow PLC structure, i. e. , better than product category as they pass through I/G/M/D strategies faster. -Products follow std. PLC or PLC variances. Brands have shorter PLC’s however their PLC’s may be structured by investing brand with suitable products & image. PLC Variants: -There may exist many PLC patterns in addition to standard PLC. Some common variants are: (1) Growth/Slump/Maturity Pattern -Sales grow, and then fall to petrified level. -Example: Small kitchen appliances (Spoons), Cease fire. (2) Cycle-Recycle Pattern: -Sales grow, then decreases. -Company gives another promotion push for another smaller growths. -Example: Pharmaceuticals. (3) Scalloped Pattern: -Sales pass through a series of PLC’s due to discovery of new uses/characteristics. Example: Nylon. Style / Fashion / Fad Life Cycle: -Three special categories of PLC need to be distinguished. -PLC’s pertaining to Style/Fashion/Fad. Style: -style is a basic/distinctive mode of expression appearing in a field of human endeavors. -Once a style is invented, it can last for generations, at times going in/ going out. oExample: Styles in Home, Clothes. Fashion: -Fashion is a currently accepted/popular style in a given field. oExample: Clothes: Jeans. Music: Hindi-Pop. -Fashion Pass through four Stages: oDistinctiveness Stage: ?Same customer take interest in something new that sets them apart. Emulation Stage: ?Other customers take an interest out of desire to emulate fashion leaders. oMass-Fashion Stage: ?Fashion becomes very popular & manufacturing gear up for mass production. oDecline: ?Consumer starts moving towards other fashion. Fad: -Fads are fashion that comes quickly into the public eye, are adopted with great zeal, peak easily and decline fast. -Acceptance cycle is short. -Fads tend to have limited followings -Example: Body Piercing, Tattooing, Pepsi Blue. Marketing Strategies through PLC: -Marketing strategy differs based on PLC stage of product. Introduction Stage: Starts when New Product is launched. •Sales growth is slow due to: ?Expansion in product capability. ?Working out technical bugs in product. •Example: Wagon-R, Indica. ?Delay in adequate distribution. ?Customer accepting NP slowly. ?Profits are negative/low due to: ?Low Sales. ?High distribution/ promotion costs. ?Promo costs are high due to: ?Need to inform customer about new/unknown product. ?Need to induce trial. ?Need to secure distribution/ retail. ?Marketing strategies classified based on: ?Price. ?Promotion. Rapid Skimming Strategy: •New product launched at high price with high promotion level. Example: Nokia Handsets. •High price helps firm to recover max profits/ units. •High promo helps in customer awareness/ adoption. •Good policy when: ?Large part of product mkt is unaware of product. ?Those who become aware are eager to have it & can pay asked price. ?Firm faces potential competition & wants to build brand preference. Slow Skimming Strategy: •New Product launched at high price with low promotion. •High price helps firm to recover maximum profits /units. •Low promo keeps marketing expenses down. •Combination is expected to skip high profit from the mkt. •Slow skimming trategy normally used when: •Market size is limited. •Market is aware of product. •Buyers are willing to pay high price. •Potential competition is not imminent. •Example: Mercedes and most of the niche players. Rapid Promotion Strategy: •New Product launched at low price with high promotion. •Helps to achieve: ?Fastest market penetration. ?Largest market share. •Normally used when: ?Market is large. ?Market is unaware of the product. ?Buyers are price sensitive. ?Strong product competition exists. ?Costs likely to decreases with volume. ?Example: Reliance Hungama, Nirma, and Wheel Slow Penetration Strategy: New Product launched at low price with low promotion. •Low price encourages rapid product acceptance, •Low promotion cost helps retain profits. •Used when: •Mkt is large. •Market is highly aware of product. •Market is price sensitive. •Market is minimally sensitive to promo. •Product competition exists. Growth Stage: •Growth stage marked by increase in sales. •Early adopters like the product. •Early majority buys the product. •Late majority starts buying towards the end of growth stage. •Competition may increase which in turn introduces new product features to differentiate their offering. Profits increase due to: ?Manufacturing cost/unit decreases. ?Promotion costs are spread over larger volume. •Growth rate gradually declined from accelerating to decelerating. oExample: Earlier there was Surf, then came Ariel then Ariel Blue, green then Surf Excel, Surf Excel Blue. •Companies need to prepare new strategy for this. •Overall during growth stage companies try to sustain rapid market growth for as long as possible. oExample: Automobile Market: Cars: Earlier there was Ambassador, then Fiat, Maruti 800. •For this, strategies could be: Add new features/ increase product quality/ increase style/ looks •Example: Car Market ?Add new models/ flanking product. Flanking products are products in different sizes/ flavors/…that protects brand/new product. •Example: Vanilla Ice Cream and Lux. •Lux has large number of soaps bars around it like Breeze, Hamam and Pears etc so that Lux is protected. ?Enter new market segments. ?Increase distribution coverage/ Enter new distribution channels. ?Increase advertising from product awareness to product properties. ?Reduce price to attract next layer of price sensitive cost. In growth stage, companies needs to make a trade off between high market share & high current market profit. At times profits is foregone currently in order to make even more profits later. Maturity Stage: •At some point of time, growth of a product slows down. The product now enters a stage of maturity. •This stage is likely to last longer than previous stages. •Most products today are in maturity stage hence, most of marketing management deals with mature products. •Maturity stage is made up of three stages. oGrowth Maturity: ?Sales growth starts declining. ?Laggard buyers enter market. ?No new channels are left to fill. Decaying Maturity: ?Absolute sales volume decrease ?Customers start switching to substitutes/ other products. oStable Maturity: ?Sales flatten out due to mkt saturation. ?Future sales governed by population increases & replaces demand. •Slowdown in sales growth creates over capacity which leads to intensified competition •Competitors try to find new segments/ niches •Prices may decrease/ advertising increase/ trade deals increases/ sales promo increases. •R& D spending increase discover new features/ products improvements / line extensions. •Shake out may occur due to profits erosion in decaying maturity.

Weak competition may withdraw. •Competitive advantage may be due to: oLarge volume low cost. owithin this we may have: •Quality •Service •Cost Market Nichers: •May include within ?Market specialists. ?Product specialization. ?Customizing firms. ?Nichers serve/ satisfy small target markets well & command a price premium. ?Company has to decide whether to be in dominance or be a Nicher. ?Marketing strategies in maturity stage could be: •Market modification. •Product modification. •Marketing Mix modification. Market Modification: ?Mkt for mature product/brand could be modified by working along formula:

Sales Volume = (Number of Brand users) x (Usage rate per user). ?Sales volume may be increased by influencing constituent variants. ?Number of brand users can be expanded by: ?Converting non users: •Attracting non users. ?Example: Courier services may try to increase number of users. ?Entering new mkt segments: ?Enter new mkt segment in terms of geographical/ demographical of people who use product category but not the brand. ?Example: Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo promoted to adults ? Win competition: ?Try to get competitor’s customer to try/ adopt your product. ?Example: Pepsi & Coca Cola both. To increase usage rate, strategies could be: ?More frequent use: ?Try to get customer to use product more frequently. ?Example: Fruit Juice/ consumption encouraged for breakfast/ before meals/ after meals/ anytime/ occasionally. ?More usage per occasion: ?Company tries to interest users to use more of product on each occasion used. ?Example: Shampoo: Use two rinsing instead of one. ?Toothpaste: Larger diameter of tube opening used along length of brush. ?New /more varied users: ?Company tries to discover new product uses & tries to convince customers to use product in varied ways. ?Example: Food processor anufacturing company provides recipes to broaden customer use of product. Product Modification: ?Sales may be stimulated in the maturity stage by modifying product characteristics. ?Product modification could be: ?Quality improvement. ?Feature improvements. ?Style improvements. ?Quality improvements aims at increased final performance in terms of: ? Durability. ?Reliability. ?Speed/ Taste. ?Feature improvements aims at adding new features to expand new product’s: ? Versatility. ?Safety. ?Convenience. ?Style improvements aims at increasing products aesthetic appeal. Marketing Mix Modification: Sales may be stimulated by modifying other marketing mix elements. These could be: oPrice: ?Price decrease may increase sales. •Price increase may signal higher quantity. oDistribution: ?Company may try to obtain more product support & display in existing outlets. ?Number of outlets may be increased. ?New distribution channels may be used. oAdvertising: ?Advertising expense may increase. ?Advertising message/ media mix may change. ?Sales Promotion: ?Sales promotion campaign may be used to lift sales temporarily or to enter newer segments. oPersonal Selling: ?Number / Quality of sales force may change. Sales territories/ sales force management may change. oServices: ? Company may change product’s services offered in terms of: •Delivery. •Technology assistance to Customer. •Maintenance. oMaturity marketing strategies constitute majority of marketing managers role in day to day work. Decline Stage: ?Sales of most product forms & brands eventually decline. ?Decline may be due to: ?Technical advances. ?Change in customer tastes. ?Increase in competition. ?Above may lead to: ?Over capacity. ?Increase price cutting. ?Profit Erosion. ?Unless strong reasons exist, carrying a weak product may be very costly. To handle declining sales, marketing strategies could be: ? Increase firms invest to dominate market/ strength competitive position. ?Maintain invest until uncertainties above industry are resolved. ?Decrease firms invest, selectively by dropping unprofitable customer and focusing on niches. ?Harvesting. ?Divesting. ?Appropriate strategy depends on: ?Industry’s relative attractiveness. ?Company’s strength in the industry. Summary of Product Life Cycle: (Characteristics / Objectives / Strategies). Characteristics: 1. SalesLow SalesRapidly Increasing SalesPeak SalesDeclining Sales 2.

CostsHigh cost per customerAverage cost per customerLow cost per customerLow cost per customer 3. ProfitsNegativeMore ProfitHigh ProfitDeclining Profit 4. CustomerInnovatorsEarly AdoptersEarly Majority + Late MajorityLaggards 5. Competitor Few More in numberStable number, beginning to declineDeclining numbers. Objectives: Create product awareness and TrialMaximize market shareMaximize profits and defend market shareReduce expenses & milk brands Strategies: 1. Product Offer basic productOffer product extension, service, warranty Diversify brands / models Phase out weak products 2. Price

Change cost +Price to penetrate marketPrice to match better competition Cut price 3. DistributionBuild selective distributionBuild intensive distributionBuild more intensive distributionSelective phase out of unprofitable unit 4. AdvertisingBuild product awareness among early adopters and dealers Build awareness and interest in mass market Stress on brand difference and benefits Reduce to retain hard core loyals 5. Sales Promotion Use heavy sales promotion to induce trialReduce sales promotion due to increased consumer demand More sales promotion to encourage brand switching Reduce to minimum level

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