The Product Life Cycle Model and Its Application in Marketing Research

Product lifecycle model refers to the period of a product that starts from the development of the production, through introduction into the market, growth and finally to the time it is removed from the market due to obsolescence.

There are four stages of a product life cycle: introduction, growth, maturity and decline.

Introduction Stage

During introduction stage, the product has little or no competition in the market. In the early stages, promotion is a key marketing element. The cost of advertising the product is larger than the revenue brought in by the product.

Growth Stage

In its growth stage, competitors start to emulate the product if it shows some signs of success. In growth stage, the business starts to earn profits. The company engages in differentiation strategies in order to differentiate the product from its competitors. The firm also seeks to build brand preference and increase market share

Maturity Stage

At the maturity stage, the product will face increased competition in the market. In this stage, the firm aims to defend market share while maximizing profit. The organization develops differentiation strategies to satisfy and retain customers.

Declining Stage

In the declining stage, the product loses its market share. In this stage, marketing approaches and support are withdrawn completely from the market. Product sales revenue will only be realized from the sale of the residual of the products.

Application of the Product Life Cycle Model

Black Barrel Company introduced a cheese product that did not last long. The product life cycle model can be applied appropriately in the case of Black Barrel mature cheese product whose life cycle was very short. The short life of the product was due to the fact that the company did not use appropriate marketing approaches in each of the product’s product life cycle stages. If the company had applied the product life cycle model in its marketing research, the product failure would have been avoided.

The initial marketing approach involved advertising communication which explained to customers about the pleasure of eating black barrel mature cheddar cheese. This was an important marketing strategy in the introduction stage of the product’s life cycle because promotion is a key element in the initial stage to attract customers.

However, the product life cycle did not last long because the company failed to differentiate its products from those of competitors in the growth stage; there was no distinction between the product and the supermarket’s own-label brands of mature cheese in the minds of customers. The company should have carried out marketing research to identify the unmet needs of customers and customize its products to meet those needs.

In order for the company to ensure that the product receives a lot of customers and goes past the introduction stage, it is important for the company to make the product unique so that it can be differentiated from the products of competitors. Marketing research is necessary to establish consumer behavior and differentiate the company’s products in the growth stage of the product life cycle.

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