Product life cycle

The product life cycle diagram shows that four stages exist in the ‘working life’ of most products.

A product life cycle starts in development, then introduction to the market followed by growth and maturity until decline. An extension strategy can be staged at saturation point to provide more product longevityProduct life cycle diagram

These are:

  1. launch
  2. growth
  3. maturity
  4. decline

In the launch and growth stages, sales rise. In the maturity stage, revenues flatten out.

Getting a product known beyond the launch stage usually requires costly promotion activity.

At some point, sales begin to decline and the business has to decide whether to withdraw the item or use an extension strategy to bolster sales. Extension strategies include updating packaging, adding extra features or lowering price.