Stages in the life cycle of a product

The stages of the life cycle of a product are the phases that a product goes through that follows a normal life cycle, from when it enters the market until it leaves it.

Stages in the life cycle of a product

Typically, a product that follows a normal life cycle goes through four stages. Starting with the introduction, continuing with the growth, then going to maturity and ending with the decline of the product.

Obviously, each stage has different characteristics and at each stage the company must apply a different marketing mix strategy. Attending to the needs of each phase and considering the different situations.

However, it should be clarified that not all products follow a normal life cycle, we can mention, for example, early death products, which only enter the market and decline; and so other cases can be presented.

Stages of the Product Life Cycle
Stages in the life cycle of a product

Main stages of the life cycle of a product

The main stages of the life cycle of a product that follows a normal life cycle are:

1. Introduction stage

To begin with, the introduction occurs when the product is launched on the market. Since the product is not known, it generates very few sales. But as the target market begins to learn of its advantages, sales begin to increase slightly.

Without a doubt, it is a very risky stage, since it is not known what the market’s response will be to the product.

Marketing mix during introduction

  • Product: The product is subject to change, due to the response and demands of the market.
  • Price: The price is set by the company. Which can decide to place a low price following the market penetration strategy or a high price following the market skimming strategy. The setting of the price will depend on the advantages and differences that the product presents compared to the competition.
  • Communication: Communication messages must be informative, first to make it known that the product exists. Then to publicize the characteristics and attributes that make it different from other competing products.
  • Distribution: The distribution must be limited or specialized in certain points, because it is not known precisely how the demand will behave.

As a result, at this stage the most important element of the marketing strategy will be communication, because if people do not find out about the existence of the product, the introduction will go directly to decline.

2. Growth

Generally, in this phase, the market is already aware of the product and there is an increase in sales, because people want to try it. Growth generates a good amount of income, but still the product needs a lot of marketing support.

Marketing mix during growth

  • Product: The company seeks to add technical improvements to the product to achieve a differentiation advantage.
  • Price: The price can still be controlled by the company, but it has to be adjusted to the prices that the competition manages.
  • Communication: Communication focuses on making the differences of the product known to competitors.
  • Distribution: The distribution changes from exclusive to intensive, because it is already required by a greater number of people.

Indeed, in this phase the most important marketing strategy is the product. Because if people try the product and the product does not respond to the benefits offered in the communication messages, the product will not have a buyback and will not go to maturity.

3. Maturity stage

Of course, at maturity most of the people who make up the market have already tried the product and the buyback occurs. At this stage, the product generates its highest level of profit, because the buyback occurs automatically, without requiring much marketing support. The only problem is that you have a lot of competitors.

Marketing mix during maturity

  • Product: The product is ready and no changes are made to it.
  • Price: The company no longer has control over the price, since now the price is formed by the conditions of market competition.
  • Communication: The communication message focuses on the differences of the product, so that it is easy for the consumer to identify the product against the competition.
  • Distribution: Intensive distribution becomes extensive, to achieve greater market coverage.

Consequently, the most important element of the mix during maturity is the price of the product, because due to the great competition that exists in the market, only the attractive price makes the consumer choose the product.

4. Decline stage

During the decline phase, the product leaves the market, because the company considers that it is no longer profitable to market it. That is why it seeks to get out of all the existing product balance

Marketing mix during decline

  • Product: The product no longer matters, because it no longer has any modifications and the company only wants to come out of the last stock.
  • Price: As the objective is to make the product disappear, low prices are handled, giving additional discounts and promotions to stimulate the purchase.
  • Communication: Communication is used to support the promotions that the company has launched to get rid of the products in inventory.
  • Distribution: The distribution continues to be extensive and little by little it is limited to a few distributors who remain selling the product.
Stages of the Product Life Cycle Core Strategy
Stages in the life cycle of a product
Important strategies

In conclusion, we are going to indicate that it is important for companies to recognize and identify each of the stages of the life cycle of their products, because at each stage they have to make decisions and apply different marketing strategies. These decisions and strategies must be adapted to each stage and help to overcome the challenges and challenges that arise in each specific phase. Allowing marketing efforts to be maximized and the best results to be obtained.