The 6 Stages of the Product Life Cycle [+Examples]

Trending 1 week ago

When I was 12 years old, I utilized to beryllium confused astir my cousin's CD collection. Why person CDs erstwhile I could spell connected iTunes and perceive to each my favourite songs? This is simply a cleanable illustration of a merchandise life rhythm (PLC) successful action.

Product lifecycle successful marketing

No 1 wants their merchandise to go “obsolete” and scope nan extremity of its merchandise life cycle. That’s why it’s important to understand what shape your merchandise is successful truthful you tin make amended trading and business decisions.

 Free Product Marketing Kit [Free Templates]

Below, we’ll study astir nan merchandise life rhythm wrong and out. If you’re successful a pinch, usage nan links beneath to jump consecutive to what you need:

  • What is nan merchandise life cycle?
  • What are nan stages of nan merchandise life cycle?
  • Importance of nan Product Life Cycle
  • Breaking Down nan Product Life Cycle Theory
  • Product Life Cycle Marketing Strategies
  • Product Life Cycle Examples
  • International Product Life Cycle
  • When to Use nan Product Life Cycle

What is nan merchandise life cycle?

The merchandise life rhythm is nan succession of stages that a merchandise goes done during its existence, starting from improvement and yet ending successful decline. Business owners and marketers usage nan merchandise life rhythm to make important decisions and strategies connected advertizing budgets, merchandise prices, and packaging.

In nan trading industry, nan emblematic depiction of nan merchandise life rhythm only has 4 main stages — Introduction, Growth, Maturity, and Decline. At HubSpot, we work together that these are captious for a product, but nan 2 stages “Development” and “Decline” aren’t astir covered enough.

product improvement lifecycle stages

As marketers, it's important to understand really your strategies and strategies alteration depending connected nan shape your merchandise is in. Let’s break down each of nan six stages of nan merchandise life cycle.

What are nan stages of nan merchandise life cycle?

  1. Development
  2. Introduction
  3. Growth
  4. Maturity
  5. Saturation
  6. Decline

1. Development

The improvement shape of nan merchandise life rhythm is nan investigation shape earlier a merchandise is introduced to nan marketplace. This is erstwhile companies bring successful investors, create prototypes, trial merchandise effectiveness, and strategize their launch.

In this stage, companies typically walk a batch of money without bringing successful immoderate gross because nan merchandise isn't being sold yet.

This shape tin past for a agelong time, depending connected nan complexity of nan product, really caller it is, and nan competition. For a wholly caller product, nan improvement shape is peculiarly difficult because nan first pioneer of a merchandise isn’t ever arsenic successful arsenic later iterations.

Before full-scale production, nan merchandise whitethorn beryllium released successful a constricted marketplace aliases region for testing purposes. This allows companies to measure marketplace acceptance, stitchery personification feedback, and make basal adjustments earlier a wider launch.

2. Introduction

The preamble shape happens erstwhile a merchandise is launched successful nan marketplace. This is erstwhile trading teams statesman building merchandise consciousness and targeting imaginable customers. Typically, erstwhile a merchandise is introduced, income are debased and request builds slowly.

In this phase, marketers attraction connected advertizing and trading campaigns. They besides activity connected testing distribution channels and building merchandise and marque awareness.

This shape is important because companies person nan opportunity to shingle up nan position quo and seizure nan attraction and loyalty of early adopters. The affirmative experiences and word-of-mouth recommendations from these early customers tin power nan broader target marketplace and accelerate merchandise adoption.

Some examples of products presently successful nan preamble shape include:

  • Generative AI
  • Self-driving cars
  • 3D televisions

Ultimately, nan occurrence of this shape sets nan instauration for nan product’s early maturation and occurrence successful consequent stages of nan merchandise life cycle.

3. Growth

During nan maturation stage, consumers person accepted nan merchandise successful nan marketplace and customers are opening to genuinely bargain in. That intends request and profits are growing, hopefully astatine a steadily accelerated pace. This momentum is important for sustaining business operations, backing further merchandise development, and generating returns connected investment.

As companies scale, they tin use from little per-unit accumulation costs, improved supplier relationships, and optimized distribution networks.

However, location are immoderate challenges that travel pinch nan maturation stage. As nan marketplace for nan merchandise expands, title grows. Potential competitors will spot your occurrence and will want in.

Some products that are presently successful nan maturation shape are:

  • Smartwatches
  • Electric cars
  • Peloton

During this stage, it’s important to support attracting caller customers and solidify your marque image truthful you tin enactment up of nan competition.

4. Maturity

The maturity shape is erstwhile nan income statesman to level disconnected from nan accelerated maturation period. At this point, companies statesman to trim their prices truthful they tin enactment competitory amongst nan increasing competition. Streamlining accumulation processes, negotiating favorable supplier contracts, and optimizing distribution networks besides go important considerations.

This is nan shape wherever a institution originates to go much businesslike and learns from nan mistakes made successful nan preamble and maturation stages. Marketing campaigns are typically focused connected differentiation alternatively than awareness. This intends that merchandise features mightiness beryllium enhanced, prices mightiness beryllium lowered, and distribution becomes much intensive.

During nan maturity stage, products statesman to participate nan astir profitable stage. The costs of accumulation declines while nan income are increasing.


  • Smartphones
  • Amazon
  • Video crippled consoles

5. Saturation

During nan merchandise saturation stage, competitors person begun to return a information of nan marketplace and products will acquisition neither maturation nor diminution successful sales.

Typically, this is nan constituent erstwhile astir consumers are utilizing a product, but location are galore competing companies. At this point, you want your merchandise to go nan marque penchant truthful you don't participate nan diminution stage. To execute this, you’ll want to attraction connected providing exceptional work and building beardown relationships pinch your customers.

In a saturated market, invention besides becomes basal to enactment relevant. Businesses must continuously put successful investigation and improvement to amended products and connection caller features. Failure to do truthful whitethorn lead to merchandise obsolescence and nonaccomplishment of marketplace share.

Some examples of products successful nan saturation shape are:

  • Streaming services
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Soft drinks

6. Decline

Unfortunately, if your merchandise doesn‘t go nan preferred marque successful a marketplace, you’ll typically acquisition a decline. Sales will alteration during nan heightened competition, which is difficult to overcome.

Decline besides occurs erstwhile products go outdated aliases little applicable arsenic newer technologies participate nan market. Consumers whitethorn move to much precocious options, rendering nan declining merchandise little desirable.

If a institution is astatine this stage, it'll either discontinue its product, waste nan company, aliases innovate and iterate connected its merchandise successful immoderate way.

Here are a fewer examples of products successful nan diminution stage:

  • CDs and cassette tapes
  • Landline telephones
  • DVDs

The champion companies will usually person products astatine respective points successful nan merchandise life rhythm astatine immoderate fixed time. Some companies look to different countries to statesman nan rhythm anew.

Importance of nan Product Life Cycle

The merchandise life rhythm is important because it informs an organization’s guidance and decision-makers really good a merchandise is performing and what strategical actions it will return to succeed. This helps companies allocate resources for illustration staff, budgets, shows which products should beryllium prioritized, and wherever nan institution should innovate next.

Other benefits of utilizing nan merchandise life rhythm include:

  • Make amended trading investments and decisions
  • Easier to make semipermanent plans
  • Allows for amended determination making pinch meticulous accusation connected performance
  • Easier to streamline existent processes wrong your company

Product Life Cycle Limitations

While utilizing nan PLC method surely helps stakeholders plan, it does person limitations. The rhythm breaks down capacity complete respective stages, but unluckily location is nary measurement to show really agelong each shape will last.

Complicating things further, not each products will move done these stages astatine nan aforesaid pace. For example, a merchandise whitethorn return longer to diminution than others. Plus merchandise managers tally nan consequence of not dedicating capable effort and resources into a peculiar merchandise if they deliberation nan merchandise will decline, creating planned obsolescence – moreover if customers still usage it.

Breaking Down nan Product Life Cycle Theory

In nan precocious ‘60s, Harvard Business School professor Raymond Vernon developed this trading mentation successful consequence to an economical exemplary that grounded to relationship for trends coming successful world waste and acquisition – that’s why it was primitively called nan world merchandise life rhythm theory.

It stated that products developed successful an world marketplace had 3 phases:

  • New product
  • Maturing product
  • Standardized product

Here’s a speedy breakdown of his theory.

Vernon theorized a caller merchandise would execute champion successful its state of root to support manufacturing and accumulation costs low. Once nan merchandise gained demand, companies could statesman exporting to different countries and proceed building section accumulation plants successful each caller location.

Having these section plants would connection nan elasticity to make changes to nan merchandise without incurring immense costs.

The standardized shape would impact an influx of competitors, which would lead nan institution to attraction connected driving down accumulation and manufacturing costs to stay competitive. As nan marketplace becomes saturated and a caller merchandise gets introduced, nan institution loses its relevance successful its location state and shifts gears to create thing new, pinch nan rhythm opening again.

Since then, nan merchandise life rhythm mentation has evolved to attraction little connected surface science and much connected marketing. Let’s dive into it next.

You tin use this template to representation retired your ain product's life rhythm phases.

Download nan Free Product Life Cycle Template

Product Life Cycle Marketing Strategies

Now that we’ve discussed nan different stages of nan merchandise life cycle, let’s research really to marketplace products successful each stage.

Development Stage Marketing Strategy

While trading typically originates successful nan preamble stage, you tin statesman to build “buzz” astir your merchandise by securing nan endorsement of established voices successful nan industry.

You tin besides see a constricted merchandise of nan merchandise to a prime group of customers aliases successful a circumstantial marketplace segment. This exclusivity tin create a consciousness of anticipation and urgency among imaginable buyers.

Then, you tin usage nan feedback from nan constricted merchandise to people early (and favorable) user investigation aliases testimonials. Your trading extremity during this shape is to build upon your marque consciousness and found yourself arsenic an innovative company.

Introduction Stage Marketing Strategy

This is wherever nan nosy begins. Now that nan merchandise is launched, you tin really beforehand it utilizing inbound marketing and content marketing.

Consider collaborating pinch influencers aliases manufacture experts who person a beardown pursuing and power successful your target market. Encourage them to reappraisal and beforehand your merchandise done blog posts, vlogs, societal media posts, aliases sponsored content. Their endorsement tin thief make credibility and scope a wider audience.

Education is captious successful this stage. If your trading strategies are successful, nan merchandise goes into nan adjacent shape — growth.

Growth Stage Marketing Strategy

During this phase, trading campaigns often displacement from getting customers’ buy-in to establishing a marque beingness truthful consumers take them complete processing competitors.

One measurement to do this is by allocating resources to integer trading channels for illustration societal media advertising, hunt motor optimization (SEO), contented marketing, and influencer partnerships. Then, leverage information analytics to target and scope your perfect customers effectively.

Additionally, arsenic companies grow, they'll statesman to unfastened caller distribution channels and adhd much features and support services. Consider partnering pinch retailers, entering caller markets, aliases exploring e-commerce platforms to scope a wider customer base. In your strategy, you’ll advertise these arsenic well.

Maturity Stage Marketing Strategy

When your merchandise has go a mature offering, you whitethorn consciousness for illustration you’re “sailing by” because income are dependable and nan merchandise has been established. But this is wherever it’s captious to found yourself arsenic a leader and differentiate your brand.

Consider sharing valuable and acquisition content, specified arsenic blog posts and manufacture insights, to position your marque arsenic an authority. Educate imaginable customers astir nan benefits and worth they tin summation from your product.

Continuously amended upon nan merchandise arsenic take grows, and fto consumers cognize successful your trading strategy that nan merchandise they emotion is amended than it was before. This will protect you during nan adjacent shape — saturation.

Saturation Stage Marketing Strategy

When nan marketplace has go saturated, you’ll request to attraction connected marque consciousness and differentiation.

Identify circumstantial customer segments wrong your marketplace and tailor trading efforts to entreaty to their circumstantial needs and preferences. Refine your messaging and positioning to resonate pinch each segment, allowing for a much targeted and businesslike trading approach.

You’ll besides want to attraction connected retaining and strengthening relationships pinch your existing customers. Consider creating a personalized customer work acquisition and introducing caller merchandise features, loyalty programs, packaging options, aliases bundling pinch complementary products.

Competition is highest astatine this stage, truthful it’s captious to time off nary uncertainty regarding nan superiority of your product.

If invention astatine nan merchandise level isn’t imaginable (because nan merchandise only needs insignificant tweaks astatine this point), past put successful your customer work and usage customer testimonials successful your marketing.

Decline Stage Marketing Strategy

While companies would want to debar nan diminution stage, sometimes there’s nary helping it — particularly if nan full marketplace reached a decline. In your trading strategy, you tin stress nan superiority of your solution to successfully get retired of this stage.

To widen nan merchandise life cycle, successful companies tin besides instrumentality caller advertizing strategies, trim prices, adhd caller features to summation their worth proposition, research caller markets, aliases set marque packaging.

Unfortunately, not each institution is successful astatine pivoting their merchandise retired of nan diminution stage. If nan merchandise is obsolete aliases financially unviable, it whitethorn beryllium champion to scheme for an orderly exit from nan market.

Now that we’ve gone done stages and history, let’s reappraisal immoderate real-life examples of them successful action.

Product Life Cycle Examples

  1. The Typewriter
  2. Vine
  3. Cable TV
  4. Floppy Disk

Let’s travel nan merchandise life rhythm of celebrated products that person since reached nan diminution stage.

1. The Typewriter

The typewriter was nan first mechanical penning instrumentality — a worthy successor to pen and paper. Ultimately, however, different technologies gained traction and replaced it.

  • Development: Before nan first commercialized typewriter was introduced to nan market, nan wide thought had been developed for centuries, opening successful 1575.
  • Introduction: In nan precocious 1800s, nan first commercialized typewriters were introduced.
  • Growth: The typewriter quickly became an indispensable instrumentality for each forms of writing, becoming wide utilized successful offices, businesses, and backstage homes.
  • Maturity: Typewriters were successful nan maturity shape for astir 80 years, because this was nan preferred merchandise for typing communications up until nan 1980s.
  • Saturation: During nan saturation stage, typewriters began to look fierce title pinch computers successful nan 1990s.
  • Decline: Overall, nan typewriter couldn't withstand nan title of caller emerging technologies, and yet nan merchandise was discontinued.

2. Vine

Skipping guardant to nan 21st century, we spot nan emergence and autumn of Vine, a short-form video-sharing app that was nan root for galore memes astatine its highest but yet declined owed to different platforms.

  • Development: Vine was founded successful June 2012 and chiefly competed pinch Instagram.
  • Introduction: The app was introduced to nan nationalist successful 2013. Its differentiating facet was its short-form video format — users had only 7 seconds to movie thing that was hilarious, absurd, aliases a substance of both.
  • Growth: Only 2 years aft its release, Vine had complete 200 cardinal progressive users. Its fame led to nan advent of nan building “Do it for nan Vine.”
  • Maturity: Because it was only successful nan marketplace for a fewer years, Vine ne'er reached nan maturity stage. While take was high, it was still a reasonably caller app.
  • Saturation: Vine competed successful an already saturated market. Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube were nan pre-eminent names successful their category, and Vine soon started to diminution successful use.
  • Decline: When was introduced, Vine mislaid a ample magnitude of its personification guidelines and unopen down. It was succeeded by Byte, a akin short-form video-sharing platform, but nary of these person been capable to surpass TikTok, which launched months aft Vine’s extremity successful 2016.

3. Cable TV

Remember nan days of switching TV channels to find what to watch? I do — and they consciousness distinctly for illustration thing of nan past. While cablegram TV is still around, it’s safe to opportunity that it’s nearing nan diminution stage.

  • Development: Cable TV was developed successful nan first half of nan twentieth century. John Walson has been credited pinch its invention.
  • Introduction: The first commercialized tv strategy was introduced successful 1950, and by 1962, nan exertion saw nan first hints of growth.
  • Growth: After a decades-long frost connected cablegram TV’s improvement (due to regulatory restrictions), nan exertion began gaining traction, and by 1980, much than 15 cardinal households had cable.
  • Maturity: Cable TV matured astir nan 1990s. Around 7 successful 10 households had cable.
  • Saturation: The commencement of nan 21st period saw an oversaturation of this technology, and it besides started to compete pinch different modern developments specified arsenic on-demand services and high-definition TV (HDTV). While nan net was still successful its nascent stages, it would soon summation connected cablegram TV arsenic well.
  • Decline: From 2015 onwards, cablegram TV knowledgeable a marked decline. Online video streaming services specified arsenic Netflix and Hulu person taken precedence — and this inclination is group to continue.

4. Floppy Disk

This relic was erstwhile a celebrated and convenient measurement to shop and stock information betwixt computers. I hardly understood what they were increasing up, and it astounds maine to deliberation of nan very beingness of unreality information sharing and different wide representation retention means.

  • Development: The first floppy disk was developed successful 1970 by IBM engineers. It was an 8-inch elastic magnetic disk successful a quadrate lawsuit pinch 2MB retention capacity.
  • Introduction: It was introduced successful 1971 and mostly became known arsenic nan only measurement to transportation aliases shop data.
  • Growth: The floppy disk was majorly utilized successful nan 1980s-1990s.
  • Maturity: Sold good successful nan marketplace during nan 1990s. Improving pinch time, it could clasp 200MB of storage.
  • Saturation: Major competitors emerged astatine nan opening of nan 21st century. The invention of USB cables, outer difficult disks, and CDs gave group options to shop their data.
  • Decline: The floppy disk faced a awesome diminution up to Hewlett-Packard stopping accumulation for nan disk successful 2009. The retention capacity for different products successful nan marketplace grew to beryllium much efficient. Data retention evolution has grown to nan constituent wherever floppy disks are elemental relics.

Not each products request to look nan diminution stage. Companies tin widen nan merchandise life rhythm pinch caller iterations and enactment afloat arsenic agelong arsenic they person respective products astatine various points of nan merchandise life cycle.

International Product Life Cycle

The world merchandise life rhythm (IPL) is nan rhythm a merchandise goes done successful world markets. As products statesman to mature and companies want to debar nan diminution stage, they'll typically statesman to research caller markets globally.

When products scope wide production, manufacturing and accumulation displacement to different countries arsenic well.

The world merchandise life rhythm stages are identical to that of a normal merchandise life cycle. The improvement shape looks different, however, because section customs and regulations tin impact really agelong it takes to bring nan merchandise to a caller marketplace.

However, erstwhile you laic nan groundwork successful a caller marketplace, your competitors will beryllium judge to follow, and nan life rhythm stages will proceed up until saturation and yet decline. Your action is to either grow into different marketplace aliases study from anterior mistakes and innovate earlier nan diminution shape rolls around.

Next, we’ll look astatine erstwhile you should usage nan merchandise life cycle.

When to Use nan Product Life Cycle

Businesses usage nan merchandise life rhythm to execute nan following:

  • Establish competitory authority. If your merchandise is caller and precocious introduced to nan market, you tin advertise it arsenic a caller and improved replacement to an existing product. If nan merchandise is established, you tin vouch for its agelong history of usage successful your branding.
  • Decide connected a pricing strategy. Depending connected nan life rhythm shape your merchandise is in, you’ll take really to value nan product. A caller merchandise whitethorn beryllium priced little to entice much buyers, while a merchandise successful nan maturation shape tin beryllium priced higher.
  • Create a marketing strategy. Your merchandise life rhythm shape will find which strategy to pursue. Maturity and assemblage knowledgeability play a large domiciled successful nan type of contented you people connected your tract and societal media profiles.
  • Respond earlier nan merchandise originates its decline. There’s nary worse emotion than watching your merchandise slow go obsolete aliases beryllium displaced by a competing product. By keeping nan life rhythm stages successful mind, you tin create a strategy that keeps you up of nan curve arsenic you scope nan saturation and diminution stages.

The merchandise life rhythm benefits businesses because they tin displacement their wording and positioning to champion marketplace nan merchandise astatine nan shape it is in. If your merchandise has precocious been introduced and you effort to marketplace it arsenic a long-established solution, consumers will spot correct done it and spot you little arsenic a result.

Keep Your Product’s Life Cycle successful Mind

Whether you're processing a marque caller merchandise aliases moving pinch a mature, well-established brand, you tin usage nan merchandise life rhythm stages arsenic a guideline for your trading campaigns.

Each shape will dictate really you pass your assemblage astir nan product, really you position your marque successful nan marketplace, and really you determine to move guardant aft nan diminution stage.

By keeping your product’s life rhythm successful mind, you tin put successful amended trading campaigns that consequence successful a higher ROI.

Editor's note: This station was primitively published successful January 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

This article was written by a human, but our squad uses AI successful our editorial process. Check retired our afloat disclosure to study much astir really we usage AI.

Product Marketing Kit

Source Marketing