The Product Life Cycle



It is important to remember that there is a difference between the product life cycle and the fashion life cycle!

Product Life Cycle - Introduction, growth, maturity and decline. Also the environmental aspects of the life cycle.

Fashion Life Cycle - Fad, Classic, Standard.

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The Product Life Cycle

  • The product life cycle (PLC) is based upon the biological life cycle, much like  the life cycle of a plant:
    • A seed is planted (Introduction)
    • It begins to sprout (growth)
    • It shoots out leaves and puts roots down (maturity)
    • After a long period as an adult the plant begins to shrink and die out (decline)
  • In theory, its the same for a product.
    • After a period of development it is introduced or launched into the market.
    • It gains more and more customers as it grows.
    • Eventually, the market stabilises and the product becomes mature.
    • After a period of time the product is overtaken by the development and introduction of new products and competitors and goes into decline.
    • It is then withdrawn.
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Diagram of the Product Lifecycle


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Introduction of the PLC

This is to make the target aware of the new product. It is important to heavily promote it. A special introductory price may help to push to product.

Think of some examples of how textile products are marketed before they go on sale/in their introduction...

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As sales and profitability increase, the selling price may be reduced to make the product more attractive. Continued advertising around the brand name will help sustain sales.

The marketing team may consider expanding its distrobution, to reach more customers.

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Competitors will usually have entered the market at this stage.

If their products are as good but cheaper the company may lose some of its market share.

The pricing strategy must be reviewed.

Marketers may also put added value onto their product by adding accesories or insurance etc.

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Marketing cannot save a product at this stage, but targeting a different and smaller segment can prolong its life.

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Life Cycle of Levi Jeans


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Product Categories

Basic Products

A product bought/sold for years with few style changes. E.g. Jeans and T-shirts

Businesses selling basic product can count on a long product lifecycle with the same customers buying multiple units of the same product at once over time.

Fashion Products

Life cycles last a shorter time than basic product life cycles. By definition, fashion is a style of the time.

A large number of people adopt a style at a particular time. When it is no longer adopted by many, a fashion product ends its cycle.

Fad Products

The fad is the shortest life cycle. It is typically a style that is adopted by a particular sub-culture or younger demographic group for a short period of time.

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Basic, Fashion and Fad Product Life Cycles

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