Outcome: Product Life Cycle

What you’ll learn to do: discuss the product life cycle and its implications for marketing

We just considered the case of Apple launching a new product (the Apple Watch). A particular set of marketing strategies and tactics was needed to define a product that did not exist, to create it, and introduce it to the world. If we were instead focused on marketing the iPhone, which was introduced in 2007, would the strategies and tactics be different? The answer is yes.

In this section we will look at how marketing approaches for a product change over time. Nabisco introduced Wheat Thins crackers in 1947, yet the brand continues to be strong (it generated $344.8 million in revenue in 2015). The cracker even has more than 250,000 Twitter followers. In contrast, other products like children’s toys and trendy clothing are designed for a single sales season and have to be quickly replaced with the next model, in order to draw sales. While the length of time is different, there are common patterns across the product life cycle that we will discuss in this section.

The specific things you’ll learn in this section include:

  • Identify the stages of the product life cycle
  • Explain the unique marketing requirements of each stage
  • Identify challenges with using product lifecycle in marketing

Learning Activities

The learning activities for this section include the following:

  • Reading: Stages of the Product Life Cycle
  • Reading: Marketing through the Product Cycle
  • Reading: Challenges in the Product Life Cycle
  • Self Check: Product Life Cycle