The Product Life Cycle and Marketing

“All products have a limited life span until a beter solution to the customer’s problems come along.”

Hooley et al. 2017

The product life cycle is a tool that was developed by Cravens and Piercy in 2009 to help look at an industry’s competitive environment.

Introduction Stage

A stage of slow sales and profit due to the customer’s taking time to find and be convinced by the product. Marketing efforts must be adapted accordingly taking a build strategy to increase overall awareness to the public.
These efforts can be centred around how your product is superior to immediate competitors and making your product the first choice.

Growth Stage

As the name suggests, profit usually starts to grow and decisions have to be made. Organisations can either modify or improve the product or enter new markets with their product. They can also utilise the marketing mix to see continued growth by introducing promotion etc. with the overall goal being delaying the plateau of sales.

Maturity Stage

Growth has slowed by this stage and is often a long-lasting stage. Marketing efforts must be turned to identifying unsatisfied segments of the market or any means to fight off competitors to draw any profit that is left to be had. Brand variations can be introduced but can also be a risky approach if not analysed well beforehand.

Decline Stage

The reduced sales that lead to a product becoming unprofitable. This is usually caused by a better solution being offered such as CDs being replaced by iTunes and now streaming services. Products must be innovated or significantly improved or they will be discontinued.


Hooley, G, Piercy, N, Nicoulaud, B & Rudd, J 2017, Marketing Strategy & Competitive Positioning, 6th Ed., Pearson, Harlow, UK.


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