Product Life Cycle

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Product Life Cycle

Every product undergoes a Product Life Cycle (PLC). Product life cycle consists of four stages, introductory stage, growth stage, maturity stage and decline stage. Each stage has its own characteristics regarding marketing objective, competition, product, price, promotion and place.

The introduction stage is the one where the marketing objective is to gain awareness. There is no competition and price is set to penetrate the market. Promotion plays an educational role, tries to teach customers to get used to the product or service and distribution is at this stage limited. This stage occurs when a new product enters the market. This stage still bring a dilemma about setting the price, because if it is set high (to cover the expenses) there is always a chance that competition will react by bringing similar product for lower price. For this reason, introduction stage is very dangerous.

Going through its introductory stage in Slovakia is a digital camera. Digital camera is famous abroad for the fact that one can easily download the pictures and send them via e-mail around the world. However, digital camera remains unusable in case one does not own a good PC and is not connected to the Internet. Plus its starting price was set probably too high. Not every one can afford it and thus no matter the quality and advantages, sales stay low. There is lack of promotion, because if there are no sales, companies do not want to invest in ads in countries with low potential. Digital cameras can definitely succeed for its mass targeting but sellers need to develop some strategy to attract customers.

This product falls into low learning category for its easy manipulation and knowledge of its perspective users.

Following the introductory stage is the growth stage. In this stage the product has successfully entered the market and established some position on it. Competition is growing and thus primary objective is to define and overcome competitive differences. There are more versions of the product available and its distribution has been broadened.

Representative of this stage is Red Bull. It was introduced to the Slovak market approximately 3 years ago. Due to a good media campaign the product has a stable position in the market with non-alcoholic stimulating beverages. The success of this product can be determined by several factors. One of them is the fact that young people recently have more opportunities to have fun in the evenings and therefore they need stimulation to keep them active for the whole night.

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