Stages of Product Life Cycle

Ok, this is a case where we’ve already, very recently talked about the stages of product life cycle in depth. However, because it was in a special context when we did, it means that those looking for this specific information may not find that.

That leaves me with the joy of repeating this, which we all know I usually complain about too much. But in this particular case, I’m making an exception even in my opinion, because I think everyone in business needs to understand the stages of product life cycle.

Why:

Well, understanding what must be done for a product to go from nonexistence to active and being sold to a consumer base is very crucial. Without this, mismanagement of things surrounding it could result in its failure.

Likewise, not understanding this will result in the mismanagement as well. It’s a vicious cycle only really solved by just understanding these on a basic level. That’s what we’re going to do today. We’re going to give a basic synopsis and leave out the technical. Those need their own pieces for longer discussion anyhow.

An Assumption:

We’re going to assume you’re starting from inception, and not going through a rhythmic cycle yet, which is far less eventful and interesting. But, I’ll point out where that cycle would start.

Inception:

Not a movie with a lot of weird booming sounds, this is where a need for a product, and a niche to fill is discovered. It may just be someone having a good idea, an R&D lab may come up with it, any number of things could lead to this.

Concept Testing:

Before heavy development, the product must be conceptually tested, to be sure the idea sounds logical and practical to attempt. A green light here begins the real work.

R&D:

Regular cycles begin here, but it’s less heavy for them. R&D will build a prototype to demonstrate and test on focus groups and professional testing facilities.

Once a prototype is approved (or a revision if it’s a renewal cycle), then the heavy technical begins.

Renewed or Initial Engineering and Marketing:

Here, either you’re renewing your marketing campaign with a new face, or you’re beginning your first public outreach. Treat both equally delicately for optimal success here.

You’re also engineering production facilities, packaging, shipping and distribution and other infrastructure things. If it’s a renewal, it’s just making tweaks and doing rush shipping to replace old stock. It’s best to replace it by attrition, though.

Storefront:

You’re producing but not at capacity, the customers are ready for it, and you can ship product. No matter if it’s launch or renewal, you need to have somewhere for it to go. You have to secure good shelf space in good locations be it brick and mortar or online.

Active:

During the active phase, you produce and ship product, track issues and success, and just keep things running. You’ll spend most of your time here, and sadly it has little to be said about it this time.

Conclusion:

Understanding the stages of product life cycle is important, because then you know what must be done for every change, variation and so forth with your product. It’s a big step not to be done flippantly, in light of all that.

bnr19

Mark Silver
Mark is the Lead Author & Editor of Spectechular Blog. Mark established the Spectechular blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Product Management.
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