When we talk about the lifecycle of a product, no matter what that product is, we’re referring to the length of time it takes for it to first be brought to market and be put in front of consumers to the time that it is finally removed.
Brands make use of product lifecycle data analysis to help them work out price points, marketing, and advertising strategies, packaging, growth and expansion… and a whole lot more.
This process is known as product lifecycle management, a way of working that integrates people, data, processes, and business systems to provide companies and extended enterprises with a product information backbone – with everything available in one place, on a single platform.
It’s widely accepted that there are four stages in the lifecycle of any given product: Introduction, growth, maturity, and decline.
However, before this can even be a consideration, conception, design, research, and development have to be carried out first.
This ensures that every product is worthwhile and workable, attractive to its target market, and with the potential for a profit before it is manufactured and promoted.
This helps brands maximise their chances of success and ensures that they don’t waste their time or money on products that won’t prove competitive. Once products are sent out to market, this is when the lifecycle begins.
Knowing what the lifecycle stages are and gaining a deeper understanding of what’s involved can help businesses increase their profitability and ensure that returns are fully maximised. By ensuring that products meet their potential and remain on the shop shelves for as long as possible.
Once you’ve developed your product and produced it from tech packs, tested it out, and come up with a launch strategy. You can bring it to market and start the introduction stage of the product lifecycle. This is where you’ll focus on raising awareness and targeting your chosen demographic.
This sounds simple enough, but it can be challenging when faced with competition and fresh innovation from other quarters. Typically, sales at this particular stage are relatively slow and it can take some time before you’re able to move onto stage two.
The growth stage is where you’ll start to see an increase in demand for your product, driving sales and allowing you to extend the availability of your goods. It’s possible at this stage that you’ll also start to see similar versions of your product popping up from your competitors. So make sure your branding is strong and work to cement your position in the market.
At this stage, your product will now find itself firmly established in the marketplace, so production and marketing costs will start to fall. You are likely to start seeing signs of market saturation at this point, so demand may start to drop. This is when you’ll find it even more important to prioritise branding and product differentiation to ensure you stay where you want to be.
It’s largely inevitable that there will come a time when the product lifecycle will start a decline, whether that’s because of your competitors offering lower prices. This can be down to new features, or because fresh new innovation has come to market that makes your offering obsolete.
At this point, decisions will need to be made as to whether you continue offering the product but on a smaller scale, if you want to give it a revamp to make it more competitive, or if you want to abandon it altogether to focus your attention elsewhere.
By adopting a lifecycle management system strategy, you’ll find that you’re better able to extend the shelf life of your products, reduce time to market, improve product quality, identify future sales opportunities, and reduce prototyping costs.
If you’d like to find out more about this way of working, get in touch with the team here at Bombyx PLM today.