the product life cycle (plc) identifies and explains the stages that a product may go through from the moment it is launched on to the market to the moment it is withdrawn. the product life cycle concept also indicates what can be expected in the market for a new product at various stages. thus, the concept of product life cycle can be used as a forecasting tool. the innovation of a new product and its degeneration into a common product is termed as the life cycle of a product. this stage represents the most competitive stage in the life of a product but one in which profits are flowing in steadily. it may happen when the product is introduced in the market, sales of juicer mixer grew rapidly and then fell to a “petrified” level.
the period of acceptance is short and they tend to attract only a few people who are searching for excitement or want to be different from others. on the other hand, if the rate of technical changes in a country is not so high, the life-cycle of the products in that country may be longer. if the patent of a product is getting registered, the life-cycle of the product can be fairly long, and if the patent of a product is not getting registered, the life-cycle of the product is cut short. a company which has come out with a new product can be sure of enjoying the market success, and the monopoly situation only for a short while. when a new product is first commercially exploited, it will enjoy a monopoly in the domestic market. it may result in different shape of plc 6. the life cycle of a product is dependent on sales to consumers.
the life cycle approach is an effective tool for management to plan for each stage of a product’s life. during the maturity stage of the product life cycle, the sharp growth in sales begins to slow, and profits at the beginning of this stage decline. sales growth of a product is likely to be low at the introductory stage due to several reasons. the intention is to discourage competition and appeal to a greater portion of the segment on the onset. the growth stage of the product life-cycle is characterized by several new factors. this is the stage that we term as the maturity stage of a product’s life-cycle. at some point in time, the sale of a product is bound to decline.
most products eventually pass from maturity to a fourth stage of the life-cycle: decline and eventual elimination. when none of the above strategies is found suitable, the firm should dispose of the product with a minimum inconvenience to the parties concerned. let us now have some idea on the life cycle of each of the above : the life cycle of a product category is found to be longer. the pattern of the style life cycle is much like a cycle-recycle pattern. the decline of fashion is also slow as its growth. a particular product, for example, is one of the ways of meeting a particular need. the product life cycle concept is also relevant to styles, fashions, and fads. it is also difficult to forecast the sales level at each plc stage, the length of each stage, and the shape of the plc curve.
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