The Product Life Cycle (PLC) is a very important marketing concept. By understanding the PLC, a marketer can properly analyze product offerings and identify where in the PLC those product offerings are positioned. The four stages are introduction, growth, maturity and decline. For each of the four stages of the PLC, a different strategy is needed. This is similar to the concept portrayed in the Boston Consultant Matrix (BCM). For example, the “question mark” quadrant of the BCM aligns with the “introduction stage” of the PLC. The “star” quadrant of the BCM aligns with the “growth stage” of the PLC. The “cash cow” quadrant of the BCM aligns with the “maturity stage” of the PLC. The “dog” quadrant of the BCM aligns with the “decline stage” of the PLC.
There is a second curve that can be imposed on the PLC and provides additional insight to marketers. This second curve is called the Diffusion Curve. It consists of five stages. These are innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards. Please note where the Diffusion Curve peaks in comparison to the Product Life Cycle Curve. Also, important to note where each of the five stages of the Diffusion Curve fits into the PLC.
Discussion Question 1: When considering the Product Life Cycle and its four stages, sometimes one of the hardest stages to develop a successful marketing strategy is in the “decline stage.” There are some products that can be in the “decline stage,” but have been resurrected through a strategic marketing plan. For example, what do you think about vinyl records? There are products all the time hitting the decline stage, some of them return. Read the following current article from December 2014 from the Wal Street Journal. http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-biggest-music-comeback-of-2014-vinyl-records-1418323133 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. You can also google the article name and it will get you link that will take you to the article without a subscription. You can also read the article in the attached .pdf file. Wal Street Journal Article on Vinyl Records.pdf
Part A: Write a response about this article and what you find to be an important marketing concept/strategy to consider when dealing with products in the decline stage. (Minimum 250 words.)
Part B: Find another product that is currently or has been recently in the decline stage that is or has also experienced a positive comeback situation. Properly reference and discuss the product and the strategy used. (Minimum 250 words.)
Extra points can be earned by providing an appropriate product example that fits into each stage of the PLC. This means selecting a different, specific product for each stage, and justifying your answer.
Discussion Question 2:
Part A: Define the Diffusion Curve and its five stages. (Minimum 250 words)
Part B: Select a product you have personally purchased recently and explain where you fit into the adoption/diffusion on that product. Explain your answer in marketing terms. For example, my mother who is an older consumer finally upgraded from her house phone, which was a landline, to a cell phone. She is a “laggard” in the diffusion curve. From here, if I were using this example, I would develop it further with greater support of this placement. This just gets you started. (Minimum 100 words).