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Concept of Product Life Cycle

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The concept of the product life cycle (PLC) is one of major tools used in developing marketing strategy. This theory is more and more popular in recent years, because many marketers desire for a tool to help them understand the product's development which means all products have their own life time as they eventually decline and disappear. Based on that understanding of the product, the marketers can adapt their marketing strategy and find a new product to replace the dying one. According to Brassington and Pettitt (2003), the PLC concept explains the life of a product in terms of birth, growth, maturity, decline and eventual death which is based on the assumption that the product has a life like a human. During its life, the product goes through different stages, and in each stage it has different performance in the market which includes different market growth rates and different competitive conditions. This implies the marketer must set up different marketing strategy for each stage to suit for the development of product. The aim of this essay is to discuss the concept of product life cycle which can give the marketer some basic information about this popular concept. Firstly, the general background of the product life cycle is given which includes the concept and the stages of PLC. Secondly, the strengths and weaknesses of the product life cycle are discussed. At the same time, some recommendations to mitigate the negative influences of the product life cycle are presented. Finally, a general conclusion is draw. ...read more.


Armstrong, G. Saunders, J. and Wong, V. 1996). It is not easy to identify which stage of the PLC the product is in, especially the definitions of each stage is not very standard which could lead the confusion between stages. This is the precondition that the PLC concept can perform correctly. When the product enter to the next stage of PLC, if the company can not notices, the marketing strategy and plan will not appropriate for the new stage of the produce. Only when they recognise the change in PLC, they can make the right strategy based on the analysis for the crucial factors in the new stage. And in practice, it is difficult to forecast the sales level at each PLC stage, the length of each stage and the shape of the PLC curve (Jobber, D. 1998). The basic reason is this PLC concept can not help the marketer to understand the product and market in detail. It is theoretic and unclear. Secondly, the strength of PLC as a coordinating tool is to help marketers to coordinate 4Ps which include product, price, promotions and place. Thirdly, the PLC also can remand the marketers to pay more attention to the development of the product and its market. It warns the marketers that the product would not grow continually forever (Jobber, D. 1998). Normally, there is a danger that management may have high emotion in a particular product. The PLC can help the company understand that the product has its own lift cycle which means the company have to face the face that products need to be terminated and new products need to be developed to replace them. ...read more.


However, it also has many weaknesses which affect the practicability of the concept. Therefore, marketing managers must monitor the real changes that are happening in the marketplace before setting up the appropriate objectives and strategies for marketing. Using the PLC concept to develop marketing strategy can also be difficult because strategy is both a cause and a result of the product's life cycle (Armstrong, G. and Korler, P. 2000). The product's current PLC position suggests the best marketing strategies and the resulting marketing strategies affect product performance in later life-cycle stages. Of course, when it is used carefully by the marketers who understand it clearly, the PLC concept still a very useful theory in developing good marketing strategies for different stages in the product life cycle anyway. Reference Brassington, F. and Pettitt, S. (2003). Principles of marketing, third ed. London: FT Prentice Hall. Blythe, J. (2001). Essentials of marketing, second ed. London: Cowell, D. (1984). The marketing of services. London: Carman, J. M. and Langeard, E. Proceedings of the 8th annual meeting of the European academy for advanced research in marketing. Groningen: Dibb, S. Simkin, L. Pride, W. and Ferrell, O. (1997). Marketing: Concepts and Strategies, Third European ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Dhalla, N. K. and Langeard, E. (1976). Harvard business review. Vol. Lancaster, G. and Massingham, L. (1993). Essentials of Marketing: Text and Cases, second ed. London: McGraw-Hill Book Company Doyle, P. (1994). Marketing Management and Strategy. London: Prentice Hall. Jobber, D. (1998). Principles and Practice of Marketing, Second ed. London: Korler, P. Armstrong, G. Saunders, J. and Wong, V. (1996). Principles of marketing, the European ed. Glasgow: Pearson Prentice Hall. Armstrong, G. and Korler, P. (1999). Marketing: an introduction, fifth ed. London: Prentice-Hall. ?? ?? ?? ?? - 1 - ...read more.

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