The term product life cycle refers to different stages that a product goes through throughout its life span. It is the period from when a product was launched and introduced to the consumers to when it was removed from the shelves or the market.
What is the Product Life Cycle?
Everything in this world has a life span and throughout that lifespan, it goes through different stages. For example, an apple is once a seed, that seed then germinates, becomes a plant. The plant grows into a tree and then that tree bears apples. Those apples are sent to the market and at last, they are either eaten or become ripe. Similarly, a software product goes through different stages, referred to as product life cycle. Software is usable just for a particular period and is expired when it no longer meets the needs of its users.
The Product Life Cycle includes five stages:
- Product Development
- Market Introduction
Product development refers to the process of planning and creating a product. A software product goes through the complete SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) during this phase. After the completion of this phase, a software product is ready to be launched for its users.
In this phase:
- Investment is done in developing a product.
- No sale is done.
- New ideas are generated, discussed, implemented, tested and the existing ideas are improved.
When a software product is ready and has completed the development phase, it is introduced to its consumers and made available for the public to be used. When a product has been introduced in the market, potential customers can buy it and start using it.
In this phase:
- Product is introduced to the consumers
- Investment is done in marketing
- Production cost is more.
In this stage of the Product Life Cycle, the product demand increases, and the production is also increased. When a product starts growing, the developers of the products have to make sure that the product is available for the consumers when they need it.
In this phase:
- The product becomes popular enough in the market
- The production cost is reduced
- Profit is increased
- Sales are increased
When the cost of marketing and production declines, the product is in the maturity stage. It is profitable for the company as the production cost is reduced.
- Market is saturated
- Competition is increased
- The market is saturated and profit declines
- The product requires to be upgraded to fulfill the user’s needs.
- Cost is increased due to low sales and more production
- Profitability is decreased
- The product starts to vanish from the market
Managing the Product Life Cycle
To extend the life cycle of your product, following a fine strategy and planning is necessary. The strategy begins with the product introduction to the market. First of all, the marketing strategy is decided and implemented. The more you work on marketing strategy, the more your product will grow. To keep your products in the market for a long time, you must upgrade your product with the time to fulfill the evolving user needs. Your products should go through different phases of the Product Life Cycle again and again for further improvements and adding features. The entire product team should work on improving the product throughout its life cycle.