The product life cycle is an important concept in marketing. It describes the stages a product goes through from when it was first thought of until it finally is removed from the market. Not all products reach this final stage. Some continue to grow and others rise and fall.
Evaluating the Product Life Cycle Model
The product life cycle model is by definition simplistic. It is used to predict a likely shape of sales growth for a typical product.
Whilst there are many products whose sales do indeed follow the classic shape of the life cycle model, it is not inevitable that this will happen.
For example, some products may enjoy a rapid growth phase, but quickly move into a decline phase if they are are replaced by superior products from competitors or demand in the market overall declines quickly.
Other products with particularly long life cycles seem to enjoy a maturity phase that lasts for many years.
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