How to Use the Product Life Cycle (PLC) Marketing Model | intelligent information (2023)

Learn how to use the product lifecycle (PLC) marketing model to engineer changes in perception and usage of your products

The product lifecycle describes the phases of a product from market launch to obsolescence. It is a strategy tool that helps companies plan new product development and refine existing products.

What are the stages of the product lifecycle?

  • introduction
  • growth
  • maturity
  • Reject

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Development of new products

The new product development phase occurs before the start of the product life cycle and consists ofmarket researchuntil product launch. Therefore, this phase may include:

  • Checking product demand
  • Brand perception assessment
  • Benchmarking Competitivo
  • Understand consumer preferences and behaviors

What do SPS levels mean?

The four phases are shown in the table below, although the decline can be avoided by reinventing product elements. It is also recognized that some products never make it past the introductory stage, while others move through the lifecycle much faster than others.

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Our marketing template resources are designed to help marketers, managers, and business owners plan, manage, and optimize their marketing efforts to improve performance and achieve their goals.

(Video) The Product Life Cycle Explained


Product marketing managers need to introduce their new product while it is still relatively unknown and production is small. Pricing is often higher because distribution is limited and advertising is personalized.

At this point, it's worth returning to the infamous statistic.95% of all new products fail🇧🇷 Therefore, planning is key. We recommend planning your new product launch using the RACE planning framework.

Our business member marketing solutions help define the types of communications, best practices and optimization techniques within the RACE planning framework that maximize the lifetime value of your customers and products.

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Congratulations - your product is becoming more and more popular! As your market share increases, now is the time to focus your RACE goals on market penetration and development – ​​such as: B. Communicating product benefits and building the brand.

As your product is bought in greater quantity and as the volume increases, the price decreases and the profit increases. When scaling a business, consider the practical implications for resources, which Lilach Bullock summarized in her blog post.4 essential elements of a scalable business:

Scale too quickly and you may suffer from not being prepared. Scale slowly or unevenly and you could be stuck with people you hired and no longer need. Overall, you need to make sure that the speed of your growth isn't going to hurt you in the long run.


The product competes with alternatives and its prices are falling. Distribution is increasing (it is available everywhere) and advertising is focused on how it differs from the competition.

In the management of the differentiation strategyDRIP is another marketing model featured in our guide to basic marketing models🇧🇷 DRIP is an acronym for "Differentiate, Amplify, Inform and Convince".

(Video) Product Life cycle, 4 stages of product life Cycle

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At the end of its useful life, the product faces fewer competitors. The price can go up and distribution has become selective as some retailers have discontinued the product. The promotion aims to remind customers of its existence.

For more information on each phase of the product lifecycle, check out our free guide to top marketing models. Thousands of Smart Insights members use our free resources to improve their marketing strategy skills and knowledge. Start today.

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How can I use this marketing template?

When reviewing your business you need to understand at what stage your products or services have reached your portfolio of all products which can be evaluated in terms of market share and growth using theBCG-Matrixmodell🇧🇷 By reviewing the product portfolio, marketers can plan new products, reinvent existing products, or discontinue products that are in severe decline.

You can also associate digital marketing products and services with the popular model of innovation disseminationhype cycles.

An example of the product lifecycle model

This example shows how the yogurt product category has moved through the product lifecycle, reorganizing elements of the marketing mix. Examples of phases and how the PLC has evolved are:

(Video) How to Use the Product Life Cycle in BTEC Business Unit 2


  • Yogurt available at health food stores
  • Functional and simple packaging
  • Advertised as a healthy food


  • Yogurt available in supermarket refrigerators
  • The packaging gets a new look
  • Introduction of new flavors (eg strawberry and vanilla)


  • Reinvented product with addition of fruit/muesli/chocolate
  • Packing changes in different shapes and sizes
  • Advertised as a fun snack or luxury treat


  • Not yet!

How to extend product lifecycle

There are several strategies you can try to extend your product's lifecycle and avoid decline without radically changing your product.


The structure of your advertising and the physical appearance of your product must always be considered. who is this for? How do you relate to the product? Optimizing your messaging and packaging and targeting different demographics can reinvigorate your product or brand. One of the best examples of this is the Dollar Shave Club video ad, which presented the clipper delivery service in a new and humorous light. To date, the video has nearly 30 million views and generated 12,000 orders in the two days following the video's release.


You can also rate the product's features and the price at which they are offered. You can then lower the price of the same product to prolong its appeal, increasing the sense of value, or you can add new features to the product to revitalize its place in your industry. A common example of this is the many iterations of laptops you see released by one brand. Major changes are indicated by new product names (eg Lenovo YOGA laptops), while specification updates are called "generations". The more generations of a product there are, the cheaper older generations become, as they are seen as "value" options.

One tip is to continually check customer feedback, to ensure your products don't reach the end of their useful life, conduct customer surveys regularly. Get feedback and find out what works, what doesn't and why.

(Video) Product Life Cycle Explained | Apple iPhone & Coca Cola Examples

New markets/platforms

To maximize your product's longevity, you should always explore opportunities to launch your product in new markets or on new platforms. Netflix has grown from a DVD delivery service to one of the biggest video streaming platforms in the world. After launching its streaming service in the US in 2007, the company began expanding into other markets in 2010 with Canada, then South American countries like Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. Popularity continued to grow and Netflix expanded into Europe in 2012. Today they boast167 million subscribers.

As technology advances, so do the platforms available for your products. If you find ways to keep your products flexible in distribution, you can add years to their life cycle.

How to Use the Product Life Cycle (PLC) Marketing Model | intelligent information (10)

Nintendo has been at the forefront of extending the lifespan of its games through continued use of the platforms and technologies available to them. Several games originally released in the 1980s and available on cartridges have been re-released multiple times to extend their shelf life:

  • Early 2000s: Games released on the GameBoy Advance with the new portability appeal (similar to portable music devices like Walkmans)
  • Late 2000s: Games released on the Wii Virtual Console, with the new appeal of forming a non-physical collection on one device (similar to the rise of digital movie downloads)
  • 2010s: These games are now available on your Switch console as a subscription product (similar to Netflix and other on-demand services).
  • In 2019 came the Nintendo Switch Lite: this thinner, lighter device doesn't plug into your TV, but instead offers the convenience of portable gaming on the go.How to Use the Product Life Cycle (PLC) Marketing Model | intelligent information (11)

What else should you consider?

When product sales drop, you need to know why. Products are relegated due to better offerings from competitors, changes in behavior, or because there is no longer a need for the product.

All over Morocco, for example, there are long-standing “Public Ecrivains,” or people who read your emails and write responses. If the country's literacy rate continues to improve (currently around 70% versus 60% a decade ago), this service will decline rapidly. Ecrivians need to evolve their value proposition or expand their market.

In addition, product marketing managers need to stay up to date with the latest industry innovations to evolve their products' lifecycle and avoid a decline. resources like oursGuide to marketing technology and media innovation,Financial Services Marketing Trends Guide, and others in ourToolkit for industry-specific technology innovationsallows you to analyze developments in your industry and make informed decisions. Find out more

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(Video) Product Life Cycle in marketing

In our free illustrated guide to 15 classic planning templates, we explain what they are and give examples of why and how to use them in business.

Access...Essential marketing models for business growth


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