The Product Life Cycle is one of the most familiar concepts in marketing. It is a biological metaphor that traces the stages of a product's acceptance, from its introduction (birth) to its decline (death). This cycle has four main stages:
1. Introductory stage
2. Growth stage
3. Maturity stage
4. Decline stage
The Product Life Cycle can be used to analyze a brand, a product form, or a product category. The product life cycle for a product form is usually longer than a product life cycle for any one brand. The exception would be a brand that was first and last competitor in a product form market. In that situation, the brand and product form life cycles would be equal in length.
Can you think of a product that is in the decline stage? If so, why do you think the product is in this stage of the Product Life Cycle?