Extending the Product Life Cycle

Product reinvention to trigger a new growth phase

In a mature market, potentially entering the decline stage of the product life cycle, larger firms may be in a position to try and rethink the overall positioning of a product in order to try and broaden its market or to create new usage or opportunities for silence.

In other words, instead of simply accepting that the product will decline in sales and profitability – think about whether there is an opportunity to “breathe new life” into the product.

A good example here would be a traditional home loan/mortgage. In many cases, consumers have the goal (or encouraged) to pay off their home loan/mortgage as quickly as possible. This repayment approach obviously has the impact of reducing the potential size of the market.

Therefore, in some developed countries, banks have “repositioned” home loans/mortgages from being simply lending facilities to purchase a house to ongoing financial facilities for housing, investments, shares and so on. So instead of seeking to pay off the loan over time, some consumers have a permanent loan facility and actually increase their debt levels as they become more affluent.

plc extension

As you can see, this had the impact of taking a product that was in the mature stage of its product life cycle and pushing it into another growth phase.

Another good example of extending the maturity stage of the PLC would be Kellogg’s with their efforts to shift breakfast cereals into ready-to-eat breakfast bar variations. This is a nice adaption of their traditional product to the changing needs of their time-poor consumers.

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