Page 1: Introduction
All products have a life-cycle. It starts with preparations for the product's launch, followed by the launch itself. Some products are an immediate success; they capture public imagination. Often this results from well targeted, exciting promotional and advertising activity and from careful market research that has identified a genuine gap in the market. Other products take longer to come to consumers' attention, and longer still to become popular. Some new products flop, and soon disappear from sale.
The growth stage comes next. Growth can take weeks or months (e.g. the latest fashion clothes) or years (e.g. the typical packet or canned food and drinks found in supermarkets). Eventually the maturity stage is reached, where sales of the product and consumers' level of product awareness are both high. At this stage, products risk going into decline, largely because they have become too familiar and are seen as less exciting than recently launched alternatives.