Variations of Product Life Cycle (PLC)

There could be various variants of the product life cycle with a slight deviation from the ideal curve.

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Variations of Product Life Cycle (PLC)

A Standard Product Life Cycle

A Standard Product Life Cycle curve is typically divided into 4 stages. Before discussing the variations of product life cycle, lets have a look at the standard stages.

  • Introduction:
    • Product introduced in market.
    • Slow sales growth.
    • No profits as expenses are high.
  • Growth: 
    • Period of rapid market acceptance.
    • Profit increases.
  • Maturity:
    • Sales growth slows down.
    • Profits stability then decline to fight competition.
  • Decline:
    • Sales decreases
    • Profits decreases

 

Variations of Product Life Cycle

  • There may exist many PLC patterns in addition to standard PLC. Some common variants are as stated below:

Variations of Product Life Cycle (PLC)

(1) Growth/Slump/Maturity Pattern:

  • Sales grow, and then fall to petrified level. Refer to the image above marked as (1).
  • Generally, these products have a long durability.
  • Example: Small kitchen appliances (Spoons), Cease fire.

(2) Cycle-Recycle Pattern:

  • Sales grow, then decreases. Refer to the image above marked as (2).
  • Company gives another promotion push for another smaller growths.
  • Example: Pharmaceuticals.

(3) Scalloped Pattern:

  • Sales pass through a series of PLC’s due to discovery of new uses/characteristics. Refer to the image above marked as (3).
  • Example: Nylon.

 

Variations of Product Life Cycle: Special Cases

  • Three special categories of PLC need to be distinguished.
  • PLC’s pertaining to Style/Fashion/Fad.

Style:

Variations of Product Life Cycle (PLC) - Style

  • Style is a basic/distinctive mode of expression appearing in a field of human endeavors.
  • Once a style is invented, it can last for generations, at times going in/ going out.
  • Example: Styles in Home, Clothes.

Fashion:

 

Variations of Product Life Cycle (PLC) - Fashion

  • Fashion is a currently accepted/popular style in a given field.
  • Example: Clothes: Jeans. Music: Hindi-Pop.
  • Fashion Pass through four Stages:
    • Distinctiveness Stage:
      • Same customer take interest in something new that sets them apart.
    • Emulation Stage:
      • Other customers take an interest out of desire to emulate fashion leaders.
    • Mass-Fashion Stage:
      • Fashion becomes very popular & manufacturing gear up for mass production.
    • Decline:
      • Consumer starts moving towards other fashion.

Fad:

Variations of Product Life Cycle (PLC) - Fad

  • Fads are fashion that comes quickly into the public eye, are adopted with great zeal, peak easily and decline fast.
  • Acceptance cycle is short.
  • Fads tend to have limited followings
  • Example: Body Piercing, Tattooing, Pepsi Blue.

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