The new-product development process gets the new product to market, and marks thebeginning of the product’s life.
Every company wants its new products to enjoy a long,happy, and profitable life, but realistically, it understands that the new product won’t sellforever. Marketing managers must accept that each product launched in the market willhave a life cycle. The product life cycle, or PLC, is the course that a product’s sales andprofits take over its lifetime. Figure 8.
4 shows a typical progression of a new product overthe course of its life.The typical product life cycle sees the product move through five stages: productdevelopment, introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. In theory, all products follow thePLC—eventually—though some well-established and mature products such as Coca-Cola and Tide laundry detergent may stay in the mature stage indefinitely, and neverdecline. The many products that are introduced to the market and then fail can be viewedas having skipped their growth and maturity stages and gone directly to decline. Andsome products that enter the decline stage are saved by revitalizing them or somehowmaking them “new and improved”—which sends them back to the introduction stage.