How to get the most out of your product

No matter how great your product is, it has a shelf life. The only way to make the most of your product and maximise your profits is to understand its life cycle – where it peaks and where it drops. If you monitor and understand your product’s lifecycle, you’ll be able to modify your strategy to make sure you’re making the most of it!

The product lifecycle

Understanding how markets change and how they react to different products and services, including your own, is so important when it comes to developing a successful marketing strategy.

Change is inevitable in business and in technology, and because of this, the reception of your product or service will change over time too. When we talk about the product lifecycle, we are describing what happens to anything that you produce or sell, from its launch until its withdrawal. This applies to all businesses, large or small.

The Product Lifecycle

Whatever your product or service is, it goes through a four-stage cycle after its launch. These four stages are:

  • Introduction: Characterised by few sales and big losses as development costs build up. Sales are generally made to ‘early adopters’ in the marketplace.
  • Growth: The product becomes more widely known. There are a few competitors and profit margins tend to be good.
  • Maturity: Sales begin to peak. If the product has mass market appeal, this is when the bulk of potential customers will buy. Competition increases and profit margins tend to fall.
  • Decline: The product begins to ‘show its age’ – new and better competitive products emerge in the market. Sales fall and profits dip sharply.

Reducing the decline

If you monitor your product cycle, you can anticipate your product’s decline, slowing its progress in order for you to make the most profit out of what you’re selling. But how do you go about this?

The answer is to adopt one of the following strategies:

  • Increasing promotion: Mopping up any hesitant prospects
  • Enhancing the product: Adding new features and benefits to update the old model
  • Introducing add-ons and variations: Giving a wider choice of buying options
  • Finding new markets: Broadening the marketplace to find new, untapped prospects

Making the most of the product isn’t all about squeezing it for all its worth, but also knowing when to withdraw it from the marketplace. An outdated product that won’t sell will only cost you money unnecessarily, so knowing when to pull and replace a product is a great way to save on expenses.

What this means for your marketing

The digital world is a big, big place – full to the brim of marketing resources that can boost your products, services and ultimately your business. Keeping your products, website, social media and promotional information up-to-date is so important otherwise, you can quickly lose customers and commerce.

It’s through raising brand awareness and the continuous optimisation of your site and products that you can expect returns. Of course, success doesn’t happen overnight. As the product lifecycle suggests, it’s a matter of time before you start to see profits from each product or service.

By keeping an eye on the life cycle of your products, as well as the behaviours of your target audience, you will develop a better understanding of when to expect returns, and what to expect with future products.