The new-product development process gets the new product to market
The new-product development process gets the new product to market, and marks the
beginning 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 sell
forever. Marketing managers must accept that each product launched in the market will
have a life cycle. The product life cycle, or PLC, is the course that a product’s sales and
profits take over its lifetime. Figure 8.4 shows a typical progression of a new product over
the course of its life.
The typical product life cycle sees the product move through five stages: product
development, introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. In theory, all products follow the
PLC—eventually—though some well-established and mature products such as Coca-
Cola and Tide laundry detergent may stay in the mature stage indefinitely, and never
decline. The many products that are introduced to the market and then fail can be viewed
as having skipped their growth and maturity stages and gone directly to decline. And
some products that enter the decline stage are saved by revitalizing them or somehow
making them “new and improved”—which sends them back to the introduction stage.