The Product Life-Cycle Concept

Because we live and work in a dynamic market situation, managers must accept as the normal state of affairs that all products have a limited life. This fact is commonly expressed in the form of the product life-cycle curve. Products during their existence go through the phases indicated on the curve, as follows:

1. Starting before, sometimes long before, a product reaches the marketplace, there is a development phase. Market research must be undertaken, the product designed, prototypes built, plants laid down. While costs can be very high, income will initially be nil and will probably grow only slowly. Profits are a long way off yet. Many products are slow to ‘catch on’ and this part of the curve typically does not rise steeply.

2. During the growth phase the product reaches general acceptance, and sales increase steeply. Profits mount as development costs are recovered and unit costs decrease with greater volume of production.

3. As the product reaches maturity, initial demand is beginning to be satisfied, competitors may have arrived on the scene, and there will be greater reliance on replacement sales. Sales increase more slowly, and profits come under pressure and may start to decline.

4. When the market is fully saturated, sales will ‘peak off’ and profits decline still further.

5. Finally, sales will go into definite decline and margins come under very severe pressure as it becomes increasingly costly to maintain sales at a reasonable level.

The curve for any particular product may be steeper or flatter, the time-scale may be longer or shorter. Some products seem to go on for a very long time. For this reason the pattern must be applied with care. In addition, we must be careful what we mean by a product in this context: for example, the market for glass has risen steadily over the past 50 years, but within this period the sale of lamp glasses has declined and that of milk bottles has risen steeply (to decline again in some countries in face of competition from waxed cartons or plastic and the change from doorstep delivery to bulk purchase from the supermarket).

Nonetheless the typical pattern stands as a warning that it is dangerous to rely too heavily for too long on one product, so that, as profit from one declines, profit from its successor rises to fill the gap. Ideally this will give a steadily rising profit for the company as a whole, even though some products have entered the ‘decline’ phase of the product life-cycle.

It must be emphasized that the product life-cycle diagram is not a rigid description of exactly how all products always behave. Rather it is an idealized indication of the pattern most products can be expected to follow.

There is nothing fixed about the length of the cycle or the lengths of its various stages. It has been suggested that the length of the cycle is governed by the rate of technical change, the rate of market acceptance and the ease of competitive entry. So, each year numerous new fashion styles are introduced, many of them to last only a few months. At the other extreme, a new aircraft must have many years of life if it is to be commercially worthwhile.

The main importance of the life-cycle concept is to remind us constantly of the three following facts:

1. Products have a limited life;
2. Profit levels are not constant but change throughout a product’s life in a way that is to some extent predictable;
3. Products require a different marketing programme at each stage of their life-cycle.

Implications of the Product Life-cycle

If we have to accept that no product will go on earning profits indefinitely, then we must plan so as to have a whole succession of new products coming ‘through the pipeline’. Peter Drucker has drawn attention to the need to keep all products under review to ensure that not too high a proportion are at the end of their life-cycle. He describes the following six categories:

1. Tomorrow’s breadwinners – new products or today’s breadwinners modified and improved;
2. Today’s breadwinners – the innovations of yesterday;
3. Products capable of becoming net contributors if something drastic is done;
4. Yesterday’s breadwinners – generally products with high volume, but badly fragmented into ‘specials’, small orders and the like;
5. The ‘also raps’ – generally the high hopes of yesterday that, while they did not work out well, nevertheless did not become outright failures;
6. The failures.

Product Elimination

From the product life-cycle concept and Drucker’s analysis of product categories, it follows that all products must be kept under review to assess their present and likely future contribution to profits. A common mistake of marketing management is to keep in the range products that have little or no prospect of contributing to profits. Products are kept in the range until they fade away, meanwhile consuming valuable resources, which could be more profitably utilised elsewhere. These marginal products lower the company’s profitability, and it is essential to control them.

Source: http://en.articlesgratuits.com/the-product-life-cycle-concept-id1560.php

Product Packaging Tips

Product packaging is designed to protect a product. However, it is possible to use the packaging of a specific product to market it to consumers as well. You can use various product packaging tips in order to find the perfect balance between marketing your product and packaging it properly. In order to pack correctly, you will need to know how to analyze the market. You will also need to know what your customers want. Lastly, you will need to know how to pack in a way that allows the customer to remove the product easily.

Understand Your Product

Before you can package your product correctly, you will need to look at how other related things are packaged. Look at these product packaging ideas and incorporate them with product packing ideas of your own. You can take advantage of market research so that you can find out what products are successful. Once you have found out which things are more successful, you can find out what parts of their packaging makes them more successful.

You also need to consider the size of the product packaging. Shelf space at different retail stores is exceedingly expensive. Because of the price of retail shelf space, you will need to make sure that the packing is as small as possible. Keeping the packaging small can ensure that you get your money’s worth.

It can also help your packing cause to stay updated on new product packaging ideas and new product packaging technology. Doing so can help you keep up with competition related to your industry and product.

Understand Product Packaging Laws

How you pack your product is affected by numerous regulations and laws. Some of these laws only pertain to specific products. It is important for you to understand the laws and regulations of packing before you start to pack your product. It can hurt your cause if you create packing that is not legal.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has set laws into play that only apply to the packing of specific products. The Food and Drug Administration has done the same. This is to ensure the safety of customers and the product in general. Product packaging laws normally apply to various medications and household chemicals. Be safe by knowing the requirements of your product’s packing.

Work with Retailers

There are a lot of large and popular retailers that have some requirements as far as packing is concerned. These requirements may deal with the size of the packaging, the images on the packaging, and the description printed on the packaging. The retailers may also require products to include whatever the stores need to reduce product thievery.

7 Easy Ways To Use Personal Productivity to Guide Your Artistic Career

Artistic careers depend on personal productivity. You can develop your personal productivity to guide your artistic career using 7 easy steps!

As you scurry about trying to find the most productive path, take into consideration that there just may be a simple, organized path to reach your destination.

Your life may be like mine; I have a family, belong to several organizations, and love to garden and travel, as well as paint pictures of places I’ve been. The list goes on and on! Having many interests and commitments makes the use of a personal productivity guide even more important.

7 Steps to Promote Your Personal Productivity:

You may have the idea that artists with few personal productivity goals paint pictures as beautiful as the artists that are truly structured and productive. This would be a correct assumption – but having these guidelines will help you spend more time productively, enjoying your creativity and advancing your career:

1. A Neat Work Space = Greater Creativity

What can be more frustrating than being inspired to create, and not being finding essential supplies? If you make a habit of organizing your space after you finish your creative effort, you can step in any time and get right back to work.

2. Arrange Your Studio to Accommodate Each Medium You Use.

Always having the right supplies at the right table greatly increases your productivity. For instance, I’m inspired to paint in several different mediums. Each medium needs a different set-up. Oils are usually painted while standing at an easel, Watercolors can also be painted while standing but the paper should be lying on a flat surface. Pastels call for a totally different set-up, as they require a very smooth surface and much preparation. By giving each medium a dedicated area, you can step in and use whichever technique you want right away!

3. Create an Overflow Space.

Another helpful way to increase your personal productivity is to have an overflow space. An extra room with shelves that are organized is a great help. This serves you well in that when there is time to be creative, the supplies are ready.

4. Know in Advance Which Supplies You Will Need.

No more rushing here and there finding supplies when you only have a short period of time to create! Consider creating a checklist with supplies you use frequently and need to replenish. Always have a printout of this list to check off when you run out of tubes of paint, etc.

5. Keep Inspired and Informed.

Here are a few ways you can energize your creative time:

  • When traveling about in your car, listen to information that motivates and inspires.
  • In the studio, listen to music as you create.
  • Make your own personal productivity MP3 files to reinforce goals you’ve set and new ones recently added. There are many free tele-seminar sites that record as an MP3. Make your productivity guide easy to listen to wherever you are.

6. Create Clear Goals and Include a Timeline.

Successful artists have good time management skills to use along with their personal productivity guide. Think of the opposite of using your guide, and it will be easy to see that your artistic career seems to stall. Not having a productivity plan may slow you down so much that your goals seem to be just beyond reach.

  • Create special personal productivity goals to benefit your artistic career.
  • Being organized begins with making a schedule of the artistic activities central to your career and your creativity. Set a deadline for each of these goals.

7. Coordinate All Your Plans in a Single Planner or Calendar

  • No more missed club meetings because the date was forgotten!
  • You’ve learned the importance of knowing where your materials are. It’s also a good idea to learn how to estimate how long it will take to complete a project. It makes it that much easier to schedule in time for your creative work, and know that you can spend it creating just what you have in mind.

Take the time to create and use your personal productivity guide. Follow along and implement these suggestions for a more organized studio and life. You’ll enjoy happier time at work, and a more successful artistic career!