The product lifecycle, in a marketing context, is all the stages of a product's life span that are related to its promotion and sales.
The marketing lifecycle is traditionally broken down into four stages: introduction, growth, maturity and decline.
- In the introduction stage, the product is released to the market; pricing and branding decisions are made and marketing begins.
- In the growth stage, vendors work to increase brand recognition and market share.
- In the maturity stage, market saturation has been achieved. The attempt is to maintain market share. Once sales begin to decrease, extension strategies may be employed to try to keep the product in the maturity stage.
- Otherwise, the product is in its decline stage and an exit strategy may be set in motion.
The marketing lifecycle is less comprehensive than the concept of the product lifecycle in manufacturing, which encompasses all the stages a product goes through from its initial conception (beginning-of-life, or BOL) to its eventual disposal at the end of its useful life (EOL).