What is Product Lifecycle?

Written by
Leonardo Vezzati
Co-founder & COO
Back to basics

The Product Lifecycle: A Roadmap for Success

Understanding the Journey:

The Product Lifecycle is a roadmap that outlines the different stages a product traverses, from its initial conception to its eventual exit from the market. Introduced by Raymond Vernon in 1966, this concept is a cornerstone of Product Management, guiding strategies and decisions throughout a product's journey.

The Five Stages:

While the specific stages can vary, the Product Lifecycle typically encompasses:

  • Development: Defining the problem, validating the solution, and conducting market research.
  • Introduction: Creating awareness, building demand, and attracting early adopters.
  • Growth: Scaling the product, expanding the customer base, and fostering loyalty.
  • Maturity: Maintaining market share, optimizing profitability, and extending the product's life cycle.
  • Decline: Reducing costs, harvesting profits, or retiring the product.

Applying the Framework:

Each stage presents unique characteristics, challenges, and opportunities. Recognizing where your product stands enables you, as a Product Manager, to tailor strategies, goals, and tactics accordingly.

The Product Manager's Playbook:

Here's a glimpse into the focus areas at each stage:

  • Development: Uncover the core problem, validate the solution's effectiveness, and gather market insights.
  • Introduction: Generate awareness, stimulate demand, and secure early adopters.
  • Growth: Scale the product, expand the user base, and cultivate customer loyalty.
  • Maturity: Safeguard market share, optimize profitability, and prolong the product's life cycle.
  • Decline: Minimize costs, maximize profit, or make the difficult decision to retire the product.

The Significance of the Lifecycle:

The Product Lifecycle framework exists to equip Product Managers with an understanding of the potential stages every product encounters. By anticipating the challenges and opportunities at each stage, they can effectively manage their products throughout their lifespan.

When to Leverage the Lifecycle:

While the Product Lifecycle is a fundamental concept throughout a product's journey, it becomes particularly crucial during periods of declining sales, market saturation, or stiff competition. In early stages, it can be valuable for identifying opportunities for new product development, line extensions, or product improvements.

You may also be interested in:

Extract value from user feedback

Unify and categorize all feedback automatically.
Prioritize better and build what matters.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.