Shared Practice: Product and Brand Life Cycle Management
Marketers often recognize that what is desirable at one time is not always equally desirable in another. Marketers of products are often concerned with the product life cycle (PLC). The PLC may be affected by many variables internal to the firm, its competitors, and external variables such as the economy. For example, at the height of the real estate market in many parts of the globe, there were new and innovative products for the owner-occupant, the investor, lenders, builders, and more. But when the recession took hold, many of these products were no longer in demand; thus, these products experienced a very short life cycle. Other products have enjoyed prolonged and even extended life cycles. Keep in mind the difference between a brand life cycle (e.g., Panasonic VHS player) and the product life cycle (e.g., VHS technology) because, often, the demand for the brand is reduced while the product category continues on.
For this Shared Practice, consider the impact of global markets, especially for large companies with resources. For example, although the General Motors (GM) Buick brand had a market share of 62.6 percent in 1980, by 2009 it was in the decline stage at less than 20 percent. This was primarily because the market demographic had aged and younger buyers ignored the brand in favor of brands with which they could identify. So, the product life cycle continued while the brand declined. Buick decided to re-position the brand in the United States for baby boomers and to make it the primary brand of GM in China. Today, the Buick brand is the number 1 selling U.S. brand in China, and its brand life cycle has been extended and will likely shift into the growth mode again (Helper & Henderson, 2014).
For this Shared Practice, also think about the discussion of product life cycle in the course text, the media on “Marketing and New Technologies,” and the Kvesic (2008) article, and reflect on products you have personally used.
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