Exploit the Product Life Cycle (1965)

Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 11.27.16 AM

The 100% interactive 2018 Design in Tech Report is now available in both English and Japanese. This year’s report was made computationally, and next year’s will be use this same technique to go fully open source. Stay tuned!

Via HBR (1965)

The classic article by Theodore Levitt on product life cycles is just as relevant fifty years ago as it is today.

Stage 1. Market Development

This is when a new product is first brought to market, before there is a proved demand for it, and often before it has been fully proved out technically in all respects. Sales are low and creep along slowly.

Stage 2. Market Growth

Demand begins to accelerate and the size of the total market expands rapidly. It might also be called the “Takeoff Stage.”

Stage 3. Market Maturity

Demand levels off and grows, for the most part, only at the replacement and new family-formation rate.

Stage 4. Market Decline

The product begins to lose consumer appeal and sales drift downward, such as when buggy whips lost out with the advent of automobiles and when silk lost out to nylon.

My favorite part is when Levitt talks about how nylon was able to enhance its life cycle after reaching well into Stage 3 by using four strategies:

1. Frequent Usage. Promoting more frequent usage of the product among current users.

2. Varying Usage. Developing more varied usage of the product among current users.

3. New Users. Creating new users for the product by expanding the market.

4. New Uses. Finding new uses for the basic material.

Wow! It’s all there! —JM