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Key MBA Models by Dr. Julian Birkinshaw, Ken Mark

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18

Product life cycle

Every product goes through a ‘life cycle’, from introduction to growth to maturity and then decline. By understanding this life cycle, and where a particular product lies on it, you can make better decisions about how to market it.

When to use it

  • To decide how to position a specific product, and how much money to invest in it.
  • To manage a portfolio of products.
  • To decide how to launch a new product.

Origins

Like so many management concepts, the product life cycle had been recognised informally before it was discussed in an explicit way. One of the first articles written on the subject was ‘Exploit the product life cycle’ by marketing professor Ted Levitt in 1965. The purpose of this article was to argue that your ...

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