Be careful about the nasty decline stage.
In the previous article I talked about the fact that products have 4 life cycle stages and most of the products can be defined as belonging to a specific one.
If the first two stages, introduction and growth, are the ones in which a company must invest a lot of money so that its product becomes visible and requested on the market, now the next two, maturity and decline, are the ones in which the financial reward should come a lot easier.
This one is the most competitive of them all. Once you’ve reached the maturity stage of the product, you probably have a well-defined market share and you will fight with all your powers to keep it or to expand it. It is very likely for this stage to swing to growth, if you think about improving product’s features or offering advanced versions in order to give the product a competitive advantage, or to slightly swing to the decline stage.
There comes a time when the market will start to be saturated with similar products and the buyers have already bought them. Depending on the type of product, this stage can be reached in a few years or in more than a decade. This stage is inevitable and the only thing you can do about it is to shift to other markets that were not that penetrated and the type of product you are offering may still be in earlier life cycle stages, for example a less developed country.
If you are a startup and decided to launch a product in the market, then you’re probably focusing on the introduction stage and how to grow your product’s sales. And this is just perfect! If your product is in the maturity or the decline stage, than you may not be making the best decision.