Every Product that has a beginning will eventually have an end. This is just the cycle of life. The Product life cycle is the life cycle of the product and is generally split into four major phases including the Introduction phase, the Growth phase, the maturity phase and the Decline phase. Classifying the product life into various phases helps a product manager make informed decisions based on the phase the Product is in.
The Introduction Phase
This is essentially the beginning of the product’s life. It is the phase when thorough user research, market research and other detailed research are done. This is also the phase where the first MVP (Minimum viable product) is launched based on the data gotten from research and the product strategy. The goal of every product in the introduction phase is to find and get its market share; Find a footing in the market.
Basic documentation for the product is done in this phase too. In the next phase, the documentation is updated as required. Documentations like Product Requirement document. The product roadmap is also done in this phase. The timeline for the introduction phase varies from product to product. A product can be in the introduction phase for years while some products can quickly get established in the market. This is based on various factors like marketing and the nature of the market share. For example, Piggy Vest launched its first MVP in 14 days and also got thousands of customers in 6 months.
The Growth Phase.
If a product can be compared to individuals, this should be the teenage years when they are trying to find their footing in life. The goal of this phase is to get product market fit. More details on product-market fit can be accessed by clicking the words in purple.
The Maturity Phase.
This is the phase where the product has attained market fit and understands the market it is servicing. The product is also known in its market segment. The products in their maturity phase are usually the dominant or one of the dominant products in their industry.
The Decline Phase.
This is the phase that no one likes their product to be in. This phase is when the product is gradually reducing in relevance. The product is either being replaced by new technology or the product is no longer in vogue. To avoid this phase, product managers keep thinking of new relevant ideas to transform the product, this is essentially the reason why there are updates on established products and new versions. A typical example is apple products.
There is always a new iPhone every year or every other year. If you do not reinvent yourself and follow the trends, you will eventually be outdated. There are several products that have been outdated. Talk of blackberry, Nokia etc. This is generally how a product life cycle works.
If you’re just finding this article and are feeling a bit lost on the subject matter, click here to start with what Product management is. Do let me know in the comment section if I missed anything.