Product strategy does not only matter for new and young products; it is equally important for older ones. This article discusses two main choices for mature products: extending the life cycle and revitalising the product, or leveraging maturity and turning the product into a cash cow. A product is mature if it has stopped growing: The benefits it creates no longer rise. Instead, they have started to stagnate. In terms of the product life cycle model, the product has left the growth stage and entered maturity, as the following picture shows.
Product life cycle
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Product managers will encounter many forks on the road to growth and product success. Those forks always require answering difficult questions. For an early-stage company or new product, the question might be, How will we prioritize features before we have customers? Growing companies will ask, Is it time to scale up our product team? Every situation is unique. But we can offer some questions to help guide your strategic thinking. Investment experts have a standard lesson for new investors.
Exploit the Product Life Cycle
Every product goes through the various life cycle phases of introduction, growth, maturity and decline. It proceeds through multiple phases, involves many professional disciplines and requires a multitude of skills, tools and processes. The product life cycle begins with the introduction stage see.
Products go through what sales and marketing people refer to as life cycles -- recognizable patterns in sales often termed the growth, maturity and decline phases. In the growth phase, there is an upward trend in sales, and many times revenues grow at an accelerating rate, such as a 20 percent increase in one year and a 40 percent increase the next. In the maturity phase, the percentage rate of sales growth begins to decline, even if sales increase year-over-year. That star product that experienced a 40 percent increase might slip to a modest 5 percent increase. In the decline phase, revenues start to have a negative trend, declining year-over-year.