The Product Life Cycle

  • Merlin Stone


The product life cycle is a notion which is frequently discussed in the literature of marketing management. According to the theory of the cycle, products are said to be on a market for a limited time, during which they pass through the phases of introduction, growth, maturity, saturation and decline. Booz, Allen and Hamilton1 depict these phases as in Fig. 4.1. Their view of the sales and profit performance of products is shared by many writers.2 If their view is correct, then the concept of the product life cycle must be of interest for managers in the process of setting up their product plan. If it is true that every market has a limited life, then this tells the manager something about the opportunities that are likely to become open to him and how long they are likely to last. There are also associated hypotheses concerning the type of managerial talent that is likely to be most in need at the different stages of the cycle. If the life-cycle theory has some validity, then it will obviously be of some use to the product-planning manager.


Product Planning Product Cycle Profit Margin Product Life Cycle Advertising Expenditure 
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  1. 1.
    Booz, Allen and Hamilton, Inc., The Management of New Products (New York, 1960) pp. 5–6.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    A. Patton, ‘Top management’s stake in a product’s life cycle’, The Management Review (Jun 1969) 4.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    L. Fisher, Industrial Marketing (London, 1969) p. 92.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    T. Levitt, ‘Exploit the product life cycle’, Harvard Business Review (Nov—Dec 1965) 88.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Merlin Stone 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Merlin Stone
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Economics and PoliticsKingston PolytechnicUK

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