Saturday, July 22, 2006

Lie Number Three: "Our product is at the end of its lifecycle!"

Every product will eventually reach the end of its lifecycle. Some marketers use end of lifecycle as an excuse for there own lack of ability to address challenges of a competitive environment. Most products are not at the end of their life but need repeated rejuvenation. These rejuvenations are not really new lifecycles just product updates. A product like a Ford has been developed, recreated and improved many times over the years but I would argue that the fundamental product lifecycle of the Ford is still alive and kicking.

When your product has reached the end of its lifecycle you will know it! No one will want to buy your product or the products of your competitors. It won’t be a question of how to upgrade the product but how to replace it. In Sweden there is a classic example of a product that reached the end of its lifecycle the classic case of FACIT. FACIT manufactured the “adding machines” and realized far too late that electronic calculators would turn adding machines into one of the dinosaurs of the office. The adding machine truly reached the end of its product lifecycle. Most of us work with products and services that are not at the end of their lifecycles. If you begin to think your product is, it is probably just time for the next version.