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Ted Meyers


PostSubject: Product Lifecycles   Mon May 04, 2009 5:14 pm

I have read the term "Product Lifecycle" before but I'm not sure what it is. Can you explain it please

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former mentor

PostSubject: Re: Product Lifecycles   Mon May 04, 2009 5:15 pm

Sure Ted, let me try....

There are several “Life-cycles” associated with a retail product. One is the life-cycle of the product in the marketplace. From the time the product is placed on the store shelves, to the time you see the last one at “99% OFF” in the clearance aisle.

Another is the one we want to talk about here – It’s the consumer use life-cycle. It doesn’t start when the consumer purchases the product - or even when they take it out of the package and place it in the drawer or cabinet, It starts when they pick it up and go to actually use the product - and it ends when it finds its way back to that point of origin.

Why is this important? Because I can get a customer to purchase a product for the first time with color and intrinsic value, and placement …all the marketing tricks we use to get attention. But I can only get a consumer to purchase a product the second time (or even more important to tell others good things about it) if the product has lived up to its end of the “value agreement” entered into between the consumer and the product way back in aisle 12 of the retailer. (We’ll talk more about the value agreement later)

In order to convince the consumer I held up my end of the bargain – I have to start thinking about that way back in the invention stage of the process (remember the blog entry about “Inventing to an Eventuality”? ) So to illustrate this we’ll look quickly at a little gadget that does a fine job of holding up its end of the bargain – The Chip Clip

We’ve all seen them, plastic little clips that hold a bag of chips closed. The clip starts the consumer use life-cycle laying in the kitchen drawer. The consumer has just eaten ½ a bag of chips, walks from the Den into the kitchen looking to cash in on the value agreement he/she made last week in aisle 12 with that pack of Chip Clips.

You know, the agreement that says “Ok, little clip, I’m going to leave $1.29 of my hard earned money here at the store, and take you home. But, when I have a ½ eaten bag of chips, you are going to step up to the plate like your inventor said you would, and you are going to keep them closed and fresh for me.”

Time to pay the piper little clip… The consumer’s here to collect part of that $1.29 in value you promised. So the consumer takes the clip from the drawer, places it on the ½ eaten bag of chips, and sets it in the pantry. It stays there several days and eventually they eat the rest of the chips. The Chip Clip is then returned to the drawer and the Consumer Use Life-cycle is complete.

Do you think the Chip Clip inventor thought about the Consumer Use Life-cycle when they invented that product?....Probably not.

Here’s a question for you – what happens if the Chip Clip breaks in that first use?....Hint: It has to do with something called a “Value Life-cycle”
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