As we’ve written in previous articles, no product lives forever. There are always new innovations, trends, social forces, competition, and technologies that push products forward. Ultimately, every product eventually reaches its final stage in the Product Life Cycle (PLC) – decline/harvest – when the product is put to sleep and resources are reallocated to up-and-coming new products.
Two more products joined the eliminated list: Microsoft Internet Explorer and Datsun cars.
Datsun helped Japanese car manufacturers break into the American and European market after World War II. In its heyday, 20 million Datsun cars were sold in 190 countries across the world. The Datsun name was phased out in the 1980s, only to be revived 30 years later as “an important part of Nissan’s DNA.” However, Datsun eventually reversed the decision, making Nissan the primary company brand for the auto maker.
Joining Datsun on the gone-but-not-forgotten product list is Internet Explorer – the Web browser that many say really started the popularity of the Internet. First launched in 1995, IE was the dominant browser for many years, reaching 90% of users in early 2000s. But competition from Google Chrome, Apple’s Safari, and Mozilla’s Firefox finally proved to be too much. All is not lost however; in its place will be Microsoft Edge browser.
Farewell to our old favorite brands.
Welcome to the newcomers!
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
- Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a PLC and place various products and services into each stage?
- How are cars moved through the PLC?
- How does technology move through the PLC? What are the adoption cycles?
- Show video of Internet Explorer death: https://youtu.be/wZoZV6GjzPA
- We’ve seen other products revived after being declared “dead.” What would it take to revive these two brands?
Sources: Jacobsen, R. (15 June 2022). Internet Explorer has retired. Associated Press.; Nissan signals end of road for Datsun cars. (25 April 2022). BBC News.; other news sources.