Tag Archives: product life cycle

Product Lines Don’t Last Forever

Nothing lasts forever. It’s a tired phrase, but a true one, that is often applied to consumer goods. In the past year or so, two of the most ubiquitous consumer products that have been deleted include the VCR and the iPod. It happens in all industries.

In the automotive industry, some of the famous car brands that have been deleted in the past decade include Pontiac, Saturn, Maybach, Mercury, Hummer, Saab, Isuzu, Oldsmobile, and Plymouth. The most recent company to delete a car line (but not the entire company) is Ford. Ford plans to kill off its entire sedan lineup (except Mustang!). The company plans to delete Taurus, Fusion, Focus, and Fiesta – some of which have had high rankings and sales. Why cut the lines?

Strategically, Ford needs to cut costs and improve its overall financial performance. The company’s decision also seems to reflect changing consumer preferences for SUVs and crossovers, instead of traditional family sedans. Generation Y and Millennials are now starting families, but they still want to maintain an active lifestyle. This makes SUVs a popular choice. By 2020, Ford plans to have nearly 90% of its vehicles in the categories of truck, SUV, and commercial vehicles. And, let’s not forget about emerging demands for electric and autonomous vehicles.

Out with the old – in with the new.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
  3. Show Ford’s Web site: https://www.ford.com/
  4. Where do the various vehicles fit in the product life cycle?
  5. Discuss Ford’s cuts to its product lines.
  6. Have students brainstorm on how to reposition or revise products/services to that they can move into an earlier stage of the life cycle.

Source: Detroit Free Press, Brandchannel.com, New York Times, other news sources

 

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New Diet Coke Flavors and Package

Diet Coke is definitely a mature product. And, like many mature products, it needs to continue to fit into today’s consumer’s lifestyle in order to stay relevant. First introduced in 1982, Diet Coke was recently relaunched with four bold, new flavors and a new packaging look. (And, if you’re a fan of the traditional Diet Coke, don’t worry, it will still be available.)

Coca-Cola took two years to research and develop the new drinks, speaking to more than 10,000 people across the country to get ideas on flavors, packages, and more. Based on the results, the company tested more than 30 new flavors. The final results are now in and ready for drinking. The new flavors that had the most positive consumer response include Ginger Lime, Feisty Cherry, Zesty Blood Orange, and Twisted Mango. The new Diet Coke flavors are also packaged in slim 12-oz. cans (same can as DASANI sparkling drinks) and come singly and in eight-packs.

Coca-Cola is walking a fine line between maintaining an existing and still popular brand (Diet Coke) and building a new flavor profile and brand look for an iconic product.

What are you thirsty for today?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

    1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
    2. Where does Diet Coke fit on the product life cycle?
    3. Discuss how Coca-Cola worked to reposition Diet Coke.
    4. View the press release and story: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/diet-coke-flavors
    5. Show a video of the new product line: https://youtu.be/51QDzjEOBc4
    6. For information on packaging and design: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/diet-coke-design
    7. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
    8. Next, have students brainstorm on how to reposition or revise products/services to that they can move into an earlier stage of the life cycle.

Source: Brandchannel.com (10 January, 2018). Diet Coke relaunches in North America with new design and flavors.

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Red Bull: Let’s Jump INTO a Moving Plane!

Everyone knows someone who has jumped (with a parachute, or perhaps a wingsuit) out of a flying plane. No big deal. Happens all the time. But have you ever considered someone parachuting INTO a flying plane? Probably not. It would be totally insane. Who would even think of such an insane stunt? Who would sponsor it?

To answer those questions, enter Red Bull energy drink teamed with Soul Flyers from France. The two Soul Flyer aerialists BASE jumped from the top of a 13,000-foot mountain in the Swiss Alps and guided their flying wingsuits into the cabin of a flying plane. Flying at about 80 miles per hour, the flyers maneuvered themselves successfully into a five-foot by four-foot cargo hold door! (However, it did take a number of attempts to complete the stunt.)

The video and stunt are so crazy that they beg to be shared – and considered for their value to marketing. Red Bull is hardly a new product. It is not the only energy drink in a crowded marketplace and it is in the mature stage of the product life cycle. So, how does Red Bull keep the attention of the consumer and promote its brand message? Stunts. Red Bull seems to specialize in crazy, high-energy, athletic stunts that capture the consumers’ attention.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
  3. Where are energy drinks in the product life cycle? Why?
  4. Discuss some of the stunts done by Red Bull to gain the consumer’s attention.
  5. Show the video: https://youtu.be/YL9sNrOlK-I
  6. The story of the jump can be found at: https://www.redbull.com/us-en/base-jumpers-fly-into-a-plane-in-the-sky
  7. Next, have students brainstorm on how to reposition or revise products/services so that they can either move into an earlier stage of the life cycle or prolong the stage they are currently in.

Source:  Red Bull

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