Tag Archives: product life cycle

Datsun and Internet Explorer Bite the Dust

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:

  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 PLC and place various products and services into each stage?
  3. How are cars moved through the PLC?
  4. How does technology move through the PLC? What are the adoption cycles?
  5. Show video of Internet Explorer death: https://youtu.be/wZoZV6GjzPA
  6. 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.

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R.I.P.: iPod Comes to the End of its Life

Nothing lasts forever, even things that we love and use. At some point in time, we give up treasured things when we realize they are worn out or obsolete. No matter what it is, eventually it comes to an end. The product gets to the decline stage and it’s time to use those resources for a new product. Time for a burial.

In recent years some of the most popular product burials have included Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer (now being reinstated), multiple Ford car product lines, Bronco (now being manufactured again), BlackBerry phones, the Volkswagen Beetle, Segway, and more.

Today, another beloved product has been added to the gone-but-not-forgotten list, and it’s a sad one. Apple has now officially stopped all production of the iPod. Yes, after stopping the Nano and Shuffle a few years ago, Apple has now ceased manufacturing all iPods and is only selling until inventory runs out.

The iPod was introduced in 2001 when it held 1,000 songs, has 5-gigabytes of storage, and cost $399. The iPod Touch followed in 2007, and the most recent (and last) iPod Touch launched in 2019. Over the two decades of its productive and prolific life, there were more than two dozen iPod models. By April of 2007 Apple had sold 100 million iPods. Today, an estimated 450 million iPods have been sold worldwide! Without the iPod, there would have been no iPhone.

In my humble opinion, the iPod was one of the most revolutionary products of all times. It ushered us into the truly portable music category; we could take any music anywhere, anytime on a small device that fit into a pocket. Revolutionary.

Nice to have known you, iPod. R.I.P.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What was the first Apple product they got? When? How many Apple products do they have now?
    1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
    1. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
    1. 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.
    1. For fun, play the first iPod TV commercial: https://youtu.be/mE_bDNaYAr8

Sources:  Mickle, T. (10 May 2022). Farewell to the iPod. New York Times; Prang, A. and Stern, J. (10 May 2022). Apple is discontinuing the iPod after more than a two decade run. Wall Street Journal; other news sources.

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Shapewear for Men!

Underwear for both males and females has a long and varied history through thousands of years. And while the style of the garments vary, and the materials are much softer and smoother, the shapewear of today owes much to the underwear of the past.

But what is shapewear? Briefly (no pun intended), shapewear is tight-fitting underwear that controls and shapes a figure. This is a significant industry segment that is estimated by Allied Market Research to reach nearly $7 billion by 2030.

The latest trend in the industry today? Well, the hottest trend in the shapewear industry are garments designed specifically for men. Just as for women, the men’s shapewear is all intended to help men look their best under clothes.

Men’s garments include t-shirts, briefs, vests, and tops made from stretchy and form-fitting synthetic blends that help flatten mid-section love handles and firm the glutes. Some men balk at calling it ‘shapewear ‘though – that sounds too much like women’s lingerie. So, ‘compression wear’ is more commonly used for men’s undergarments. Compression wear for athletics is still very closely related to shapewear though, as compression wear is meant to optimize athletic performance and help with recovery (as well as help us look good).

And of course we can blame the pandemic for the rise (another not-intended pun) in shapewear demand as we emerge from small circles and into gyms and fitness centers again.

What’s your favorite look?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  2. Where is shapewear on the PLC? Where is men’s shapewear?
  3. Show websites for men’s shapewear:
  4. Spanx: https://spanx.com/collections/mens
  5. Core Wear: https://getcorewear.com/
  6. HisRoom: https://www.hisroom.com/
  7. Students may also look for additional manufacturers. What are the main marketing messages?
  8. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a PLC and plot various clothing and accessories on the chart.
  9. What does it take to reposition a product on the PLC?

Source: Waters, J. (Nov 9 2021), Yes, Men Do Wear Spanx. Here’s Why, Wall Street Journal.

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