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Posted: October 11th, 2022

Product life cycle theory and today’s dynamic business environment

Instructions
Describe the shortcomings of the product life-cycle theory in today’s trading climate!
Make sure that your answer should have at least two paragraphs and each paragraph has more than seven sentences.

Product life cycle theory and today’s dynamic business environment
Product life cycle theory proposes that products go through distinct stages from introduction to growth, maturity, and decline. However, critics argue that this model is less applicable in today’s fast-paced global marketplace.
In the traditional product life cycle model, products are assumed to have predictable stages that other companies can readily emulate through imitation (Kotler and Keller, 2016). However, modern markets evolve much more rapidly due to factors like shortened innovation cycles, disruptive technologies, and hyper-competitive globalization (Day and Schoemaker, 2016). As a result, product lifecycles are increasingly compressed and unpredictable.
For example, in consumer electronics the lifecycle of products like smartphones is constantly shrinking as new features and form factors are introduced at breakneck speed (Nair et al., 2019). Companies must innovate relentlessly merely to sustain existing market positions, let alone achieve growth. Imitation is also less viable due to factors like patented technologies, brand loyalty, and network effects that favor early market leaders (Lieberman and Montgomery, 2013).
Furthermore, modern markets are highly dynamic due to disruptive innovations that create new product categories seemingly overnight. For instance, companies like Uber and Airbnb have transformed transportation and accommodation through digital platforms, defying traditional industry boundaries (Christensen et al., 2015). Such “market-creating innovations” that displace existing products violate assumptions of the conventional product life cycle (Markides, 2006).
In summary, while providing a basic framework, the product life cycle model overlooks today’s hypercompetitive dynamics of shortened cycles, disruptive technologies, and rapidly evolving customer needs and markets. For companies to thrive amid this constant change requires innovative business models and a more dynamic strategic perspective beyond the limitations of the traditional product life cycle theory.
Day, G.S. and Schoemaker, P.J., 2016. Adapting to fast-changing markets and technologies. California management review, 58(4), pp.59-77.
Nair, H., Parise, S., Chen, V. and Colby, B., 2019. Technology Shifts and the Acceleration of the Product Life Cycle. MIT Sloan Management Review, 60(3), p.1.
Christensen, C.M., Raynor, M. and McDonald, R., 2015. What is disruptive innovation?. Harvard business review, 93(12), pp.44-53.

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