Decline Stage Definition, Importance & Overview

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Definition: Decline Stage

Decline stage for a product is when the sales keep declining after reaching a long & consistent peak. In the decline stage, the product sales of the company reduce due to increasing competition or changing customer needs. Decline stage is the final stage, of the four stages of product life cycle.

All products follow the four stage curve of the product life cycle (PLC). Product goes through the first few phases of introduction stage, growth stage & maturity stage. In these stages, the product sale volumes keep on growing and generates profits for companies. Through marketing companies intend to elongate the pre-decline phases.

Importance of Decline Stage

For companies understanding the sales and preparing for decline stage is an important aspect. In the maturity stage, where companies earn a lot of profits over stable sales, it becomes easy for companies to become complacent. However, after a certain period of time, there comes a scenarios where the sales volume show a slight dip. Decline stage can be because of changing customers needs, more innovative options, increased competition etc. A company must understand that they are in a decline stage else they will keep on adding more investments to promote the products, which would given any returns. Hence, understanding and evaluating a decline stage is critical for a business. In the decline stage, companies can opt for product deletion or product elimination, and phase out the product.

Decline Stage

Factors for Decline Stage

Decline stage for a product happens due to the following factors:

1. Technological advances - Obsolescence

2. Changing fashion & trends

3. Increased competition

4. Lack of innovation from the company

5. Changing consumer preferences

Decline Stage Strategy

The following actions can be done by companies with a product in decline stage:

1. Finding other use of product. For example, Dettol is used not just as antiseptic in hospitals, now it is promoted to use Dettol in everyday cleaning of homes.

2. Reducing cost of product to revive it

3. Discontinue the product using product deletion or product elimination.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Decline Stage along with its overview.

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