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Product life cycle - extension strategies

Firms will wish to extend the profitable life of a product for as long as possible. To do this they will often introduce extension strategies to delay a product's decline.

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Extension strategies

Extension strategies are marketing techniques designed to extend a product's life cycle and delay its decline. An extension strategy will involve amendments to the marketing mix such as upgrading or updating the product, changing the packaging or presentation, adding new features or new design elements or lowering price.

Figure 2 shows the impact of the extension strategies on the product life cycle.


Figure 2 Product life cycle - extension strategies

If the firm decides to continue selling the product as it reaches saturation or enters the decline phase, it is likely to extend the life of the product by changing aspects of the marketing mix to rejuvenate the offer. Strategies will include:

  • Repackaging and new sizes: the appearance of the product can be crucial gaining a customer's attention and developing interest
  • New formulas
  • Additional features
  • Lower prices to maintain interest or liquidate surplus stock
  • New advertising campaigns
  • Altering the channel of distribution, such as online shops
  • Finding new markets - this may be locally, nationally or internationally.