How To Revive A Declining Product Line
A decline is known and marked as the last stage of a product’s life cycle. Regardless of how well developed a product is, it still has limitations in terms of how long it functions at a certain level. Changing preferences and more advanced offerings in the market will also naturally push a product into the last stage of its cycle. However, that doesn’t mean that product managers should simply give up on reviving it.
For instance, Toys R Us, a brand that went bankrupt in 2018, relaunched in partnership with Target, and what happened next was clearly a success story. The history of branding is dotted with attempts to bring failing brands back to life. While it is easy to generate headlines at times, it doesn’t always guarantee you long-term success. Hence, businesses should stay prepared for the possibility of their products or services declining in use or sales.
Give any product line a second life by following the essential revival tips listed below.
The Life Stages of a Product
There are four stages in a product’s life cycle—introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. However, before entering the life cycle, a product undergoes design, research, and development. Only when a product is profitable can it be produced, promoted, and put out in the market. And this is when that specific product’s life cycle begins.
After you have had your product in the market for some time, its life cycle goes into decline because of the rising competition and efforts of other companies trying to emulate your success using additional product features at lower prices. The decline could also be the result of new innovations that overshadow your existing product. For example, automobiles took over horse-drawn carriages that were once in fashion.
So, it is natural for a product to slip into decline eventually. Nonetheless, if the product is declining earlier than expected, then it is likely that some other cause needs to be addressed and remedied immediately before things go downhill.
Preventing Product Decline
There are several ways businesses can prevent a product from failing, of which one recognizes signs that it will decline in the near future. The first step to this involves analyzing your metrics about the product launch. Using Google Analytics can be a great start.
Additionally, your contact management system and email platform could also provide you with good insights. The key is to collect data anywhere you can. After that, speak to and survey your customers and target market for feedback on the product. If you leverage distributors, consult them too.
If all your data analysis tells you that your product is profitable, step two is to modify the product or marketing. This is where the real work begins — it takes a lot of brainstorming, guesswork, and testing.
The Power Behind a Name
Start by choosing a better name for your product. And remember, a name is what turns a product into a brand and gives it a brand value. So, choose a name that implies expertise that your clients and employees can identify with.
The next step is to go over your marketing strategy and choose channels you have used yet. Often, many businesses limit their marketing message by going with what’s standard in the industry or what their competitors are doing. While you should define your ideal customers in detail, you should also figure out where they can be reached and where they hang out.
Lastly, use all the media (magazines, television, radio, social media, trade shows, blogs, etc.) that will help you reach them — omnichannel or cross-channel marketing. A great way to market your product to countless people is by distributing branded products like various types of hand stress balls. Alongside advertising your brand to your existing customer, it also helps spread awareness to their acquaintances.
Pay Attention To Your Products
Now that you have learned some product revival strategies, it is time to look at some actionable takeaways. If you are amidst reviving a declining product line, start by checking on your demographics. Who are you trying to reach? Sometimes, it takes a shift in messaging to tap into the right demographic or revitalize a core one.
Additionally, solve for today. The market keeps changing, new innovations are constantly popping up. So, if you want to stay relevant in the long run, change course whenever necessary. Lastly, go big! Get creative with your product line. While it might seem risky, that’s what it takes to attract attention.