Identify the lifecycle stage of your product

1. Catalog the number of similar products, overall product saturation, and where your product fits in that space.

Your product is just coming to the market during the Introduction stage. The market itself may have few directly competing products. During Growth, you experience a significant boost in market presence for your product and new competitors. When the market is fully saturated, you are experiencing a Maturity stage.

2. Analyze consumer familiarity, interest, and ownership of your product and similar products in the market.

During the Introduction stage, you are motivating potential buyers who may not be familiar with your product.  In Maturity, most consumers already own, use, or are familiar with your product. When consumers have become bored with the product, you are experiencing a Decline stage.

3. Determine whether you face fewer, smaller competitors, a growing competitor base, or a market with a handful of major players.

Few or no competitors suggests that you’re in the Introduction stage. More competitors or a small number of major players suggests that your product is in the Maturity or Decline stages.

4. Review your sales data to see if sales are increasing sharply, leveling out, or declining.

Products in the Growth phase see the sharpest increase in sales. Mature products see sales leveling out, even as profits continue to rise. Products in Decline see fewer sales, with profits and margins shrinking.

5. Ask your marketing team about current marketing campaigns to determine if the focus is awareness, differentiation from competitors, or a reduction in total spend.

Awareness campaigns suggest your product is in the Introduction stage of its lifecycle. Campaigns focus on positioning themselves relative to competitors during the Growth stage. Marketing will “milk the brand” on a reduced budget when a product is in Decline.