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Copyright 2006
Cornell University.
All rights reserved.


Marketing and the Product Life Cycle

Marketing objectives should be closely based on the product life cycle stages discussed earlier in this module: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline.

Summary of Product Life Cycle Marketing Objective and Strategies (Kotler, 1997)

Let's use the chart to compare the marketing strategies for the introduction of a new sweater line with a sweater line that is in the maturity stage of its life cycle.

Price for an introduction might be cost plus profit (or markup) to reflect the true cost at first offering. In the mature stage of the life cycle, the price will be set to match competing product prices.

Distribution (or "Place") will be selective in the introduction stage. In the maturity stage, greater distribution will play a larger role in profitability.

Advertising (or Promotion) in the introduction stage will focus on creating awareness among dealers as well as innovators. In the maturity stage, advertising will focus on creating brand awareness and comparing the brand with competing products.

There will be heavy promotion in the introduction stage to encourage people to try the product. In the maturity stage, promotion will be focused on switching brands to increase market share.

McCann photo
"We are product-driven, whereas you might say Nike is image-driven. We still advertise a product."

Marketing decisions should be made based on the size and maturity of your business. Younger businesses with smaller lines might be product-driven and need to direct their marketing programs accordingly as described by Denni McCann at Champion JogBra. Larger businesses, such as Nike and Ralph Lauren, focus on developing the brand with image advertising.


1. Explain how you would use the 4 P's for

  • A new T-shirt worn by a celebrity and to be mass marketed to teenagers
  • A sweater product that was copied from Prada
  • A technical jacket made from innovative materials to adapt to heat produced during physical activity.






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