The product death cycle is nothing but a development life cycle going terribly wrong. The main problem behind it is that you believe adding a few extra features will fix everything. In contrast, the reality is quite the opposite.
Both the product death cycle definition and solution are pretty complex, so let’s start by explaining the meaning of the death cycle and then learn how to use it to our advantage, if possible.
What is the product death cycle?
The product death cycle is when your product fails in sales and revenue, and you try to fix the situation by adding more features to it and placing it on the market again. But, alas, your product fails once more, so you decide to repeat the whole process again and add another supposedly desirable feature to it. Next, history repeats itself, and you are eventually caught up in a seemingly never-ending spiral.
The main issue with the product death cycle could be summed up in one saying: The road to hell is paved with good intentions. In other words, you follow the tips and strategies that are most recommendable for the situation, yet it doesn’t improve, not even a little.
That’s because there’s a sharp discrepancy between the idea and the execution, which we’re going to discuss right now.
Most common mistakes and how to avoid them
Here’s a list of the most usual (and logical) strategies whose results still don’t provoke interest in buyers to get your product. We’re going to explain how that happens and what can be done instead.
Asking the consumers for ideas
The customer is always right. — Well, not in the product death cycle.
While an unsatisfied client can give you a list of reasons for what they believe is missing from the product, that doesn’t mean you should always listen to them.
Let’s tackle the shock and horror of every market analyst.
For example, one of the main questions is whether you are trying to sell the product to your existing, or old clients. You are probably trying to reach a broader audience, so in that case, the voice of the newbies is what you should focus on, as they are inexperienced future shoppers.
Their needs may differ from the old clients’ needs, but you definitely don’t want to disappoint the old customers, especially if you’re counting on them to prolong their subscription.
In short, take all the suggestions with a pinch of salt and work your own way of figuring out what went wrong. The consumers may point you in the right direction. Still, as they are mostly not highly skilled as developers or designers that you work with, you can’t expect the consumers to be able to define precisely how the problem can be solved using realistic resources.
Investigating the original features closely
Even the best possible add-on can’t help consumers ignore the fact the product has a fatal error. As mentioned above, they can’t have the right qualifications to get to the bottom of the problem. Inspect the product one more time through all its stages to find if there has been any room for error.
Contact the marketing department
Sometimes, you really did all you were supposed to, but it was the marketing section that failed to deliver, not the product itself.
You’ll need to answer certain questions:
- Was the product placement and promotion done in the best possible way?
- Did you have a strong campaign in accordance with the current atmosphere in the market?
- Was the marketing strategy made for a clearly defined audience?
- How professional was data collecting, and how did you get the information about the audience?
Before making any changes to the product, ensure the product presentation was flawless.
Check the price tag
Are you 100% sure the price you set reflects the product’s quality and is in line with the competition? Setting a price too high can deter potential clients just as much as too low a price can inspire thinking that the quality is below the standard, too.
When setting the price, one of the main actions is seeing how it compares to the rest of the market. The second one has to do with your future clients and their expertise. If they are very knowledgeable about the product and what it can do for them, they will also easily recognize if the price tag is justified or not. That is usually the case with a small consumer group.
On the other hand, setting the right quality-price ratio is crucial for success if you wish to attract a new audience.
Reanalyze your target audience
Should the product prove to be a complete flop, maybe you were just barking up the wrong tree. Define your target consumer again and review all the characteristics (age, profession, location, goals).
Perhaps your department made a mistake in identifying prospective clients, and eventually, you presented your company’s pride and joy to the wrong population. For instance, you’ve built a new cutting-edge app. Yet, most of the audience you were targeting uses tech devices that don’t have the generous data storage your new app requires.
Also, did you initially check if your audience puts a significant value on visual appeal? In one research, 20% of mobile app users deleted the app for the lack of visual appeal, i.e., “it was too ugly for their screen.”
Despite its scary name, the product death cycle can be broken, and it’s even possible to avoid the cycle altogether. Just take a deep breath and start analyzing your business — you may be in for quite a few surprises, but they may eventually bring in even higher revenues.