(1) Do manufacturers have a responsibility to create safe products even if customers don’t care and don’t want to pay for safety features? Why or why not? (2) Do automobiles ever enter the decline stage of the product life cycle?
(1) Have you ever had the urge to be “the first one on the block” to buy a new product, try a new fashion, or discover a new musical artist? If so, were you pleased or displeased when “the masses” began to imitate your choice? What does your reaction say about you as a consumer? (2) Have you ever replaced a product (such as a computer or smartphone) that was still functional, just because a newer version had hit the market? What influenced your decision?
Consumer products can be identified as convenience, shopping, specialty, or unsought, distinguished primarily by the amount of thought and effort that goes into buying them. Organizational products are divided into expense items, less-expensive goods used in production or operations; capital items, more expensive goods and facilities with useful lives longer than a year; and business services. The product life cycle consists of (1) the introductory stage, during which marketers focus on stimulating demand for the new product; (2) the growth stage, when marketers focus on increasing the product’s market share; (3) the maturity stage, during which marketers try to extend the life of the product by highlighting improvements or by repackaging the product in different sizes; and (4) the decline stage, when firms must decide whether to reduce the product’s costs to compensate for declining sales or to discontinue it.