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Your Guide to Innovating Brand Strategy for Market Success

The market success of a product starts with its lifecycle and the decisions taken during this stage. Find out the best strategies to ensure innovation and quality, captivating your audience to outshine your competition.

Dmytro LokshynDmytro Lokshyn
March 15, 2024
A horizontal format image featuring a catchy and innovative logo design*source

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When a product is released to the market and succeeds, the “new element” will likely draw consumers your way. If the product you developed is unique for the market you are aiming for, there will likely be a high demand, followed by profit. The item will go through different lifecycle stages, from maturity to decline, with the innovative element potentially bringing significant success.

That being said, innovation is a process that never stops. While the bulk of it occurs during the development and introduction stage, it does not really stop until the product is off the market. Each stage leaves a place for improvement and innovation, which can help keep the item on the market for longer. This article will teach you how to approach your innovative brand strategy so that you can achieve market success.

Understanding Product Lifecycle in Brand Strategy

To master the product lifecycle and pave the way for innovation, you must understand what it entails. Each product release stage puts you in a specific type of contact with the consumer, so you need to comprehend them. By understanding the phase you are in, you can also take the appropriate steps to enhance brand positioning.

There are four phases that every product goes through, including the following:

  1. The Introduction Stage

The introduction stage is the part where the product adoption is made and launched for the customers to use. This step often starts well before the actual release, as the clients must be made aware of the product. The company launching the item needs to invest the appropriate funds into creating a marketing strategy, emphasizing the product’s benefits and how it can cater to people’s needs.

At this stage, you generally have little to no competition on the market, especially if you release something innovative. That said, depending on your marketing, the product sales can be quite low, and people may be wary of trying the new product. To improve your finances, you might have to rely on promotional prices to drive customers your way.

  1. The Growth Stage

With more and more consumers becoming aware of your offering, the growth stage will likely begin. If the product is successful, you will see an increase in demand, which often leads to greater production. Depending on the item and the popularity, expansion may also be necessary at this point.

During the growth stage, your released product should gain more recognition. Your advertising efforts will no longer be as expensive, as consumers are already doing the marketing for you. Right now, you can listen to customer feedback to refine the item’s functionality. You will notice competition beginning to offer the same product, which might prompt you to change the prices.

  1. The Maturity Stage

The maturity phase is likely the one where you earn the most profit. The cost of keeping your marketing strategy might also get lower, as consumers are reviewing or recommending your items left and right. That said, even if your finances are looking their best, this is where things start becoming problematic. Your sales might still be good, but you are no longer experiencing much growth. With the competition growing, the market for your product will likely be more saturated.

This is where you may need to take some innovative steps to make the released item more appealing. Depending on the product, you may choose to make updates so that it can be released for a larger market. Getting feedback from your clients is very important for product extension, as the proper changes can keep them from going to your competition.

  1. The Decline Stage

Even the best products see a decline eventually, especially as the market becomes saturated. You might be doing everything right, but the operational costs are still going higher, making it difficult to remain afloat. With better and more innovative products being released, you might notice that clients are no longer as interested in what you offer.

The time when the decline happens can vary from one release to another. Some survive on the market for just a few months before interest is lost. Others can hang on for decades. By taking the right step during the product lifecycle process, you can keep the interest alive, so its longevity is at its highest.

The Role of Innovation in Product Lifecycle

Understanding the product lifecycle can take you on different paths to success as a business owner. That said, knowing the stage you are in can influence your decisions, but it is not enough. You don’t just have to make it popular – you need to make it better whenever necessary.

About 30,000 products are introduced to the market every year, and this does not include the ones that already have the trust of the consumers. With so many innovative products to choose from, it can be challenging to differentiate yourself from others on the shelf. If you don’t bring something that catches people’s interest, they will go for something that does or an item they can at least rely on.

For this reason, product innovation plays a crucial part during a launch. About 95 percent of released products miss their mark, not even entering the growth stage. They need to have that “special” element that intrigues individuals and makes them go past that mark. Creative products can be effective, as they are new on the market. They can both satisfy a curiosity and cater to one’s needs.

However, innovation does not only include the development of the product. This process can take part at any step of the way. Some examples of innovation include iPhones, which are continuously being reinvented and updated. This effectively prevents their decline. With newer features and designs coming with every re-launch, popularity is still there despite it being on the market for nearly two decades.

Marketing measures can also be an excellent example of innovation. For instance, when regular ads and email marketing are no longer enough, developers can rely on measures such as influencer connections or social media. With more and more individuals going on platforms such as TikTok, this shift could effectively maintain the growth of a brand.

Crafting Brand Messaging through the Lifecycle

A release with a long product lifecycle has the evident trust and attention of the consumers, causing them to pick your brand over anyone else. In today’s competitive landscape, crafting a strong identity is essential when it comes to drawing clients your way. The more consistent you are, the lesser the chances will be that people will lose faith in what you have to offer.

For instance, Samsung crafted its brand messaging to emphasize simplicity and flexibility for its products. As a result, the company came up with the most innovative ways to make an item very easy to use while solving a problem that they previously had. This leads to more authentic referrals while providing uniform marketing over time.

The more innovative your measures are, the lower the costs should become in the long run. With powerfully crafted brand messaging, potential users will not require much convincing that your product is what they need. The unique brand perception you form through it should be enough to keep the growth or maturity stages going.

When creating your brand’s messaging, make sure that you have a persona in mind. After all, you are writing the story for your potential clients, so you must answer their pain points. Listen to your customers and interact with them as often as possible. Look for trends to determine which medium works best for you, but ensure you are consistent. Otherwise, you might just send your consumers in a constant state of whiplash.

Differentiation Strategies for Every Lifecycle Stage

Brand differentiation is a vital part of the lifecycle when a new product is released. While every item goes through the same four stages upon launch, its survival depends on how well it differentiates from other products out there.

These differences may take multiple forms, from features to price and advertisement. It will distinguish between the consumers choosing your product or going to your competition instead. This is what a product differentiation strategy should achieve based on the lifecycle stage:

  1. Introduction

During the introduction phase, the most important part is to keep the consumers informed of what the product can do. At this point, the differentiation is done by the simple fact that your release is new. Managers will often choose retail distribution channels that differentiate them from the competition.

  1. Growth

As the item takes off, product managers will begin increasing offerings to keep up with the demand. At this point, other brands will likely pick up on your creation and try to replicate it. This is why this stage often introduces lower price rates, differentiating the product from others that are still in the introduction phase. Expanded distribution channels and increased warranties are also used at this point for competitive differentiation.

  1. Maturity

During this stage, while you are still not experiencing declines in sales, the market is already becoming saturated. Developers are updating their products to be “new and improved,” coming with new releases, or changing the marketing approach. For instance, while baking soda was originally oriented toward baking, some brands may present it as a good deodorant for the refrigerator.

  1. Decline

Product demand is already significantly reduced at this stage, with lower prices no longer being enough to keep the customer’s interest. At this point, the brand manager might try differentiation strategies such as introducing bulk orders. For instance, by giving six items at the price of five, it’s one step ahead of other brands and keeps people interested.

Innovation at the Core of Brand Strategy

Innovation is very important to keep the product lifecycle as long as possible, but it is also essential for the brand strategy overall. It helps the company itself remain relevant and improve over time, preserving its long-term viability. Consumers are the ones that drive your profit over time, which is why it is essential to venture out of your comfort zone and offer innovative product development.

The product innovation definition is the process of bringing something new to the masses – something they didn’t particularly know they needed before. You must get creative when designing the product, evolving with each new lifecycle. At this stage, listening to your clients, doing market research, and anticipating trends are important factors.

An innovative example is, once more, brought by Apple. The introduction of the iPod in 2001 made Walkmans and MP3 players obsolete. As a result, the company sold millions of iPods over the years. However, people wanted music that was even easier to access, which is why the brand fused the iPhone with the iPod. While iPod sales suffered because of this, this innovation led to even more new product sales, improving brand trust.

Anticipating and Overcoming Product Obsolescence

With more innovative designs coming in regularly, the risk of your product becoming obsolete is high. While decline happens for every product eventually, the goal is to prevent it from occurring during the early stages.

Below are some tips and strategies that can help you reduce product obsolescence:

  • Identify the parts that are more likely to become obsolete based on trend evolution.
  • Rank suppliers and manufacturers according to their reliability, monitoring them over time.
  • Use order history and innovative production to achieve turnover visibility.
  • Keep good communication with the stakeholders as well as the consumers.
  • Plan strategies for replacement and improvement the moment a product enters its decline stage.
  • Maintain compliance requirements to keep the product relevant and valuable for the market.

Product obsolescence will eventually happen – even strong brands deal with it as the markets change. However, if you look for the risks and have a suitable replacement or transition strategy, you can help mitigate your losses.

The Bottom Line – Product Innovation Is Key

A proper brand strategy for your product lifecycle is essential if you want your creation to last for a long time and be successful even as years go by. The better your plan, the more a release will take to reach the end of the decline stage. By using the techniques discussed above, you should be able to maximize the product lifecycle, stay on the market for longer, and improve your brand strategy.

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