A.Evolution of Technology: -
The term technological evolution captures explanations of technological change that draw on mechanisms from evolutionary biology. Evolutionary biology has one of its roots in the book “On the origin of species” by Charles Darwin. In the style of this catchphrase, technological evolution might describe the origin of new technologies. Technology runs our lives these days. Smartphones, tablets and computers – we really can’t seem to function without them. In a very short amount of time, technology has exploded in the market and now, many people cannot imagine a life without it.
It is important to understand how technology evolves and why it matters to understand how we left the dark ages (which really wasn’t all that long ago) to where we are today. All technologies are born out of purpose. For example, search engines were created to sort through the massive amounts of data online. With each new upgrade technology compounds existing technologies to create something better than what was previously used before. And on and on it goes.
With the lightning speed of technological evolution, it is no wonder many people have struggled to keep up. To be fair, the scope of technology’s expanse is so great, wrapping everything up into a single blog post is practically impossible.
Here is just a brief glimpse into how rapidly the Internet and technology as a whole have evolved in recent years.
B.Product Life Cycle: -
A Product has a life of its own and goes through cycles. Although different products have different types of life cycles, the traditional product life cycle for most products
If you are considering entering an industry and making a product, knowing where the product is in its life cycle can provide valuable information of how to position your product in the market in terms of price, promotion, and distribution.
Products typically go through four stages during their lifetime. Each stage is different and requires marketing strategies unique to the stage.
The product life cycle involves the stages through which a product goes from the time it is introduced in the market till it leaves the market. A product life cycle consists of four stages: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. A lot of products continue to remain in a prolonged maturity state.
However, eventually, in every product life cycle, the product eventually phases out from the market. This may be due to several factors such as saturation, competition, a decrease in demand, and even a reduction in sales. A product life cycle analysis can help companies in creating strategies that enable them to sustain the longevity of a product and even adapt to market conditions.
C.Introduction Stage: -
The introduction stage is the first stage in the product life cycle. The highlighting factor of this stage is that the product is new in the market, sales are slow and to push it higher the company has to incur heavy expenditure on the advertisement to make it appealing to customers.
The introduction stage is the first stage in the product life cycle where a company tries to build awareness about the product or service in a market where there is less or no competition. Once the company makes adequate publicity about the product either by promotion or through branding, it can look at other aspects such as pricing, as well as distribution. Pricing a product in the introduction stage is very important to gain market share. A popular pricing strategy followed by most companies is the skimming price strategy. In this pricing strategy, a company usually charges a very high price to customers, who are willing to purchase a product.
Price skimming is common especially when mobile phones are launched with new and improved features. Companies with established brand names make sure that the new product has some features which stand unique and the owner takes a pride in owning that mobile phone. A few examples of unique features are mobile charging, a fingerprint scanner to unlock a phone, etc. Even flash sales that companies adopt for launching a product have high prices. For example, when Google launched its Nexus series 6, it launched this mobile through an e-shopping platform with a price tag of Rs 44,000. The phone had state-of-the-art specs which supported the high price tag.
D. Growth Stage: -
In this stage, sales grow rapidly. Buyers have become acquainted with the product and are willing to buy it. New buyers enter the market and previous buyers come back as repeat buyers. Production may need to be ramped up quickly and may require a large infusion of capital and expertise into the business. Cost reductions occur as the business moves down the experience curve and economies of size are realized. Profit margins are often large. Competitors may enter the market but little rivalry exists because the market is growing rapidly. Promotion and pricing strategies are revised to take advantage of the growing industry.
The usual characteristic of a successful new product is a gradual rise in its sales curve during the market development stage. At some point in this rise, a marked increase in consumer demand occurs and sales take off. The boom is on. This is the beginning of Stage 2—the market growth stage. At this point potential competitors who have been watching developments during Stage, I jump into the fray. The first ones to get in are generally those with an exceptionally effective “used apple policy.” Some enter the market with carbon copies of the originator’s product. Others make functional and design improvements. And at this point product and brand differentiation begin to develop.
The ensuing fight for the consumer’s patronage poses to the originating producer an entirely new set of problems. Instead of seeking ways of getting consumers to try the product, the originator now faces the more compelling problem of getting them to prefer his brand. This generally requires important changes in marketing strategies and methods. But the policies and tactics now adopted will be neither freely the sole choice of the originating producer, nor as experimental as they might have been during Stage I. The presence of competitors both dictates and limits what can easily be tried—such as, for example, testing what is the best price level or the best channel of distribution.
As the rate of consumer acceptance accelerates, it generally becomes increasingly easy to open new distribution channels and retail outlets. The consequent filling of distribution pipelines generally causes the entire industry’s factory sales to rise more rapidly than store sales. This creates an exaggerated impression of profit opportunity which, in turn, attracts more competitors. Some of these will begin to charge lower prices because of later advances in technology, production shortcuts, the need to take lower margins in order to get distribution, and the like. All this in time inescapably moves the industry to the threshold of a new stage of competition.
E.Maturity Stage: -
In this stage, the market becomes saturated. Production has caught up with demand and demand growth slows precipitously. There are few first-time buyers. Most buyers are repeat buyers. Competition becomes intense, leading to aggressive promotional and pricing programs to capture market share from competitors or just to maintain market share. Although experience curves and size economies are achieved, intense pricing programs often lead to smaller profit margins. Although companies try to differentiate their products, the products actually become more standardized.
The first sign of its advent is evidence of market saturation. This means that most consumer companies or households that are sales prospects will be owning or using the product. Sales now grow about on a par with population. No more distribution pipelines need be filled. Price competition now becomes intense. Competitive attempts to achieve and hold brand preference now involve making finer and finer differentiations in the product, in customer services, and in the promotional practices and claims made for the product.
Typically, the market maturity stage forces the producer to concentrate on holding his distribution outlets, retaining his shelf space, and, in the end, trying to secure even more intensive distribution. Whereas during the market development stage the originator depended heavily on the positive efforts of his retailers and distributors to help sell his product, retailers and distributors will now frequently have been reduced largely to being merchandise-displayers and order-takers. In the case of branded products in particular, the originator must now, more than ever, communicate directly with the consumer.
The market maturity stage typically calls for a new kind of emphasis on competing more effectively. The originator is increasingly forced to appeal to the consumer on the basis of price, marginal product differences, or both. Depending on the product, services and deals offered in connection with it are often the clearest and most effective forms of differentiation. Beyond these, there will be attempts to create and promote fine product distinctions through packaging and advertising, and to appeal to special market segments. The market maturity stage can be passed through rapidly, as in the case of most women’s fashion fads, or it can persist for generations with per capita consumption neither rising nor falling, as in the case of such staples as men’s shoes and industrial fasteners.
F.Decline Stage: -
When market maturity tapers off and consequently comes to an end, the product enters Stage 4—market decline. In all cases of maturity and decline, the industry is transformed. Few companies are able to weather the competitive storm. As demand declines, the overcapacity that was already apparent during the period of maturity now becomes endemic. Some producers see the handwriting implacably on the wall but feel that with proper management and cunning they will be one of the survivors after the industry-wide deluge they so clearly foresee.
To hasten their competitors’ eclipse directly, or to frighten them into early voluntary withdrawal from the industry, they initiate a variety of aggressively depressive tactics, propose mergers or buy-outs, and generally engage in activities that make life thanklessly burdensome for all firms and make death the inevitable consequence for most of them. A few companies do indeed weather the storm, sustaining life through the constant descent that now clearly characterizes the industry. Production gets concentrated into fewer hands. Prices and margins get depressed. Consumers get bored. The only cases where there is any relief from this boredom and gradual euthanasia are where styling and fashion play some constantly revivifying role.
G.Examples of Product Life Cycle:-
Many products or brands have gone into decline as consumer needs change or new innovations are introduced. Some industries operate in several stages of the product life cycle simultaneously, such as with televisual entertainment, where flat screen TVs are at the mature phase, on-demand programming is in the growth stage, DVDs are in decline and video cassettes are now largely redundant. Many of the most successful products in the world stay at the mature stage for as long as possible, with small updates and redesigns along with renewed marketing to keep them in the thoughts of consumers, such as with the Apple iPhone.
Here are a few well-known examples of products that have passed or are passing through the product life cycle:
The typewriter was hugely popular following its introduction in the late 19th century due to the way it made writing easier and more efficient. Quickly moving through market growth to maturity, the typewriter began to go into decline with the advent of the electronic word processor and then computers, laptops, and smartphones. While there are still typewriters available, the product is now at the end of its decline phase with few sales and little demand. Meanwhile, desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets are all experiencing the growth or maturity phases of the product lifecycle.
2. Video Cassette Recorders (VCRs)
Having first appeared as a relatively expensive product, VCRs experienced large-scale product growth as prices reduced leading to market maturation when they could be found in many homes. However, with the creation of DVDs and then more recently streaming services, VCRs are now effectively obsolete. Once a ground-breaking product VCRs are now deep in a decline stage from which it seems unlikely, they will ever recover.
3. Electric Vehicles
Electric vehicles are experiencing a growth stage in their product life cycle as companies work to push them into the marketplace with continued design improvements. Although electric vehicles are not new, the consistent innovation in the market and the improving sales potential mean that they are still growing and not yet in the mature phase.
4. AI Products
Like electric vehicles, artificial intelligence (AI) has been in development and use for years, but due to the continued developments in AI, there are many products that are still in the market introduction stage of the product life cycle. These include innovations that are still being developed, such as autonomous vehicles, which are yet to be adopted by consumers.
H.S Curve of Technology:
- This figure shows two ‘S-curves’ on graphical axes. The vertical axis is labeled ‘Performance/Adoption’ and the horizontal axis is labeled ‘Time/Improvement’. Each S-curve is a line on the graph in the approximate shape of the letter ‘S’ – the line moves horizontally before moving upwards, and then it flattens and tails off.
- The first line starts in the bottom left corner of the graph and is labeled ‘Old technology, process or paradigm’. Although the lines do not touch, an area of overlap between the two is shown. This area is labeled ‘Paradigm paralysis?’. The second line is labeled ‘Step change in technology, process or paradigm’.
- In radical innovation, the ‘gap’ or discontinuity shown in the Figure given above conveys the sense of a break from one technology to the other, newer, radical technology. Thus, a radical technology fulfills the same need but is based on a different knowledge and practice base. An example might be a photographic film being largely replaced by digital storage media in digital cameras. Paradigm paralysis is when an organization resists the shift to a new idea, process, or product.