Products progress through a predictable sequence of stages from introduction to growth and maturity to decline. These phases are similar to a biological process and decline may lead to death (product withdrawal) or rejuvenation of the product, restarting the cycle.
The product life cycle (PLC) is closely coupled to the marketing mix, also known as the 4Ps of Marketing. Product designers and developers must make decisions regarding the product, price, place (distribution), and promotion of goods and services that vary throughout the PLC.
As of 1 May 2017, the PLC will be tested on the New Product Development Professional (NPDP) Certification exam. Already, the PLC is a part of the Professional Engineering Management (PEM) exam (Section 7 of the Engineering Management Body of Knowledge).
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