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Development stage

Discuss about the Product Life Cycle of Cheese and Butter.

The product is one of the most important parts of marketing process referred to as the marketing mix. To ensure that there is effective marketing, any business must take seriously the product life process. The product life cycle means the steps that a particular product must pass through before it becomes a useful product. It also includes the stages that a product should undergo at specific times and the sales expectations at those particular steps. In considering product life cycle as part of the very important consideration in marketing, the business can effectively plan for its future operations (Hopkins, 2013). The most common life cycle stages that any product would be expected to pass through include development stage, introduction stage, growth stage, maturity stage, saturation stage, and decline stage.

Cheese is one of the products that come from dairy product and many people because of its balanced constituents like it. The manufacturing procedure of cheese is quite complex because of many operations that have to be done (Brooksbank, 2011). During the process of examining the life cycle of cheese, it is important to look at environmental impacts that come together with this process so that sustainability can be improved. The various life cycle stages that have been mentioned above are described below:

During this time, the research about the product is carried out and the designing is done as well. In this stage, proper ideas are examined, structured and tests done on them. If any idea is proved to be worthy, a photocopy of the product can be produced. A decision whether to conduct a launch of the product or drop it is reached. This is important because businesses would not wish to proceed with a prospect which is likely to fail. This is because they are always unlikely to take risks. For the cheese as a product of dairy, the development stage will be represented by high costs of the process but there would be no sales at this particular stage. The business will have to spend on the process but there would be no profits gained out of their expenditure. Cheese as one of the product from dairy must pass through the development stage where a prototype of the same is produced. This is done after the research and design have been carried out and ideas investigated in a manner that would allow testing be done properly. Throughout the whole process of development, the marketing aspects of the product are well understood to enhance the marketing strategies that would be exploited later (Chisnall, 2012).

Introduction stage

At the beginning of this step, the launching of the product is done and with the view that the product is new in the market, low sales are expected but the costs are present during the launch. It may be important at this time that a distribution unit is established and the costs of promotion and distributions are automatically incurred by the firm (Dobni, Dobni & Luffman, 2001). At this point, the dairy firm will gather all the market information to ensure that the necessary market requirements are obtained to enable promotion and advertisement of these dairy products are carried out smoothly and effectively. It is obvious that the customers will be made aware of the product if a proper and effective promotion is carried out. As part of marketing components, promotion is a significant determinant of the way the market would react to the product. The duration of this stage is minimal due to the kind of product being introduced on to the market (Buttle, 2010). A consequent event at this stage is that the prices may be set high to cover the costs of promotion but it is important to note that they may be as low as possible to make a good entry into the market. Cheese and butter are expected to have rapid sales at this stage since they are considered fast moving products unlike some products like a computer which has to take quite a long time in the market to be known by the consumers.  It is important to note that at this stage, the firm is likely to have a robust sales experience from its products based on its marketing strategies put in place for such new product.

This stage is reached when the product has been established and the customers have found their time to know and understand the product very well. The customers are expected to buy the products and the costs are expected to go down thereafter. At this point, the new product such as the cheese or butter, there would be a shoot in sales and the product’s profitability is realized. As the product becomes popular in the market, the competitors are also becoming aware of the presence of new product in the market and they will be in a position to launch their other versions of the same product. This usually has an impact on the growth of sales of the product (Nash, 2015). Any business will, therefore, need its own promotion strategies and fully take control of their prices. For instance, if there is an initial high price charged on cheese and butter, then there may need to lower their prices to attract many customers or a promotion should be vigorously done to improve the brand loyalty.

Growth stage

This stage is a common stage for many products. However intensive and vigorous the promotion may be, there is a stage when the product becomes established with stability and the market share. At this stage, the competitors should have come into the market and the market becomes saturated with more competitors selling the same product. Since companies dealing in dairy products are many, different brands are introduced into the market with each firm doing its best to attract and win the hearts of the customers (Jain & Jain, 2012).  During these two stages, the firms use some extended strategies to enhance the lives of these two products, for example, cheese and butter. However, at this point, the products may face certain stiff competition from other competitors who may have learned the existing gaps and consumer requirements.

During the decline stage, the product will have its sales going down. This is common with many products because this stage is characterized by the changing consumer preferences, new technological advances, and the introduction of fresh products into the market. It is expected that at this point, the product may have lost its tastes and customers would wish to experience a new product with different promising taste and features that should have deviated from the previous. The butter and cheese as the products, in this case, are perishable products and the process of handling them should be carried out carefully to ensure that their taste is maintained throughout the time that they may appear on the face of the market (Cadogan, 2009). As the product undergoes the declining process, a stage may be reached when the entire product is facing withdrawal or sold to another business to continue producing it (Wind & Claycamp, 2013). In order to continue making profits, high prices may be attached to the product and very little is to be spent on the issues of promotion and other expenses. This usually has an impact on the growth of sales of the product. Any business will, therefore, need its own promotion strategies and fully take control of their prices. For instance, if there is an initial high price charged on cheese and butter, then there may need to lower their prices to attract many customers or a promotion should be vigorously done to improve the brand loyalty (Doole, Lowe & Kenyon, 2016). At this stage, the business owners should be in a position to change a few things concerning their product to make sure that the business does not decline from its sales and operations but instead should be able to win the hearts of new customers  (Loudenback & Kelley, 2013).  It is important to note that new products are always catchy to the eyes of the customers and therefore, it is recommended that businesses strive as much as possible to retain the newness of their product always.

Maturity and saturation stage

Looking at exhibit 4, it can be noticed that from 2008 onwards the drinking milk sales volume has been on the increasing trend. All the types of drinking milk have continued experiencing a positive growth in the way people use them.  The increase may have been attributed to the effective and intensive promotional strategies that have been carried out by the firms. Such marketing strategies have seen many customers get to know the available products in the market. In this exhibit, different milk products have a growth in their popularity and this trend is expected to go up through the stages until the decline stage is reached (Phelps, 2012). However, with proper marketing and change of ideas and tact, the firms are able to re-energize their promotional strategies such as an advertisement, sales and distribution efficiency, packaging etc. In the year 2010, the case has indicated that there is a tremendous improvement in consumption of all the milk products and in this effect, the sales volume will have to improve as well (Phillips, 2011).

The market share for the Dairy Producer A is 15% for the regular milk product; however, this capacity is the second lowest capacity after UHT, which is placed at 10%. The rest of the types of the products are higher than the first two with reduced fat at 25%, non-fat at 45%, and flavored milk at 20%. This increase in market share could have been caused by the way the firm has carried out its marketing strategies. For instance, some firms have taken seriously the marketing means to ensure that their product remains relevant in the market and able to compete above other products. From this exhibit 5, it can be expected that there would be an increase in sales that will consequently increase the market share for all the products highlighted. In this exhibit, different milk products have a growth in their popularity and this trend is expected to go up through the stages until the decline stage is reached (Ferrell, 2016). However, with proper marketing and change of ideas and tact, the firms are able to re-energize their promotional strategies such as an advertisement, sales and distribution efficiency, packaging etc. In the year 2010, the case has indicated that there is a tremendous improvement in consumption of all the milk products and in this effect, the sales volume will have to improve.  

Decline stage

Supermarkets take the lead in the distribution and selling of the dairy products. They act as the main selling points as far as the dairy products are concerned. It can be deduced from the case study that the supermarkets affect the prices in a manner that has a greater impact on small-scale retailers. For instance, it is clear that the prices charged by the supermarkets are sometimes lower than those charged by the small-scale retailers are. This is because the supermarkets stock huge quantities and they also deal directly with the producers (Peter & Olson, 2010). The action of supermarkets also has a negative effect on the dairy producers because they stock a big volume and this makes the farmers have a lot to do to ensure there is a constant flow of milk into the market. The big supermarkets have the ability to also import dairy products. This can have an adverse impact on the prices of such products in the local economy.

I would recommend that the dairy product producers should take an initiative to increase their production capacity to meet the requirements of the supermarkets. In this case, they would be able to compete favorably with the other international dairy firms and try as much as possible to be able to equalize the prices.

References

Brooksbank, R. (2011). The Anatomy of Marketing Positioning Strategy.

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 12(4), 10-14. https://dx.doi.org/10.1108/02634509410060695 Buttle, F. (2010). The marketing strategy worksheet—A practical planning tool.

Long Range Planning, 18(4), 80-88. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0024-6301(85)90088-3 Cadogan, J. (2009). Marketing strategy. Los Angeles [u.a.]: Sage.

Chisnall, P. (2012). Marketing strategy and plans: Systematic marketing management.

Long Range Planning, 13(1), 99. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0024-6301(80)90070-9 Dobni, B., Dobni, D., & Luffman, G. (2001). Behavioral approaches to marketing

strategy implementation. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 19(6), 400-408. https://dx.doi.org/10.1108/02634500110405405 Doole, I., Lowe, R., & Kenyon, A. (2016). International marketing strategy.

Andover, Hampshire: Cengage Learning EMEA.

Ferrell, O. (2016). Marketing strategy. [S.l.]: Cengage Learning.

Hopkins, D. (2013). New emphases in product planning and strategy development.

Industrial Marketing Management, 6(6), 410-419. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0019-8501(77)90003-7 Jain, S., & Jain, S. (2012). Marketing. South Melbourne, Victoria: Cengage Learning Australia.

Jenster, P., & Hover, D. (2014). How to focus marketing intelligence to serve strategy.

Planning Review, 20(4), 32-36. https://dx.doi.org/10.1108/eb054365 Loudenback, L., & Kelley, E. (2013). Marketing Planning and Competitive Strategy.

Journal Of Marketing, 36(4), 113. https://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1250442

Nash, E. (2015). Direct marketing. New York: McGraw Hill.

Peter, J., & Olson, J. (2010). Consumer behavior & marketing strategy. New York:

McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Phelps, E. (2012). Marketing planning & strategy. Industrial Marketing Management, 10(4), 307-309. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0019-8501(81)90042-0

Phillips, D. (2011). Product Development: Where Planning and Marketing Meet.

Journal Of Business Strategy, 11(5), 13-16. https://dx.doi.org/10.1108/eb060080 Wind, Y., & Claycamp, H. (2013). Planning Product Line Strategy: A Matrix

Approach. Journal Of Marketing, 40(1), 2. https://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1250669

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