Our standard product life cycle goes through the stages of introduction, growth , maturity and decline as we can see with the diagram below. However not all products follow the standard product life cycle and will have a very short life or stay in the maturity stage and not progress to the decline stage. One group of product was divided into three categories by Philip Kotler et al (Principles of Marketing 2008): fashions, fads and styles.
The diagram below shows the standard product life cycle. Read our product life cycle article if you would like a reminder of the standard product life cycle.
A style is the manner in which a product is presented and certain styles come and go. The current style for mobile phone is touch screen and this style will last until a new technology style appears. So the shape of a style product life cycle is like a wave, as one style fades out, another appears.
A fashion is a current trend or popular style in a particular field. A fashion can have a long or short product life cycle. Certain clothing fashions last for a short period and the product life cycle will decline very rapidly, whilst others will decline slowly or even turn into what is known as a timeless classic product life cycle.
A fad is a product that is around for a short period and is generated by hype. As you can see (in the graph below) for a fad product sales peak very quickly, as this product has a very short product life cycle. Sometimes a product may follow the standard product life cycle but have one stage of the product life cycle which has a fad type of unusually high peak in sales.
The diagram below neatly illustrates each of the three product life cycles Fashion, Fad and Style
Studying Business Management visit www.learnmanagement2.com