Product Lifecycle Stage 3: Growth Phase
Once a product has been successfully introduced into the market and has survived, it reaches the growth phase. This is good news because it means that people want the product and are willing to pay for it!
The focus in the growth phase is on rapidly gaining new customers and increasing market share as quickly as possible. Existing users might promote your product by using it or talking about it, which is great because word-of-mouth is the best possible promotion strategy.
The primary challenge in this stage is to orchestrate the marketing strategy, prices, new features, and increase capacity and distribution so that there are no hiccups to acquiring new customers. However, being too cautious means that competitors can grab market share.
Having a high growth rate can cause other challenges. Products have fallen flat simply because the demand was too high, the product was not available on the shelves, or the server infrastructure crashed due to high loads.
Nothing is worse than having an amazing product with great demand and then failing to successfully meet that demand. This happens more frequently than you can imagine, so work hard to avoid this! Apple has been rumored to create artificial shortages to increase customer appetite, but I suggest you wait for your company to reach USD 2 trillion in the market cap before trying this strategy.
As a product manager, during the growth phase, you will need to:
- Grab market share as quickly as possible by pulling out all the stops: new features, advertising, marketing, and distribution
- Ensure that demand does not outstrip supply by a large margin
- Keep an eye on competing products and optimizing the price to ensure your product remains competitive while protecting your margins