All marketers would have seen the below graph before and understand how the theory behind it impacts their marketing campaigns but most might wonder in which phase certain products actually are. Some might know for their own products based on sales numbers but these might not be that easy to come by in large organisations and when it comes to competitor products the guesswork really starts. So why not use search term trends provided by Google free of charge to establish what lifecycle stage a particular product is in? The search term volume over time shows the change in interest in the product pretty well. Check out the below search term trends for the most popular N-Series Nokia products and how closely each resembles the lifecycle curve vs. the iPhone.
The below graphs shows nicely how the interest in the respective Nokia product grows over time with adoption and then finally drops back down with new products being introduced. Overall sales numbers probably correlating quite nicely with search term volume.
Interesting is the trend for the iPhone. As you can see it doesn’t follow the standard product lifecycle curve at all but so far manages to keep growing rather than declining which is a prime example for how you can keep products alive by introducing additional features and services. Just think about the iPhone integration with iTunes and the growing number of applications and you get the drift.
Read some more about the product lifecycle theory here
Check out the original Nokia Google Trends data here
Check out the original iPhone Google Trends data here