AN INVESTIGATION INTO PRODUCT LIFE CIRCLE OF PRODUCT INNOVATION AND ORGANIZATIONAL SURVIVAL
(A STUDY OF BEVERAGES SUB-SECTOR OF THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY)
1.1 Background to the Study
Product’s sales position and profitability changes over time, every firm needs to revise its product strategy periodically. Using the concept of the Life Cycle, the firm recognizes distinct phases in the sales history of the product and its market and thereby develop strategies appropriate to those various stages. Product Design, Engineering, Cost and Environmental implications also play important roles in Product Life Cycle. Muller (2011) emphasized that the life cycle of a product category in the market determines many aspects of the architecting approach, which includes four (4) phases: infancy, adolescence, mature and aging. A discontinuity, positively or negatively, in market success is seen in the transition from one phase to the next phase (Leonidou, 2015).
The explanation given is that the phases differ in characteristics and require different approaches. The right approach for one phase is sub optimal for the next phase. Therefore like human beings, products, generally, also have a life-cycle. From birth to death, human beings pass through various stages e.g. birth, growth, maturity, decline and death. A similar life-cycle is seen in the case of products (Nwokoye, 2015). The product life cycle goes through multiple phases, involves many professional disciplines, and requires many skills, tools and processes. Product life cycle (PLC) has to do with the life of a product in the market with respect to business/commercial costs and sales measures. Product Life Cycle can be measured in terms of it sales in the market place or space as the case may be, or in terms of its longevity in the product portfolio of the firm (Adeniyi, 2013).
Product life cycle is a marketing phenomenon which seeks to recognized various stages, a product passes in its sales history. It is also a graphic representation of the sequential rise and fall of a product sales and profits. An important concept in the product planning forecasting, controlling and development process is that the product life cycle.. The concept means that a company’s positioning and differentiation strategy must change as the product, market and competition change over the product life cycle. It should be noted that some product pass through the cycle stage faster than others (Nwokoye, 2015)
According to Hamel (2014), innovation has a large and long lasting effect on the survivability of an enterprise. For an enterprise, constant product innovation, design and successful new products provide the motivation needed to ensure the growth of business in the enterprise. Particularly, during an economic repression, the rapid launching of new products into the market can help an enterprise maintain profitability; in many cases, it may even help an enterprise to turn a failure to success (Allen & Hamilton, 2012). Innovation as a term was used for the first time by Schumpeter (1936) at the beginning of the 20th century. His ideas and research have been developed by a number of other authors. Schumpeter (1986) defines innovations as product, process and organizational changes that do not necessarily originate from new scientific discoveries, but may arise from a combination of already existing technologies and their application in a new context (Muller, 2011). It is therefore possible to summarize from these definitions that innovations do not cover only technical and technological changes and improvements, but in particular, practical application and particularly original researches..
The significance of product innovation is widely recognized by many leading scholars, including Anderloni and Bongini (2016) who have highlighted the importance of new products and services in the financial arena. Profit-oriented enterprises and individuals are constantly seeking new and improved products, processes and organizational structures that will reduce their cost of production, better satisfy customer demands and yield greater profits. Sometimes this search occurs through formal and in other cases, through more informal “tinkering” or trial-and-error efforts (Anderloni & Bongini, 2015). When successful, the result is an innovation (Soliman, 2011). The centrality of finance in an organization and its importance for business growth cannot be over-emphasized. Innovation plays crucial roles in the attainment of these performance actions for the corporate entities. Generally, innovation has generated a wide interest as a research subject in social sciences with a particular focus on the relationship between innovation and competitive, the competitive advantage is accomplished when a firm can create a value in a product or in a process that goes beyond its production cost and that cannot be concomitantly implemented by the current or
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