The concept of brand life cycle are closely associated with the aspects of “product life cycle (PLC)”, “brand identity” and “brand image”, and other intangible factors, such as features of customer’s consumption, feelings that a brand should evoke for its customers etc.
The PLC is described by distinguishing four stages:
The stages of PLC may be assumed as a basis for the stages of the brand life. The concept of brand life cannot be analyzed separate from the stages of PLC.
The brand life evaluates the relation between time and value for the
consumer, while PLC evaluates the relation between sales volumes and time.
The brand life is based on the product and on the analysis of customers behavior and opinion.
Similar to product life cycle, the three stages of the brand life cycle are the introductory period, during which the brand is developed and is introduced to the market; the growth period, when the brand faces competition from other products of a similar nature; and, finally, the maturity period, in which the brand either extends to other products or its image is constantly updated.
Without careful brand management, the maturity period can lead to decline and result in the brand being withdrawn.
Brand Life Cycle Model
All brands basically evolve through four stages. Most of them start as a Product Brand (Product brands make things — watches, airplanes, Coke), and then some are transformed into a Service Brand (Service brands provide things — help, repairs or getting you a Coke). Over years of brand building effort and market presence they gradually become either a Category Brand, which is defined as having leading market share within a category; or a Personality Brand, which establishes a strong brand personality that consumers identify with; or an Experience Brand, which goes beyond traditional service and product excellence with a strong sense of uniqueness.
Another type of brand is an Ingredient Brand, which is actually a cobrand. Ingredient Brands usually serve the purpose of providing additional trust or confidence and often signify the use of an exclusive or proprietary technology. Examples include Windows, Intel and Oracle etc. If we buy an IBM computer, we find two other cobrands; Windows and Intel.
After being extremely successful these brands then moved up one level and become a Corporate Brand or a Global Brand, expanding geographically to become a global dominant leader.
Sometimes a brand needs to move from one category and become a brand of multicategories. This is particularly common in fast moving consumer goods. These categorizations are not mutually exclusive.
A brand can be both a global brand and a personality brand (Virgin) or a global brand and an ingredient brand (Intel). The Brand Life Cycle model suggests that the ultimate goal for all companies is to have a global brand.