The Product Life Cycle begins long before a product is brought to market. While technically sales do not start until the next stage, marketers must address many of the same issues they will face once the product is launched. Much of what happens in the Development stage follows our discussion of New Product Development in the Managing Products Tutorial, where marketing research is the key element in planning. Most of what occurs in this stage is experienced only by companies that are on the forefront of innovation of a new product form.
In our discussion, the Development stage is divided into two distinct sub-stages: