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How to extend the life of a product?

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Co-founder and COO at Mini Tool Software Ltd. Specialized in data recovery, disk management, backup and recovery.

All products go through a five-stage life cycle: research and development, introduction, growth, maturity and decay. However, the life of a product depends on the industry, usage, era and neighborhood. Based on software programs in the 2020s, this article discusses how to extend the life of a product.

Why do we need to extend the product life cycle (PLC)? When developing a new product that costs a lot of money, time and energy and which ultimately fails, it is very important that our mature products generate income with maximum productivity. So why not take full advantage of your current products and try to make them last longer?

What influences the lifespan of a product? In general, the type (product orientation), release time, location and competitor applied, as well as many other aspects, determine how long the product will last.

First of all, different types of software have different lifespans. Functional software (eg Chrome, WhatsApp or Photoshop) usually lasts longer than entertainment software like video games.

Second, the age will affect the life of the product. Compared to the twentieth century, there has been a great speed increase in software development in the twenty-first century. That is, software replacement is more common nowadays and the lifespan of the software is shorter than before.

Third, the market environment at the time your product was published is critical. If your product was released when its kind of application became popular, it has a good chance of gaining more popularity than its successors, unless it is of poor quality or has to compete with products developed by giant corporations.

In addition, the market location of the product also plays an important role in determining the lifespan. In different locations or areas, due to the different levels of IT technology, the update period of software is varied. In general, software programs are upgraded more often in highly developed countries than in other locations.

In addition, a product’s competitor is another factor that affects how long it can survive. The number and competitiveness of a program’s rivals determine how quickly it will be replaced if it fails in the competition.

Many other unexpected reasons also greatly affect how quickly a product reaches the end of its life. For example, with the support of Android apps in Windows 11, many Android emulators for Windows will see the end of their life.

So how do you extend the life of a product? How do you maintain mature or even expired software and make sure it lasts as long as possible? For applications that are in different life stages, the methods are varied.

Extend the life of mature stage products

Usually, taking action while the software is still in its mature phase or heyday will significantly extend its lifespan.

• Enrich sales strategies. The traditional promotion methods still work. Still, you need fresh and eye-catching tricks to attract more users. Introduce more ways to sell your software, especially the current popular ones, such as social networking services (SNS) sales, live broadcast sales by key opinion leaders (KOLs), and discounted presale.

• Increasing the product market. Expand the market to more countries and areas and apply localization to the program’s language, price and support service. If that’s difficult to do yourself, find a local agent to work with.

• Optimize product prices. Adjust software prices to the market, lower prices to attract more customers, use different prices for different editions or show different prices to visitors from different devices, channels and countries.

• Add new features regularly. Add new features that meet user demands on your software to keep it fresh and new. Usually a simple bug fix will remind users that you appreciate the product and always keep an eye on it.

• Find a partner. Find an affiliate program, either from your company or from other companies, and sell the two products together. As a result, those programs will share their markets with each other while increasing sales.

Extend the life of products in decreasing stages

Although your software seems to be on its way to death, it is still possible to bring it back to life. You can seize this last chance and do something to make it live longer. All of the following suggestions are based on the premise that you can make a profit from these actions.

• Change the product function. Optimize old features or even add new tools to the product, such as new features and services, new platforms applied, and new versions or editions.

• Change the product design. A new look will give people a new impression that can convince them to pay for the product.

• Change the product name. Similar to the look of a product, a new name can also help customers remember and buy your product.

In fact, if there is enough budget and your product is still promising for you, you can apply all of the above mentioned adult product methods to your declining products as well.

The challenges of extending product life

While you can take some actions to extend the life of the software, it doesn’t always work and doesn’t always have remarkable effects. On the one hand, it is difficult to always match products to the changing taste of customers. On the other hand, many existing and more inbound competitors will make it increasingly difficult to extend the life of a declining product.

In addition, many companies, especially small businesses, do not have enough budget to maintain a product that is nearing the end of its life. Moreover, it is very difficult to reach more customers or find a good partner for a dying product.

All in all, it is not easy to extend the life of a product, especially if it is already in decline. If the declining product is one of your most important products, you have a good reason to revive it. If you want to increase the chances of extending the life of a product, act before it’s too late!


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