The product life cycle shows the level of sales of a product over a period of time. Some products continue to sell for many years. Nescafe Coffee and Mars Bars are two such examples that have long product life cycles. For other products, the life cycle may be a lot shorter. For ASOS, the online fashion retailer, contending with forever changing fashions is a challenge. It uses the product life cycle to make sure it has a product portfolio that provides the latest fashions to meet the customers' needs. Although some classic clothing items do continue to sell for several seasons, for most fashion pieces the product life cycle is merely months if not weeks.
The Harry Potter books and subsequent films have taken the world by storm since the release of the first novel in 1997. Hundreds of millions of copies of the books have been sold worldwide making author J K Rowling a billionaire according to Forbes earlier this year. The seventh and final book of the series is due to be made into two films. The first of which is expected to be released at the end of this year and the second in the summer of 2011. Will that then mark the decline of the Harry Potter brand? The continued sales of books, DVDs and Harry Potter merchandise are likely to ensure that the brand's life cycle will continue. In addition to this, a new Harry Potter theme park opened last week at the Universal Orlando Resort in Florida. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the “next part of the Potter legacy” according to Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry in the films. 5,000 people were waiting to get into the park before it opened on Friday.