The fad life cycle

The life cycle of the fad will tend to be very short, peaking quite sharply and declining almost as quickly as it rose in popularity (Figure 6.9).

The sales and profitability patterns and marketing implications of the cycle are described below.

Introduction and growth

In the case of a fad there is no introductory period coupled with rapid growth; the objective will be to capitalize on popularity as quickly as possible. However, the ability to do this will be restricted to a great extent by its 'fad-like' nature. Thus sales are pitched at a price the market will bear, probably higher than the fashion item it has been derived from, if this is applicable. Pricing strategy will aim to maximize profits even at launch stage, and the general emphasis will be on offering the new and different to a very specific type of consumer.

Maturity and decline

As maturity is reached, decline will begin very rapidly. Sales and profits will also decline; the emphasis here will be on getting rid of any remaining stocks as quickly as possible, either by reducing prices or by varying distribution channels. Promotional costs may be incurred in persuading new segments of the fad's dying appeal.

Figure 6.10 Sales of a fashion classic.

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