marketing obsolescence

By Ingrid Mota
Twitter: @ingridmotta

We call obsolete everything that ceases to be useful. The causes can be many and all with purely economic bases.

Low performance, lack of updating, replacement by innovative products with higher capabilities, are the most common causes.

It is, by principle of order, a fact that every product will have to become obsolete at some point and it is essential that this factor be scheduled, from its conception, in the plan of marketing.

Call it an expiration date or old-fashioned, but every product meets a well-established curve that determines its lifespan. This same process is what motivates the dynamics of the consumer market and achieves the harmony and balance of business marketing.

Product of chance?

The marketer must have clarity in the execution of the plan to determine the type of "controlled" obsolescence that his product will have, in order to give him 3 options to exit the market:

Planned obsolescence:

When conceiving a product, at that very moment the marketer must set an expiration date so that it must be replaced by a new one, without risking the consumer losing confidence in the brand or in the product itself, and this in turn achieve a positive repurchase dynamic.

Perceived Obsolescence:

It is a widely used resource in the world of fashion, for example. Seasonal trends are created in terms of colors, styles and sizes so that the consumer feels influenced to change according to fashion from time to time.

Speculation Obsolescence:

The world of technology lives on this kind of obsolescence. As soon as you are opening the box of a new device, you wonder when the other one is going to come out with certain improvements that in this world of consumption it will be impossible for you to live without.

In all cases, obsolescence aims to stimulate demand for products and in a subtle way, force the consumer to speed up their purchase process.




Could we really use the same shampoo or the same computer every day and for years? Definitely not.

The marketer is attentive to the changing tastes and "needs" of the consumer to permanently offer solutions that they supposedly would never expect to have, when in reality it is the consumer himself who dictates the demands of the market.

Definitely no one is to blame, on the contrary, this behavioral mechanics is what stimulates the economy and the markets grow in a healthy way.

Technology is, without a doubt, what has determined the dynamics of product obsolescence in recent years. It is impossible to think of using the same cell phone for more than 8 months without feeling the impetuous need to change it for the latest model, however, a refrigerator or a bed are preconceived to have a long useful life.

Not to mention the quality and price of the products. Brands strive to position themselves as the best option in terms of durability and innovation, when in reality, from the very development of the product, they already know how long it will last.

In conclusion, both the consumer and the marketer play in synergy to need and be needed, to be seduced and to seduce, in order to keep the dynamics of the markets active.