Advertising a product should not be a static process. Over time, consumers become familiar with a product, and advertisers should change their marketing efforts accordingly. Recognize where your product falls in the advertising spiral, and adapt your marketing campaign accordingly.

Pioneering Stage

In the pioneering stage, the product is new and customers are not familiar with it. The goal of advertising at this stage is to show consumers what the product is and how it works. Advertisers also need to show that the product fulfills a need in the consumer's life. For example, when the personal computer first became available, early advertisers would have had to demonstrate that it was a tool for a multiplicity of purposes, including word processing, games and data analysis.

Competitive Stage

In the competitive stage, consumers become more knowledgeable about products; the task is no longer to introduce them to your product but to give them a reason why your product is superior. For example, most consumers know what deodorant is and how to use it, so a deodorant would be advertised on the basis of its advantages over competitors. It might be promoted as being long-lasting, as smelling fresh or as being the most affordable.

Retentive Stage

The retentive stage for a product comes when it is so well known that advertisers only need to remind the consumer about it. Advertisements at this stage are simple and may feature nothing but the brand name or logo. For instance, if a beer or soda becomes extremely well-known to consumers, it may be advertised simply with billboards and posters that show the product and its name, without any meaningful information.

Movement of Stages

A product may move from the pioneering stage to the competitive stage to the retentive stage -- but this is not always the case. If a product fails at an earlier stage, it may simply die off before reaching later stages. Also, a product may sometimes skip the middle stage, going from being unknown to extremely well known. In some cases, a product that is marketed to multiple audiences can be in different stages simultaneously.