Not many of us would have placed stock market bets on paper companies in the last decade — not with so many of us going “paperless.” A couple of big players in the business – Mohawk and International Paper – adapted marketing strategy and have done quite well. This article in the Wall Street Journal “U.S. Paper Industry Gets and Unexpected Boost” (March 7, 2014, non-subscribers may need to click here) describes their successes (and some failures) in adapting to a rapidly changing technological environment. By developing new and more profitable product lines, these companies have seen their profits (and stock prices) soar.
The paper industry might provide an example of the product life cycle — as many traditional paper products (say photocopy paper) may be mature or in decline while other product lines (like high quality papers that could be used to print holiday cards) are in growth.