Product Mix Vs. Product Line
Product mix and product line are two marketing terms that define the products a company produces and have. Product line on the one hand refers to the group of similar products marketed and sold by a single brand. On the other hand, the product mix refers to all product lines and items a company has for sale.
These two marketing terms – product line and mix- are often understood as the same but have a huge difference. Let’s understand the difference between product mix and product line.
What is Product Line?
A product line is a group of similar products marked and sold under a similar brand. These products have similar features, and functions, and are targeted to a specific market segment.
For example, a company specializing in sports may have shoes of different lines such as running, football, basketball, and volleyball shoes.
With product lines, companies aim to target the market segment having similar characteristics. With changes in time and the tastes of consumers, companies quickly bring changes to their products to meet customer expectations.
Product line strategy is effective to understand the needs and expectations of specific consumer groups and offer the products that best meet their expectations.
Under product line strategy, there are three strategies that can be applied to get the best from it, they are line modernization strategy, a line featuring strategy, and a line pruning strategy.
What is Product Mix?
The product mix is a broader concept than the product line. The product mix is the set of all product lines and products that a brand may have to sell.
The product mix includes all the products that a company has whether or not they are related. For example, following the above example, in addition to sports shoes, the company has a product mix of items like accessories, clothes, detergent, etc.
It is also called product assortment. Product mix does not influence the particular segment of the company, as it targets the broader market, it also affects the whole performance of the company.
The product mix has four main components.
- Width – Numbers of product lines offered by a company.
- Length – Product mix length refers to the total number of items in the mix.
- Depth – The depth of the product mix includes the number of items in each product line.
- Consistency – It refers to how closely products are related in the mix. The greater the relatedness between the products, the more consistent the brand will be, and vice versa.
In addition, there are five main strategies that can be used to get the most from the product mix, which includes expansion, contraction, alternation of existing products, trading up, and trading down strategy.
Difference Between Product Mix and Product Line
The followings are the key points that differentiate between the product mix and product line.
A product line is a collection of related items that are advertised and offered for sale under a single brand name. These products are aimed at a particular market sector and have comparable features, functions, or intended uses.
In contrast, the total assortment of products that a company offers, including all product lines, is referred to as the product mix. This includes every item the business sells, regardless of whether they are connected or not.
The product line is the subset of the product mix. It comes within the product mix. Whereas, the product mix is the superset of the product line.
The product line focuses on a specific group of products under a single brand, while the product mix includes all products offered by a company.
Moreover, managing product lines involves targeting a specific customer segment. While managing the product mix requires a broader approach to meet the needs and preferences of a wider range of customers.
The main objective of the product line strategy is to meet the specific goal of the brand or satisfy the specific consumer group.
Whereas, the main objective of the product mix strategy is to meet the overall goal of the company.
The product line is affected by changes in consumers’ tastes, preferences, and fashion. Whereas, the product mix is broadly affected by external factors including political, economic, social, technological, and global factors.
For example, if a company produces different products such as clothes, accessories, appliances, shoes, etc. A combination of all these products is the product mix. And, clothes, shoes, or appliances are product lines.
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