A product is such an item that businesses and companies produce to satisfy the needs and wants of customers. It is the main element that companies offer for sale in the market. Today, we’ll discuss what is product mix; its importance, dimensions (width, length, depth, consistency), strategies, and examples.
Usually, businesses and companies sell various types of products. For instance, Coca-Cola has a portfolio of more than 3500 product brands, and you can call various product brands product lines. The integration of all the product lines would develop the product mix.
What is Product Mix?
A product mix also goes by the name of product assortment, which outlines the total number of product lines that a business or company offers to its target customers. A company would have various products under the same product lines, and the product lines would range from one to many. When you combine various product lines together, they make up the product mix of the company.
For instance, a company offers various lines of products. Those products lines may be similar to bar soap or dishwashing liquid, and they both are in the cleaning category and use the same technology. The products lines of the company would be greatly different from each other like a razor, diapers, or washing powder.
Product Mix versus Product Line
A product line is the brand or products category marketed and promoted by the company. Different types of products in the products lines play the same function like following the same distribution channels, same pricing, targeting the same types of customers, and offering the same benefits. However, the products lines comprise line featuring, line modernization, line filling, and line stretching.
The product mix comprises a total number of product lines that the company offers to the customers. It also goes by the name of products portfolio and products assortment. However, the products mix is different for different companies. Some companies offer various products lines with multiple products in every line.
Importance of Product Mix
A product mix plays a significant role for a company and it exerts a great impact on the brand image of the company. Maintaining higher products depth and width diversifies the overall risk and decreases the reliance of the company on one product or products lines.
However, it is important to keep in mind that diversification of non-value-added and unnecessary products could jeopardize the brand image of the company. For instance, if Apple plans to expand their products line and add refrigerators and iron it, it would negatively impact the brand image of the company.
- Depth expansion allows you to readdress and better fulfill the needs of customers
- Width expansion offers the company a capability to diversify the risk and meet the demands and needs of different types of customers
Dimensions of Product Mix
A product mix plays a significant role in the business model of the company, and it is the subset of the company’s marketing mix. Some of the main dimensions of the product mix are as follows;
The breadth or width of the products mix refers to the total number of products lines the company is offering to the customers. For instance, if the EZ tool company has got two products lines; wrenches and hammers, then you can say products width of the company is two.
Many small businesses don’t have a wide range of products mix width. It’s significant to launch the business with some products and win the market share. You can diversity the products portfolio and width with the help of technology in the later stages.
The length of products mix comprises the total number of products the company is offering. For instance, the EZ tool company has got two product lines; wrenches and hammers. The wrench products line comprises adjustable wrenches, combination wrenches, ratchet wrenches, pipe wrenches, and Allen wrenches. The hammer products line comprises mallet hammers, roofing hammers, sledgehammers, ball peen hammers, and claw hammers.
In short, the length of the EZ tool’s products mix is 10; and both products lines offer five products each with total products of 10. The average length of your products line is 5.
The depth of products mix refers to the total number of products the company is providing in every product. The variations could be in terms of flavor, color, size, or any type of differentiated characteristics. For instance, if a company offers three flavors and two sizes of toothpaste, the products line of toothpaste has got a depth of 6.
If a company has got two lines of toothpaste; the first line comprises of 2 flavors and 2 sizes, and its depth is 4; the second has got a depth of six. You can calculate the average depth of your products line with this; 6+4=10, and 10/2=5.
The consistency of products mix refers to how close the relationship among every products line is in the form of distribution, production, and use. The products mix of the company has got consistent in distribution, but mainly different in usage. For instance, a company sells health magazines and health bars; and you can edit one product and not the other.
Strategies of Product Mix
The four main forms of product mix strategies are as follows;
- Expansion: when a company amplifies the depth and total number of products lines like products variations within the line
- Contraction: it is when a company removes the non-performing products or lines and simplifies the products lines
- Changing Existing Product: when a company improves the quality of the current product rather than developing a completely new one
- Product Differentiation: when a company positions itself as a superior brand to the competitive product, without improving the current product in any way.
Example of Product Mix
Coca-Cola offers various products brands like Thumbs up, Fanta, Sprite, Minute Maid, etc. with a total products portfolio of 3500 products, and they’re the products width or line. Minute juice offers a lot of variants like mixed fruit, apple juice, etc. and this is the depth of products line. In short, we can say that the products mix relies on the following factors;
- Brands identity
- Operation areas
- Financial standing
- Company age
Conclusion: What is Product Mix? Dimensions, Strategies, Examples
After an in-depth study of what is product mix; its importance, dimensions, strategies, and examples; we have realized that products mixes are very important for a company’s growth. If you’re working on developing products portfolio, then you should keep in mind the abovementioned tips and guidelines.
Ahsan Ali Shaw is an accomplished Business Writer, Analyst, and Public Speaker. Other than that, he’s a fun loving person.