A product is an item produced or procured by the business to satisfy the needs of the customer. It is the actual item that is held for sale in the market. A company usually sells different types of products. For example, Coca-Cola has around 3500+ product brands in its portfolio. These different product brands are also known as product lines. A combination of all these product lines makes up the product mix.
What Is Product Mix?
Product mix, also known as product assortment, refers to the total number of product lines that a company offers to its customers. The product lines may range from one to many and the company may have many products under the same product line as well. All of these product lines when grouped together form the product mix of the company.
The product mix is a subset of the marketing mix and is an important part of the business model of a company. The product mix has the following dimensions or components:
The width of the mix refers to the number of product lines the company has to offer.
For example – if a company produces only soft drinks and juices, this means its mix is two products wide. Coca-Cola deals in juices, soft drinks, and mineral water, and hence the product mix of Coca-Cola is three products wide.
The length of the product mix refers to the total number of products in the mix. That is if a company has 5 product lines and 10 products each under those product lines, the length of the mix will be 50 [5 x 10].
The depth of the product mix refers to the total number of products within a product line. There can be variations in the products of the same product line. For example – Colgate has different variants under the same product line like Colgate advanced, Colgate active salt, etc.
Product mix consistency refers to how closely products are linked to each other. Less the variation among products, more the consistency. For example, a company dealing in just dairy products has more consistency than a company dealing in all types of electronics.
Product Mix vs Product Line
A product mix is a group of everything a company sells.
However, the product line is a subset of the product mix. A product line refers to a unique product category or product brand a company offers.
For example, Patanjali deals in different categories of products which include shampoo, flour, toothpaste, etc. Shampoo, here, forms a different product line, flour forms a different product line as well, and so does toothpaste. However, when they all are grouped together, they form the product mix of Patanjali.
Product Mix Example
Coca-Cola has product brands like Minute Maid, Sprite, Fanta, Thumbs up, etc. under its name. These constitute the width of the product mix. There are a total of 3500 products handled by the Coca-Cola brand. These constitute the length. Minute Maid juice has different variants like apple juice, mixed fruit, etc. They constitute the depth of the product line ‘Minute Maid’. Coca-Cola deals majorly with drinking beverage products and hence has more product mix consistency.
Product mix depends on many factors like:
- Company Age
- Financial Standing
- Area of Operation
- Brand identity, etc.
Many new companies start with limited width, length, depth, and high consistency of the product mix, while companies with good financial standing have wide, long, deep, and less consistency of the product mix. The area of operation and brand identity also affects its product mix.
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A startup consultant, digital marketer, traveller, and philomath. Aashish has worked with over 20 startups and successfully helped them ideate, raise money, and succeed. When not working, he can be found hiking, camping, and stargazing.
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