A product is an item produced or procured by the business to satisfy the needs of the customer. It is the actual item which is held for sale in the market. A company usually sells different types of products. For e.g. Coca-cola has around 3500+ product brands in its portfolio. These different product brands are also known as product lines. Combination of all these product lines constitutes the product mix.
Product Mix in Marketing
Product mix, also known as product assortment, is 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. Product mix has the following dimensions
The width of the mix refers to the number of product lines the company has to offer.
For e.g. If a company produce 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.
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 e.g. 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 is 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 the 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 a company offers. For example, Patanjali deals in different categories of products which include shampoo, flour, toothpaste, etc. These different products are different product lines for the company and together constitute the mix of the company.
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 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
Area of Operation
Brand identity, etc.
Many new companies start with a 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. Area of Operation and brand identity of the Company also affect its product mix.