A product is either a physical item or a service provided by a company to its customers. A company sells or provides more than one type of service. For example, Apple has 27 products with over 200 different versions. These 27 different products are 27 different product lines. A combination of product lines with all possible variations is called a product mix.
A Product mix is a portfolio of goods and services a company offers to consumers. A product mix consists of several product lines associated with products and services that consumers tend to use together. A product mix consists of numerous product lines that a company offers, and a company might have one or more product lines in its product mix. These product lines might be corresponding to one another or might be totally different from one another.
The product mix is a marketing mix parameter and holds an important place in a company’s business model. The product mix consists of the following dimensions.
1)WIDTH: The total number of product lines a company offers to its targeted customers. Wider the width, the more the variety of goods and services provided by the company. For example, Samsung has a wide width of product lines like mobile phones, refrigerators, displays, Televisions, and more.
2) LENGTH: The length of the product mix reflects the total number of products or services in the product mix that the company is capable of providing, at the moment, to its customers.
3) DEPTH: The product mix’s depth reflects the total amount of different variants of each product offers in that particular product line. The variant includes distinguishing characteristics like size, colour etc
4)CONSISTENCY: The consistency of a company mix refers to how similar and closely the other product lines are related in use, production, distribution, or any other different ways.
Lets us consider a simple product mix of Apple. For understanding, let’s consider that Apple makes four different types of electronic gadgets; iPod, iPhone, iPad, and iWatch.
The different type of iPod are Mini, Nano, Touch and classic, and so forth for iPhones, iPad, and iWatch
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So the width of the above Apple product mix is 4.
The length of Apple the mix is sixteen. This indicates that the total number of products and services that Apple can provide to the masses is sixteen.
The depth of all the above four Apple product lines is four, i.e. they provide their list in four different varieties, depending upon the consumer’s need. The mix is consistent as all the products are similar.
The wider and deeper the product mix, the more products and services the company can provide. The more the product variety, the more reach the company will have eventually. But it is generally advised that, when you start with the company, to keep the product mix narrow; over-commitment of resources that you could have used in different aspects of your business; and might end up complicating the production, thus degrading the consistency and quality of the products and services. So start with a narrow product mix to be consistent and improve your services’ quality, thus ending up making a good name in the market.
Over time the company might want to add new lines of similar products with different prices to target all aspects of the masses. This is called the stretching of product lines. When a higher-priced product/services are added, it’s called upward stretching and whereas when lower-priced product/services are added, it is termed downward stretching.
Product mix helps determine in which direction your company is heading, and the data accumulated by it helps you determine where you want to lead the company. It also helps you to be consistent with your targeted customers.
With an understanding of the product mix concept, you can move forward fast and be efficient in many ways.
Firstly it helps in understanding the customers and their needs, and because the needs of the customers keep changing as time forward, the mix should also be updated to their needs by their valuable feedback.
It provides you with focus. It reminds you of your core purpose and the goal of the business. As the business grows, the temptation of updating and changing the mix crosses the mind often to reach more masses. In doing so, you may compromise on your services’ consistency and quality, thus leaving behind the core customers. More than 75% of the business comes from the core customers, so one should be very careful while changing and adding the mix lines.
The product mix is a systematic technique in which the company knows which services and goods are being provided by them, which services and goods are doing good, and which helps in knowing the customers’ needs. It’s an important concept to understand and use most effectively to be consistent, having quality and resource control, and eventually helping the company grow bigger and achieve new heights.
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