The complete range of products present within a company is known as the product mix. In any multi brand organizations, there are numerous products present. None of the organizations wants to take the risk of being present in the market with a single product.
If a company has only a single product, than it is understood that the demand of the product is very high or the company does not have the resources to expand the number of products it has. Generally, most companies nowadays realize the importance of product diversification.
As explained, product mix is a combination of total product lines within a company. A company like HUL has numerous product lines like Shampoos, detergents, Soaps etc. The combination of all these product lines is the product mix.
The product line is a subset of the product mix. The product line generally refers to a type of product within an organization. As the organization can have a number of different types of products, it will have similar number of product lines. Thus, in Nestle, there are milk based products like milkmaid, Food products like Maggi, chocolate products like Kitkat and other such product lines. Thus, Nestle’s product mix will be a combination of the all the product lines within the company.
Product line length
If a company has 4 product lines, and 10 products within the product line, than the length of the product mix is 40. Thus, the total number of products against the total number of product lines forms the length of the product mix. This equation is also known as product line length.
Product line width
The width of the product mix is equal to the number of product lines within a company. Thus, taking the above example, if there are 4 product lines within the company, and 10 products within each product line, than the product line width is 4 only. Thus, product line width is a depiction of the number of product lines which a company has.
Product line depth
It is fairly easy to understand what depth of the product mix will mean. Where length and width were a function of the number of product lines, the depth of the product mix is the total number of products within a product line. Thus if a company has 4 product lines and 10 products in each product line, than the product mix depth is 10. It can have any variations within the product for form the product line depth.
Product line consistency
The lesser the variations between the products, the more is the product line consistency. For example, Amul has various product lines which are all dairy related. So that product mix consistency is high. But Samsung as a company has many product lines which are completely independent of each other. Like Air conditioners, televisions, smart phones, home appliances, so on and so forth. Thus the product mix consistency is low in Samsung.
Example of Product line and Product mix
Let us take an example of P&G as a company and understand product mix. This will be not be a precise example and all products of P&G might not be taken into consideration.
But the example will help you understand product mix within an organization.
Detergents – Arial, Arial oxyblue, Ariel bar, Tide, Tide naturals, Tide bleach, Tide plus.
Shampoos – Head and shoulders, Head and shoulders anti dandruff, Pantene, Pantene damage repair, Pantene pro-v
In the above example the following can be learned about the product mix of P&G
Product mix Length – 12
Product mix Width – 2
Product mix Depth – 7 in detergents and 5 in shampoos
Product mix consistency – High as both are bathroom products.