Product Lines: Definition & Explanation

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  • 0:00 What Is a Product Line?
  • 0:12 Example
  • 0:45 Related Concepts
  • 2:46 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shawn Grimsley
It's quite common for companies to have several product lines. In this lesson, you'll learn about product lines and some related concepts. A short quiz will follow.

What Is a Product Line?

A product line is a group of products that are closely related to each other by function, customer group, market, or price range.

Example

Let's take a look at a simple example. We'll use the idea of a national coffee chain. The various types of coffee served at the coffee chain are one of its product lines. For example, the product lines may consist of espresso, cappuccinos, lattes, mochas, café au lait, regular auto-drip coffee, and various signature coffee drinks that were created by the company. The coffee shop may also have a product line of pastries and muffins that are served in the morning and sandwiches and soups that are served in the afternoon and evenings.

Related Concepts

A product line is typically managed by a product line manager, who may supervise several product managers who are responsible for individual products in the line. Product line managers usually have the responsibility of determining whether the product line should expand and whether products should be removed from the line. They will also analyze the effects of the product expansion or contraction on the profitability of other products in the line. A product line manager will also allocate marketing dollars for each product in the line.

Brand identification is often important in product lines. Brand identification is simply creating a positive consumer reaction to the product brand, which should result in customer loyalty and repeat purchases. There are four different types of branding. Individual brand names provide product identification without reliance on the product line or company name, while family brand names place all products in the line under one family name. Product-line brand names may be used if a company has more than one product line. Corporate brand names are used when the company's name is powerful and can be used to help the product line.

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