What is a Product Line?
Companies usually become successful in business by having a product line and selling the brand successfully. The definition of a product line is several closely related products grouped under one brand and sold by the same company for the same market. It is a collective of similar products being sold to the consumers.
The main characteristics of a product line are outlined below:
- Product lines are composed of similar items. The reason for offering similar items is to give consumers a variety of choices and to create and maintain a good reputation.
- The items in a product line are closely related. They only differ in size, color, model, capacity, weight, and performance.
- The products also complement each other. A tire, a tube, and related products complement each other, for example.
- Product lines usually use the same distribution channel for the products. This means that similar outlets market the products.
- The products usually attract a similar group of customers. Hence, they are sold to a similar group of customers.
Companies sell many product lines under various brand names, and the products are mainly differentiated by quality, price, and targeted demographic. There are different brand types: corporate brands, product brands, personal brands, service brands.
- Corporate Brands: This type of branding is a method used by companies to market themselves and outstand the competition. Decisions in this branding include pricing, target markets, and values
- Product Brands: This branding involves marketing one specific product.
- Personal Brands: Branding is not limited to companies. People also use marketing tools, like social media, to boost their branding.
- Service Brands: This branding applies to services that require a lot of creativity since it is impossible to show the services physically.
The product line constitutes the product and product management. Product management is led by a product manager responsible for every step of the product cycle. Some product line manager roles are allocating funds needed to market the product, conducting research, and deciding whether to contract the product line. The main factors that categorize products into product lines are their price range, brand, or functionality. Companies prefer product lines since by creating them, they can capture customers who are already buying their brand.
Product Life Cycle
A product life cycle is described as the amount of time a product stays in the market from its introduction until it is removed. A product life cycle works in four stages: introducing the product to customers, growing the product, maturity of the product, and finally, its decline.
- Introduction: At product introduction, advertising and marketing is done to lure customers and make them aware of the new product and how it will benefit them.
- Growth: At the growing stage of the product, the product is in constant demand, meaning it is increasing in production and gradually expanding in operations.
- Maturity: In the maturity stage, the product has the maximum profits return and has a firm grasp of the consumers' needs and acquisitions. There is new competition at this stage. Prices decline because some consumers have found alternatives, increasing the possibility of sales reaching a plateau or a peak.
- Decline: In the decline stage, competition from other companies starts to kick in, and the company loses market shares and starts declining.
Product lines and product life cycles are closely connected. After a product life cycle declines, a company should introduce a product line to ensure the customers who were buying their brand will continue buying from them. Therefore, grouping several products in a single brand will ensure the product begins the introduction phase again. For example, Coca-Cola has remained in the market because it adds a new drink to its portfolio under the same brand name regularly. While some of these drinks are closely related to the Coca-Cola brand, others are in entirely different categories.
Product Line vs. Product Mix
A product line is a set of similar products manufactured and sold by a single company. On the other hand, a product mix is the total of every product line that a company develops and sells. A product mix is characterized by its depth, length, consistency, and width.
- Width: This describes the total number of product lines a business offers.
- Length: The length outlines the number of products contained in a company's product mix.
- Depth: This refers to the number of variations within the product line. For example, John Inc. is a company that deals with the sales of cars. The company might offer different categories and brands such as trucks, convertibles, sedans, and coupes. Therefore, John Inc. has a depth of four in the car's product line.
- Consistency: The last characteristic of a product mix is consistency. This refers to the closeness of product lines based on their production, use, and effectiveness.
Jane's Cafe, for example, sells food and beverages. The cafe sells cold and hot tea, coffee, snacks, and smoothies. Therefore, the cafe has four product lines. All these products are categorized in a product mix since they are all the products the cafe produces and sells. The product mix in this example would have a width of four and a high consistency, as a customer is likely to buy a snack after purchasing a beverage.
Product Line Examples
A product line pricing example is common in stores like Walmart and salons. For instance, by using the "price match" deal, Walmart can attract customers to visit the store and buy groceries at a discounted rate. All the consumers have to do in this deal is to watch for stores selling products at a lower price than Walmart, and if they find them, the customers can price match to get a discounted price. When buyers find a product at Walmart that they need, they are likely to buy it even if they can find the same product from a different store simply because of the convenience of price matching. Another example of product line pricing is that a salon owner may lower the price for haircuts to get more customers into the salon. This way, more customers will spend more money on colorings, perms, and hair care products, resulting in more profit.
Examples of product lines are Microsoft Corporation, Nike Inc., and KFC. Microsoft Corporation is a well-known brand in the technology sector. Microsoft is known for selling high-end product lines such as Microsoft Office, Power Bi, Xbox, and Windows Operating Systems ensuring Microsoft Corporation stays in the market.
Nike Inc. is also known for developing and selling product lines for sports such as basketball, soccer, and track and field. Its product lines include clothing, footwear, and equipment.
KFC is known for its chicken. Its main product lines are fried chicken, hamburgers, French fries, and milkshakes. A customer buying KFC chicken may accompany it with French fries and a milkshake.
The definition of a product line is a collection of similar products sold under one brand by a single company. Having a product line helps a company increase its sales and gives customers a variety of similar products to purchase. To boost sales, some companies may also incorporate product line pricing. A product line pricing strategy refers to setting and reviewing the prices for different products a company offers in coordination with other products. Product line pricing, for example, is common in clubs and restaurants. For instance, a restaurant might offer a low-price entree when a consumer buys dessert because the strategy makes more sales and gives a higher profit margin. A product mix refers to all the products developed and sold by a company. A product mix can have many product lines. The main difference between product line and product mix is that a product line is an array of related products sold under a brand in a company, while product mix is the summation of the product lines in a business.
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What are 3 examples of product lines?
Examples of products line are P&G, Nestle, and Coca-Cola. P&G has 10 product lines such as baby care, feminine care, and oral care. Nestle has product lines such as Milo, Kit Kat, and Nan. Coca-Cola has more than 500 brands, and every brand has its product line.
What is the definition of a product line?
A product line refers to a group of products marketed under one brand and sold by the same company. A product line is essential, especially since when consumers become familiar with a particular brand they begin to branch out to different try products.
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