Definition: The Product Mix also called as Product Assortment, refers to the complete range of products that is offered for sale by the company. In other words, the number of product lines that a company has for its customers is called as product mix.
The Product Line refers to the list of all the related products manufactured or marketed by a single firm. The number of products within the product line are called as the items, and these might be similar in terms of technology used, channel employed, customer’s needs and preferences or any other aspect. For example, the product lines of ITC are FMCG, Hotels, Paper Board and Packaging, Agribusiness.
The product mix has four dimensions: Breadth, Length, Depth, and Consistency. The Breadth of a product mix shows the different kinds of product lines that firm carries. Simply, it shows the number of items in the product line. This dimension of the product mix represents the extent to which the activities of the firm are diversified. In the example below, there are 4 product lines that show the width of the ITC.
The Length of a Product mix refers to the number of items in the product mix. In the example below the length is 11. As in the foods line, the number of items is 3, in cigarettes is 3 and so on.. On adding all the items, we get the length of a product.
The Depth of a product mix refers to the variants of each product in the product line. For example, in the example below, curry, pastes, biryanis, conserves, etc. shows the depth of the foods product line.
The Consistency of a product mix shows the extent to which the product lines are closely related to each other in terms of their end-use, distribution requirements, production requirements, price ranges, advertising media, etc. In the above example, it is clear that ITC’s product lines are less consistent as these perform different functions for the buyers.
These terms in a product assortment help the firm to take a decision regarding the addition or removal of the product items in the product lines. Generally, the firms introduce a new product item into the existing product line as it is easy to gain the customer support for the new product due to the customer’s familiarity with the existing product line.