Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Product Mix

A product system is a group of diverse but related items that function in a compatible manner.A product mix of a company is the set of all products and items it offers.A product mix consists of various product lines.It has a certain width,length,depth and consistency. These concepts are illustrated in the following table for the product division of P&G.

Baby Products
Women’s Products
Men’s Products
Family Health
Home appliances


Oral B



Product width refers to how many different product lines the company carries. Here,the different  categories of Baby Products, Women's Products, Men's Products, Family Health, Detergents, Home Appliances etc. forms the product width of P&G

Product length refers to the total number of items in a mix.the product length of personal care comprises the 3 different brands of P&G - Olay and Whispers. Likewise the other categories too have different product lines.

Product depth is the variants offered for each product in the line. For instance, Tide comes in two forms - Top Loading and Front Loading.

The consistency of the product mix refers to how closely related the various product lines are in end use, production requirements, distribution channels, or some other way. P&G's product lines are consistent insofar as they are consumer goods that go through the same distribution channels.The lines are less consistent as they perform different functions for the buyers.

Vicks VapoRub Products in India

Product Family - Health Care
Product Class - OTC cold & cough relief
Product Line - Vicks VapoRub
Product Type - Variances
Product Item - Different sizes of Vicks VapoRub

Six levels of product hierarchy are defined beneath:

  1. Need family-the core need that underlies the existence of a product family
  2. Product family-All the product classes that can satisfy the core need 
  3. Product Class/Product Category-group of products within the family recognised as having a  functional  coherence
  4. Product Line-group of products in a product class that performs similar functions,sold to similar customers,marketed through same distribution channels
  5. Product type-group of items within a product line that share one of several possible forms of the product
  6. Item-Vick's-distinct units within a brand distinguishable by size,price,appearance or some other attribute.


Consumer's first identify their need and look for solution to this need. The are given a choice of products to select from, so they must evaluate their option. A buying decision is formulated but the purchase a product is still subject to external factors.

More on this topic is dealt with under post Consumer Buying Behaviour.

New Product Development

Product development, the work of the R&D department ensures the company stays in market. It seeks to renew products that are in its declining years. 
More on this subjectcan be found under post Consumer Buying Behaviour.

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