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Product Mix

Product mix is a combination of products manufactured or traded by the same business house to reinforce their presence in the market, increase market share and increase the turnover for more profitability. Normally the product mix is within the synergy of other products for a medium size organization. However large groups of Industries may have diversified products within core competency. Larsen & Toubro Ltd, Godrej, Reliance in India are some of the examples.

One of the realities of business is that most firms deal with multi-products .This helps a firm diffuse its risk across different product groups/Also it enables the firm to appeal to a much larger group of customers or to different needs of the same customer group .So when Videocon chose to diversify into other consumer durables like music systems ,washing machines and refrigerators ,it sought to satisfy the needs of the middle and upper middle income group of consumers.

Likewise , Bajaj Electricals.a household name in India, has almost ninety products in i8ts portfolio ranging from low value items like bulbs to high priced consumer durables like mixers and luminaires and lighting projects .The number of products carried by a firm at a given point of time is called its product mix. This product mix contains product lines and product items .In other words itís a composite of products offered for sale by a firm.

Product Mix Decisions

Often firms take decisions to change their product mix. These decisions are dictated by the above factors and also by the changes occurring in the market place. Like the changing life-styles of Indian consumers led BPL-Sanyo to launch an entire range of white goods like refrigerators , washing machines, and microwave ovens .It also motivate the firm to launch other entertainment electronics. Rahejas, a well-known builders firm in Bombay, took a major decision to convert one of its theatre buildings in the western suburbs of Bombay into a large garments and accessories store for men ,women and children, perhaps the first of its kind in India to have almost all products required by these customer groups Competition from low priced washing powders (mainly Nirma) forced Hindustan Levers to launch different brands of detergent powder at different price levels positioned at different market segments .Customer preferences for herbs, mainly shikakai motivated Lever to launch black Sunsilk Shampoo ,which has shikakai .Also ,low purchasing power. and cultural bias against shampoo market made Hindustan Lever consider smaller packaging mainly sachets , for single use .So, it is the changes or anticipated changes in the market place that motivates a firm to consider changes in its product mix.

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, customerís 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.
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 customerís familiarity with the existing product line.

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