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Q.1 Explain the following: a) Product mix dimensions b) Product line strategies

a) Product mix dimensions  :The number of product line and items offered by marketer to the consumer A company’s product mix has four different dimensions. They are product mix width, product mix length, and product mix depth and product mix consistency.
Product mix width: The total number of product line that company offers to the consumers. For example, Jyothy laboratories product mix has six lines. Hence width is 6

Product mix length: The total number of items that company carries within its product line. For example, Jyothy laboratories fabric care division has three items

Product line depth: The number of versions offered of each product in the line.
For example, Jyothy laboratories’ Jeeva Natural is offered in three versions i.e. Coconut Milk with Milk Protein, Coconut Milk with Jasmine and Coconut Milk with Kasturi Manjal, and is presented in 75gm packs.
Product mix consistency: If company’s product lines usage, production and marketing are related then product mix is consistent else it is unrelated.
Incase of Jyothy laboratories, all six product lines are FMCGs. Hence it is having consistent product mix. But ITC Company’s cigarette and cloth product line are totally unrelated.

b) Product line strategies :

Product line: The group of related products which uses same marketing effort to reach the consumer.
The product line identifies profitable and unprofitable products and helps in allocation of resources according to that. The product line understanding helps the marketer to take line extension, line pruning and line filling strategies of the company.
Pidilite industries, the adhesives and chemical company have following group of related products (or product lines) in consumer and business markets.

Consumer market.
1. Adhesives and sealants.
2. Art materials and stationeries.
3. Construction chemicals.
4. Automotive chemicals
5. Fabric care

Business market.
1. Industrial adhesives.
2. Textile chemicals.
3. Organic pigment powders.
4. Industrial resins and
5. Leather chemicals.

The major product line decisions are
a. Product line length:
b. Product line stretching
c. Product line filling
d. Product line pruning.

a. Product line length: The number of items in the product line is called the product line length. Company should decide whether it requires longer chain or shorter length. The decision depends upon the objective of the company, competitive environment and profitability. If the chain is short company can add new products and if it is lengthy company can reduce the number of products. For example, Pidilite’s adhesives and sealants line has following 11 items in the product line.
Hence the length of product line is 11

1. White Glue
2. Paper Glue
3. Glue Stick
4. Instant Adhesive
5. Epoxy Putty
6. Epoxy Adhesive
7. PVC Insulation Tape
8. Silicone Sealants
9. Contact Glue
10. All Purpose Glue
11. Maintenance Spray

b. Product line stretching: Company lengthens its products line either by stretching upwards or downwards or both ways. Line stretching decision depends on three situation
i. Company which operates in high end market may come up with mid class or low class targeted products.
ii. The company which operates in lower end of market may come up with high end market products.
iii. If the company operates in mid segment and comes out with low end product as well as high end product then it is stretching both ways.

To explain let me take an example of Maruti Suzuki limited. Company launched its first product Maruti 800 in the year 1983 and in the year 1985 it launched Maruti Gypsy. Gypsy is costlier than Maruti 800 and targeted for higher segment. This shows that company extended its product line upwards or in short, upward stretch.

A Tata motor is planning to launch their Rs 1 Lakh car NANO in the year 2008. The company which was targeting upper class and middle class with their products SUMO and Indica respectively has stretched downwards to reach another segment. This illustrates the downward stretch.

Toyota Kirloskar limited which extended their line from Qualis and Corolla to Innova and Camry, is planning to come out with small car in India. This clearly illustrate the two way stretch of the product line.
c. Product line filling: Adding more items in the present line. For example, in the year 2000 Maruti Suzuki launched Alto. This product was between Maruti 800 and Maruti Zen. Here company was trying to fill the gap existed in the segment by introducing ALTO i.e. line filling.

d. Product line pruning: removing the unprofitable products form the product line. Toyota Kirloskar phased out their well known brand Qualis when it thought the brand is not adding value to the product line.


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