Product Line Strategies

Product line is a group of any products. They are related to one another. Such products fulfill similar nature of functions. Electrical product line includes electrical goods such as radio, television, telephone, computer, refrigerator, air conditioner, fan etc. Similarly, the line of soap includes detergent, shampoo,
gel, surf etc. Same line products should be supplied to market through same distribution channel. Some products of the same line do the same works. Their target market also becomes the same.

Nowadays, most of the firms give stress to mass production. In such firms arrangement of line manager is made to look after product line. Besides, brand manager is also appointed to look after each product. The line manager analyzes product line sales and profits, and estimates future sales and profits. Strategic decision can be taken on the basis of the estimate. Some important factors should be considered for formation of product line strategy. They are as follows:

1. Product line length

Product line length denotes all the products of the same line. Product line length should be long to expand and increase the market segment. Product length should be short for the increase in profit. However, profit can also be increased by increasing the length of product line according to the context. Decisions can be taken for adopting two strategies to increase or decrease the length of the product line. Two strategies are mentioned as follows:

a) Line expansion: The task of adding any other related new products to product line is called line expansion. This includes two strategies. They are filling the line and expanding the line. If nay textile industry produces three types of jackets pricing Rs. 1000 to 2500, it can be expanded to produce fourth type jackets. In this way, same products can be produced to fill the gap and widening the product length. The same task is called line filling. The task of adding new more products of the same line going beyond the current prices is called product stretching. Three types of strategies can be adopted to stretch the products. They are mentioned as follows:

a. Stretching up: The task of adding new goods of more prices to the existing same product line is called stretching up. This is made clearer by the given figure.
Stretching Up
b. Stretching down: The task of adding new products of low prices to the existing same product line is called stretching down. This is made clearer by the given figure:
Stretching Down
c. Stretching both ways: Many types of products can be included in any product line. In this way, the task of adding new products of both more price and low price is called stretching both ways. This is made clearer by the following figure:
Both Ways Stretching
b) Line Contraction: Some products of same line cannot influence target market segments. Such products which cannot influence market and cannot meet market demand should be abandoned or given up. The task of decreasing products or removing them from market is called line contraction. The products which are demanded in market should be encouraged and supplied by removing unnecessary dump of the unsold products. This can help to face market competition and the product can control markets.

2. Product line modification

Any firm or organization should meet market competition and customers’ wants in any way. Besides, improved technology also should be gradually adjusted. This means, product line should be regularly modified and modernized. Such activities are called product line modification. The task of product line modification is compulsory for any firm or business organization. So, the product line manager should take proper decision by researching, studying and analyzing market.

3. Product line featuring

Attention of various groups and classes of customers should be attracted towards products. For this, both low price and high price products should be included in product line. Low priced products attract price sensitive group of customers and the high priced products attract class sensitive customers. That means, low priced products attract the customers having low purchasing capacity and high priced products attract the customers having high purchasing capacity. This can meet the goal of the company or firm.

Product Mix Strategies

The form of all products as a whole presented by producer or seller to sell in the target market is called product mix. In this, product line and unit of the products are integrated. The main products of four product lines of Avon have been mentioned here. They are called cosmetics product line, jewellery product line, fashion line, fashion product line and household product line. In each product line, sufficient auxiliary product line or products may be included. The decision to be taken on width, depth, length and consistency of products is called product mix strategy. In other word, the decision to be taken on product line, auxiliary product line or on product is called product mix strategy.

At the time of distributing products for sale, product mix strategy should be adopted. Generally, four strategies can be given priority in product mix strategy. Such strategy helps product sellers in their functions. The main strategies which also help sellers can be mentioned as follows:

1. Width of the product

If any firm makes clear the number of product lines, it is called width of the product. Product line or product width can be expanded or contracted. The following table also has made easy to understand it.

2. Length of product

Length of product means all the things of product mix. Length of products can be changed by increasing the number of products or decreasing it. So, length of product can be increased or decreased according to the capacity of firm and wants of markets.

3. Depth of product

Depth of product indicates the number of the products belonging to a product line. Product depth can be changed by increasing or decreasing the number of units of products. In the above mentioned table, there are four things belonging to the tooth paste product line.

4. Consistency of product

Consistency of product line shows how many things are related to the use, production and distribution of the products. To increase the consistency of the product, related product should be added to the product line. If the consistency of the product is to be decreased, the unrelated products of the product line should be added.

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