Explain the following: "product line," "product length," "product width," "product depth?"

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ophelious's profile pic

ophelious | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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These terms all relate to a business that sells products, and describes the organization of those products for marketing purposes.

  1. LINE: The term "product line" includes all the different things the company is selling in a particular category. Put them all together and you have the "line."  It might be a long line, or a short one.
  2. WIDTH: How many different "lines" the company produces. Some companies may sell many different "categories" of items.  Some may not.
  3. LENGTH: This refers to products that are sold that are similar to each-other, but not bundled together and sold as one.  For example, car wash, car polish, car air fresheners that are sold individually and not as a package.  They would be part of the same line.  A long line means many different, related products to sell.
  4. DEPTH: Think of this like subcategories.  If a company sells face soap, it may have 5 different formulas depending on skin type.
  5. BUNDLING: Though you didn't ask, this a piece of the puzzle, too.  This is putting related products together and selling them as one thing.  They don't count as individual products, but one bundled entity.

I hope this explanation helps!

durbanville's profile pic

durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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When establishing a product mix, a business must decide where it places itself in terms of its target market. Does it want to compete to be the best-priced product, or the most luxurious, for example, or does it see itself across a diverse market with a broad product mix to suit different consumer needs and several price brackets? The collection of products and / or services the business decides to offer represents that business's product mix. All of the components, such as product line, product length, product width and product depth make up that mix. 

Accordingly, within the product mix, there are various product lines and within each product line are the various related products (the range of products) which constitute that particular product line. Some businesses have numerous product lines (even thousands) and the actual number of different product lines they have is what defines the product width. All of the products themselves that fall within the scope of each product line are what make up the product length (i.e. the similar products which a consumer is likely to purchase to complete a task.) By way of example, consider a person who wants to paint his bedroom. He will need paintbrushes, a paint roller and tray, protective cloths for the floor, and so on. These items will fall within the same product line. 

The depth of the product mix relates to the variety that is available within each product line such as the sizes available, the colors a consumer can choose from, etc. all of which constitute the product depth. 

gsenviro's profile pic

gsenviro | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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These terms relate to the product offering by a company, especially if the company manufactures a large number of different products (including similar products).

Product Line: products of similar nature, price, function, intended market, etc. form a product line. It is different from product bundling where similar products are bundled and sold together as a unit. A product line comprises similar products that are sold separately. A company can have a number of product lines. For example, Toyota has a product line of sedans, a product line of SUVs and a product line of pick-up trucks. In the product line of sedans, Toyota offers Corolla, Camry, Avalon, etc.

Product Length: refers to total number of products sold within a product line. For example, Asus may have 10 different types of netbooks.

Product Width: refers to number of separate product lines offered by a company. For example, the product width of Toyota may be 3, one each for product lines of sedans, pick-ups and SUVs.

Product Depth: refers to the number of sub-categories within a product line. For example, Adidas may have 5 different sub-classes (say basketball shoes, athletics shoes, tennis shoes, etc.) within the product line of sports shoes.

thetall's profile pic

thetall | (Level 3) Educator

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These terms in business refer to the product mix especially so if the business offers many products of different varieties. Lets illustrate this with an example, Sony produces mobile phones, televisions, headsets, cameras and many other products. These products basically form their product mix it is under this mix that you will find product lines, length, width and depth.

Product line: This refers to related products that are offered by a business and this similar characteristics can be based on the customers they target, price, type or quality of that particular line. For example a television product line could include LEDs, LCDs and Plasmas.

Product length: This refers to product versions within the product line for example under LCDs the versions could be series 1, series 2, and so on.

Product width: This refers to the number of product lines within the product mix.

Product depth: This refers to the subclasses that can be obtained within products in an individual product line or classes within the product length. For example you can have smart and non smart series LCDs within the LCD line.

gsarora17's profile pic

gsarora17 | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

The product mix defines the total variety of products a company sells. Companies group products with similar characteristics into product lines or categories, which help them in developing strategies for managing and marketing products.

Product Line: Companies may split their product mix into groups known as product lines. A product line is a group of products that are closely related together based on similar characteristics. The characteristic used to split products, depends on the production and marketing strategy of the company. They include price range, product quality, customer group, and product specification/features.

Product lines help firms manage their products as product strategy can be designed around product lines. This is useful if the firm has a large product mix as there is less need to concentrate on individual product type strategy.

Product Line Length : The total number of items the company carries within its product lines. The product line length shows the number of different products in a product line. A long product line has lots of different products in it and a short product line has a small number of different products. If there are too many product types in a product line, they will begin to compete with each other, increase costs unnecessarily and even confuse customers. If the product line is too short it will limit customer choice and send customers to competitors with a greater selection of products.

Product Line Depth:It refers to how many variants are offered of each product in the product line.
Product Width: The number of different product lines the company carries.The product mix width is the number of product lines in the product mix. A wide product mix increases the type of customers a firm can target. However it may involve a lot of work as each product line will require a strategy and management. It could also reduce specialisation as it is difficult to offer every variant of a product type. A narrow product mix may be easier to manage and allow the company to specialise in particular product lines and product types. However a small product mix reduces the type of customers a firm can target.

The attachment shows the Product line , length , width and depth of a company for illustration.

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