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Product mix refers to all product varieties that a seller has put up for sale. A company may have a variety of product lines which may include hair products, soaps and cosmetics, in a product mix this refers to width. These products may also come in varying sizes or SKUs as stocked on the market shelves, in a product mix this refers to depth. The total number of products within the product lines refers to the product mix length. Product mix consistency points to the product lines and how they interrelate with the other aspects of the business, for instance, product distribution, product use and production techniques among other aspects. It is important to note that some companies may deal in a wide variety of product lines which are not interrelated in the business aspects whatsoever. For instance, it is possible for a company to deal in both Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and Slow Moving Consumer Goods (SMCG), but this will only be possible if they can manage the varied marketing mix. For purposes of consistency, however, it is only viable for a business to concentrate on either FMCGs or SMCGs but not both with considerations to business aspects such as distribution, the costs and different product strategies involved.
Consistency of product mix is advantageous for positioning the company in a specific market or as a niche producer or distributor. This consistency,many a times, ensures that the company's name becomes synonymous with the product. For example, for a long time, Microsoft was a major player in operating systems and productivity softwares. Another example of a great product mix was Nokia that sold a wide variety of mobile phones across the world.
The problem with consistency in product mix is with venturing into a new domain. For example, Microsoft's foray into portable music players with Zune failed because it is considered a major player in softwares, but not hardware.
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Product mix defines the variety of products that a company produces. Product mix consistency benefits the company when they stay in the same product category, for example, when Coca Cola made other types of beverages, like Coke Zero, which was added to the product line. These products can be targeted to the same consumer base and distributed through the same channels. It saves the company money and time.
The term consistency in reference to the product mix has to do with the closeness of the products in relation to use, distribution outlets, target markets and price range.
"If they are closely related on any one of these factors,the product mix is said to be consistent. On the other hand, if the lines are not closely related, the product mix is considered inconsistent."
The benefits include promoting a consistent company image in the eyes of the consumer. The company becomes an exclusive provider of a certain product line.
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