What is a product line? Definition and examples
A product line is a group of products that a company creates under a single brand. The products are similar and focus on the same market sector. Maybe their function or channel distribution are the same or similar. Perhaps their physical attributes, prices, quality, or type of customers are the same. We call the activity product lining.
A company can have more than one product line. The number of product lines it has reflects its resources, i.e., how powerful it is.
Product line numbers might also show the other players in the marketplace how competitive the company is. In this context, the term ‘marketplace’ means the same as ‘market’ in its abstract sense.
Marketing executives believe that product lines give companies a competitive advantage. When a business has a competitive advantage, it has an edge over its rivals.
When a company has many product lines and groups them together, it creates a product mix.
Collins Dictionary has the following definition of the term:
“A product line is a group of related products produced by one manufacturer. For example, products that are intended to be used for similar purposes or to be sold in similar types of shops.”
If you have several products with something in common, you can put them into one group. We call that group a product line. All the items must come from the same company. In this image, a fictional company – ACME – has two product lines.
Product line – marketing
Product lines are often part of a marketing strategy. Companies keep adding more products to attract buyers. Specifically, they want to attract buyers who are familiar with the brand.
A marketing strategy exists when you combine all your marketing goals and objectives into one comprehensive plan.
For example, a company that has a product line in grooming and hair care might add a new line in personal care. A company that makes telecommunications software may introduce a new app for tracking a cell phone. Customers who already know the brand will be more willing to buy from their new line.
In most companies, the Product Line Manager supervises a product line. This person is in charge of determining what stays and what goes. In other words, which products to get rid of and which ones to add to the range.
Let’s imagine, for example, that John Doe Inc. seeks to reach out to new customers. It may add more items to the line. We call this product line extension.
Let’s suppose John Doe Inc. produces cookies. It may want to reach out to new customers, so it adds sugar-free cookies to its line of products. It aims these new cookies at consumers with diabetes.
By doing this, John Doe Inc. will be extending its reach.
Procter & Gamble (P&G) is a good example of a company with several product lines. It has approximately 300 brands within its ten different product lines.
P&G has product lines in Baby Care, Family Care, Feminine Care, Fabric Care, Home Care, and Hair Care. It also has product lines in Personal Health Care, Grooming, Oral Care, and Skin and Personal Care.