What Is a Product Line? (Definition, Benefits and Examples)

What Is a Product Line? (Definition, Benefits and Examples)

What Is a Product Line?

A product line is used by a business to describe a group of products that it sells. The products are related to each other, whether through a common ingredient, design or the same purpose.

The product line is a powerful way to improve sales of a business, extend the available range of products with new variants and leverage the loyalty of customers who already know, trust and buy from a brand.

People tend to buy from a company that they have bought from before.

Product lines usually share the same packaging, but the differences through the line can be in price point, features or even demographics.

All the products in a product line can be launched at the same time, or extra products can be added to the line later.

What Are the Benefits of a Product Line?

Growth

One of the most important benefits of a product line is the chance to grow a business.

By making more of a popular product, especially different versions of it, a company can grow its customer base, increase the spending of existing customers and extend the attractiveness of the rest of the products sold by the brand.

Competitive Advantage

By researching what customers are looking for around a particular product, a brand can get ahead of the competition by launching different versions.

This might include launching a similar product at a different price point to establish value, whether a luxury option or a more budget-friendly one.

It might mean creating a product aimed at a different demographic, like a beauty brand creating makeup for teenagers, for example.

Having this ability to entice a new demographic or more customers gives a business more reach into the customer base, while gaining an advantage over competitors.

Savings on Costs

Extending a product line or launching a range of similar products simultaneously can add more sales opportunities without raising costs.

Products that are broadly the same will need the same production lines, systems, procedures and especially machinery, and this represents some useful savings.

Similar packaging and marketing techniques will also save money on promotions.

Leveraging Loyalty

Buying from a brand that you know and trust represents a safe investment as a customer. You have already got that instilled brand loyalty, having received great service and products that have exceeded expectations.

What this means to a business is that loyal customers are more likely to choose more products in the same line, depending on their needs.

A product line with the right options from a trusted brand can extend the spending of loyal customers and help introduce new ones.

Product Line Examples

Dyson

Dyson as a brand is well known for creating vacuum cleaners, using a unique suction system that made the company a pioneer of bagless vacuuming.

Following this success, Dyson took their engineering prowess to extend their product line into areas like heating and cooling and even personal care products like hairdryers.

This trusted name in technology effectively leveraged their existing customer base by offering similar technology in new ways.

Marketed in the same way, focusing on the simplicity of design and straightforward usage of each product, Dyson has embraced a new demographic and increased sales throughout the line.

Apple

Throughout every product line, including the iPad, Mac and iPhone, Apple has released a set number of slightly different products.

Marketed in an extremely exciting way, each product line's yearly(ish) release always encourages a rabid reaction from fans, and the products themselves only tend to differ slightly.

The product line for the latest iPhone, for example, contains variations of handset color, storage size and price point. This often includes a more budget-friendly version.

Apple uses their customers' loyalty to entice them to buy the latest model in the range while also investing in new, innovative technology and marketing techniques to convert new customers.

What Is a Product Line? (Definition, Benefits and Examples)
What Is a Product Line? (Definition, Benefits and Examples)

Ford

All cars have four wheels (well, most) and can be used to transport you places, but when it comes to some of the bigger car manufacturers, an extended product line offers several ways to encourage both loyal and new customers to buy.

When Ford, or any other car manufacturer, releases a new car, there are several options available in the product line.

Whether the product is a sports car or an SUV, variations might include engine size or the number of doors.

Sometimes the differences can be about what features they come with, usually starting with the basic, entry-level model, with extras that can be added to create a top-of-the-range option.

In this way, Ford has created a product line that can appeal to a wider range of customers, leveraging their brand and creating a competitive edge.

Xbox

Just one of the brands created by Microsoft, Xbox has long been in direct competition with PlayStation for gamers.

Looking at their latest product line, they have released two distinct consoles that are differentiated through simple features.

One is considered the entry-level option at a lower price and another with more storage and features that is the more expensive option.

One of the most fun facets of this product line is that Xbox has released a similar product in appearance to the top model Xbox Series X, but it is a mini-fridge.

This addition to the product line is an extension based on the reviews and opinions of the Xbox design, in which consumers mentioned that the console looks like it should be keeping snacks cool.

This was a clever marketing ploy that enticed loyal customers to buy something else from them and could be considered a way for new customers to get involved, especially if getting a gift for someone else.

The Coffee House

Consider this example of a fictitious coffee shop in a small town.

As an independent business, they are in direct competition with the chain brands in the town, and they want to extend their product line to encourage new customers and get more spend from existing customers.

Although coffee is a product that they have in common with other coffee shops in the town, The Coffee House decides to extend their product line with some new options, such as adding a range of milk alternatives to target vegans and those who have dairy intolerances.

This extension of a product line will encourage loyal customers to try something new, and by targeting a new demographic (vegans and dairy-free), The Coffee House can establish itself with new customers and gain a competitive advantage.

Frequently Asked Questions

A product line consists of several different but related products. These can contain similar ingredients, have the same function or be aimed at the same market, but they will have some variations such as price points.

A product range or product mix refers to the different types of products that a brand might create. There could be several individual products or product lines in a product mix, as it represents everything that a brand sells.

As an example, a sandwich shop might have a bagel product line that includes different toppings and fillings for their bagels. They might also have a product line for sub sandwiches, salads and cakes. Each product line forms part of the product mix of the business.

Offering a range of product options, either as part of a specific product line or an extended product mix, gives a business the opportunity to expand and make more money.

It is a simple way to grow without adding much in the way of production costs.

When a product proves popular with customers, adding variations to the product line can not only grow the business and offer more choice to committed and loyal customers but also attract new customers.

A business that can establish itself as a trusted source of a particular product can usually rely on its customers to try other things. Whether the company is extending a product line or adding to their product mix, they can usually guarantee interest.

For customers, a product line is a good way to discover new things they might like, sold by a brand they trust.

There are two main types of product lines.

There are those with a number of products released simultaneously, such as with a car manufacturer or Apple, like in the example above.

Some businesses extend their product lines by adding variations over time, usually based on research and customer feedback. These might be added to create different price points or a luxury option.

This is one of the most common product line categorizations, separating products by their cost. It encourages a hierarchical view of perceived quality levels.

What this means for the customer is that they are likely to be able to buy a cheaper item on the product line, while being aware the entry-level product is not as high quality as the top-of-the-range product.

This approach does need research, but it can expand the demographic of a business to encourage new customers who want to be involved with a brand and their product but might not have the budget to buy in.

Product line pricing can be considered the difference between 'no frills' and 'fully decked out' options.

Final Thoughts

A product line provides a safe investment for customers with an already trusted brand, allowing them to try new things. More choice for a wider range of budgets also encourages new customers.

For the company, the product line allows them to offer a wider range of products without necessarily increasing product costs. It can improve sales throughout the product mix by highlighting the work of a specific brand.

A well-considered product line makes it simple for a business to optimize their sales and marketing, encouraging positive growth, which should translate to an increase in profits.


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