Product mix or product assortment refers to the number of product lines that an organisation offers to its customers.
Product line is a group of related products manufactured or marketed by a single company. Such products function in similar manner, sold to the same customer group, sold through the same type of outlets, and fall within a same price range.
HUL is India's largest marketer of Soaps, Detergents and Home Care products. It has the country’s largest Personal Products business, leading in Shampoos, Skin Care Products, Colour Cosmetics and Deodorants. HUL is also the market leader in Tea, Processed Coffee, branded Wheat Flour, Tomato Products, and Ice cream, Soups, Jams and Squashes. Any company’s product mix has four dimensions: we see the product mix width, length, depth and consistency.
Product Depth- Assortment of size, color and models offered in each item of a product line.
Product consistency- It refers to the relationship of various product line either in their end use, production requirement, distribution channel or other way.
for example- HUL manufacturer of various hair care products like Sunsilk, Clinic plus, clear, dove all of these have separate production requirement, have different distribution channel compared to Sunsilk.
CORE BENEFIT- The core benefit that the sunsilk brings towards its customers is that it makes their hair clean and healthy and gives nourishment.
BASIC PRODUCT- This represents all the qualities of the product. It fulfils the core benefit. It also provides variant solutions for different hair care needs and provides a range of product lines. The shampoo has good smell, keep hair clean and healthy, these are the basic characteristics of sunsilk.
EXPECTED PRODUCT- This is about all aspects the consumer expects to get when they purchase any hair care product according to their hair texture and requirements. Customers expectations from sunsilk shampoo that it gives smoothening of hair, to prevent hair fall, black shiny hair, to construct damaged hair.
AUGMENTED PRODUCT- This refers to all additional factors which sets the product apart from that of the competition. And this particularly involves brand identity and image.
The augmented aspect of it is the fact that the packaging is nicely integrated, assurance of proper hair treatment is guaranteed and an after-sales service which is observed to answer all the customers’ needs.
POTENTIAL PRODUCT- This is about augmentations and transformations that the product may undergo in the future.
PRODUCT HIERARCHY -
Each product is related to certain other products. The product hierarchy stretches from basic needs to particular items that satisfy those needs. There are 6 levels of the product hierarchy:
The core need that underlines the existence of a product family.
Need family for sunsilk- personal care
All the product classes that can satisfy a core need with reasonable effectiveness. For example, all of the products like computer, calculator or abacus can do computation.
Product family- hair care
A group of products within the product family recognised as having a certain functional coherence. For instance, personal computer (PC) is one product class.
Product class- Shampoo
A group of products within a product class that are closely related because they perform a similar function, are sold to the same customer groups, are marketed through the same channels or fall within given price range. For instance, portable wire-less PC is one product line.
Product line- Sunsilk
A group of items within a product line that share one of several possible forms of the product. For instance, palm top is one product type.
Type- variants like yellow colour- dream and soft sunsilk shampoo, pink colour- lusciously thick and long shampoo, orange colour- damaged hair reconstruction shampoo, blue colour- anti dandruff shampoo etc.
A distinct unit within a brand or product line distinguishable by size, price, appearance or some other attributes. For instance, LCD, CD- ROM drive and joystick are various items under palm top product type.
Items- SKU, 50ml, 100ml, 350ml etc