product rangethe number of PRODUCTS and BRANDS sold by a firm. Depending upon the firm's degree of SPECIALIZATION or DIVERSIFICATION its product range may be classified as follows:
- product line or product class: a number of closely-related products. The products in a line may serve a particular consumer segment or price range, or may be used together by the consumer, or may employ common distribution outlets. For example, a motorcar supplier such as Ford offers a number of different versions of a particular model, say the Mondeo (differentiated by engine size, trim, accessories etc.), within a limited price band designated in Fig. 71 as ‘basic’, ‘de luxe’ and ‘super de luxe’. Alternatively, a kitchenware supplier may market together as a product line such items as food mixers, toasters and kettles;
- product group or product family:
a combination of individual PRODUCT LINES which together constitute a firm's product offering to a particular MARKET. A motorcar supplier like Ford, for instance, offers a number of different car models (Cougar, Mondeo, Focus and Ka) to serve different segments of the motorcar market (see Fig. 71);
- product mix: all the PRODUCT GROUPS and PRODUCT LINES which together constitute a firm's total product offering. The firm's product range might be closely related or very diverse depending upon the spread of the firm's business interests. Ford's product mix, for instance, consists primarily of motorcars, trucks and tractors, while a more diversified company will produce many different products. (see DIVERSIFICATION). See MARKET SEGMENTATION, PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE, PRODUCT-MARKET MATRIX, MARKETING MIX, PRODUCT LINE PRICING, PRODUCT VARIETY.