Range of products
|Range of products|
Range of products is common marketing term which describes volume and broadness of products or services offered by the company on the market. Wide range of products typically involve more costs of development and customer service because of higher requirements for human resources, materials, spare parts, etc. Range of products often reflect results of market segmentation process and different products are offered to different market segments. Maintaining wide range of products is difficult in the long run, and specialization can provide better profits in the long term due to effects of scale .
A group of product assortments
We divide the assortment groups due to several criteria: according to the quantity of commodity species, according to the nature of the needs and according to customers' interest. Assortment groups by number of commodity species:
- Simple assortment - a set of goods represented by a small species of products that meet the needs of a limited number of recipients,
- Complex assortment - a set of goods that has many types of goods that meet diverse needs,
- Mixed range - a set of different groups that differ in their calling.
Assortment groups according to the nature of needs are:
- Genuine - a set of products actually available in the store with the seller,
- Forecast - a set of products that can meet the expectations and needs of customers,
- Training - a set of products supporting learning and achieving educational goals.
Assortment groups according to customers' interest are:
- Rational - a set of products best suited to real needs that go hand in hand with maximum quality of life at this stage,
- Optimal - a set of products that meet real needs with the most beneficial effect for consumers at the lowest costs.
Features of the assortment
Among the most important features of the range, we stand out:
- The width of the assortment - is understood by the number of product lines. A wide assortment is a set of products with a large number of assortment groups.
- The length of the assortment - is reflected in the number of all products proposed by the company in its entire assortment.
- The depth of the assortment - describes the number of individual product variants offered by the company within each line. Products with a similar raw material composition, production technology, and method of use provide a wide range of assortment items within a given assortment group.
- A coherent assortment - related to how closely individual product lines of a given company are related to each other, taking into account distribution channels, application and others. A coherent assortment concerns a situation where a company offers several production lines covering only consumer goods and distributes them through the same channels. Consistency of the product range is smaller when larger differences between the product lines occur.
Planning the range of products
The main elements of planning the product range are:
- identification of current and potential customers' needs, as well as the behavior of buyers in this market segment,
- evaluation of competing products,
- analysis of the compliance of products with the needs of consumers,
- determining which products should be included in the assortment, which should remain,
- considering applications related to discovering new products and improving existing ones,
- preparing a schedule for launching new and improved goods as well as marketing plans,
- development of proposals for producers, taking into account the quality, size, name, price, packaging of new products.
Examples of Range of products
- Automotive industry: Companies such as Ford, General Motors, and Toyota have wide range of products, ranging from small city cars to pickup trucks, SUVs, and luxury sedans.
- Grocery stores: Grocery stores offer a wide range of products from fresh produce to packaged goods, frozen foods, and prepared meals.
- Clothing retailers: Clothing retailers offer a wide range of products from basic apparel to accessories, footwear, and activewear.
- Electronics stores: Electronics stores offer a wide range of products from basic televisions to gaming consoles, laptops, and tablets.
- Restaurants: Restaurants offer a wide range of products from basic appetizers and entrees to specialty dishes, desserts, and beverages.
Advantages of Range of products
Range of products provides a number of advantages for businesses, such as:
- Increased customer choice and satisfaction – providing a wide variety of products gives customers the opportunity to choose the product that best suits their needs and preferences, leading to higher customer satisfaction.
- Increased market share and competitive advantage – businesses can use a wide range of products to capture a larger market share and gain competitive advantage over their competitors.
- Increased profits – businesses can increase their profits by offering a variety of products that appeal to different customer segments.
- Increased brand recognition – businesses can build a recognizable brand by having a wide variety of products that cater to different customer needs.
- Improved customer loyalty – businesses can improve customer loyalty by offering a wide range of products that customers can trust and rely on.
Limitations of Range of products
- Range of products can become too wide and lead to customer confusion. Too broad product line can be difficult to manage, as it requires more human resources, materials and other resources to maintain.
- It can be difficult to maintain product quality with a wide range of products. Lower quality of some products may affect the quality of the whole product line.
- It can be difficult to keep up with the competition in all the product categories. Specializing in one product category can ensure better competitive advantages.
- It can be difficult to maintain proper pricing for the product line. It is difficult to ensure competitive pricing for all products when the range of products is too wide.
- It can be difficult to maintain adequate marketing campaigns for the whole range of products. Concentrating marketing efforts on fewer products can be more efficient.
One of the approaches related to range of products is product line extension. It is a strategy when a company introduces a new product to its existing product line, in order to increase the sales and market share. For example, if a company sells clothing and it decides to introduce a new line of accessories like hats, scarfs and belts, this is an example of product line extension.
Another approach is product line reduction. This is a strategy when a company decides to eliminate some of the products in its existing product line in order to reduce costs and improve efficiency of its operations. For example, if a company sells a range of products but decides to reduce the number of products it offers and focus on a few key products, this is an example of product line reduction.
Finally, product line repositioning is another approach. This is a strategy when a company decides to change the positioning of its existing products or services in order to attract new customers or markets. For example, if a company sells products mainly to the low-income market, but it decides to start targeting the middle-income market as well, this is an example of product line repositioning.
In conclusion, range of products is a common marketing term which describes the volume and broadness of products or services offered by a company on the market. There are other approaches related to range of products such as product line extension, product line reduction, and product line repositioning, which can help companies to increase their sales and market share, reduce costs and improve efficiency, and target new customers or markets.
- Kök, A. G., Fisher, M. L., & Vaidyanathan, R. (2008). Assortment planning: Review of literature and industry practice. In Retail supply chain management (p. 99-153). Springer, Boston, MA.
- Mayer, T., Malitz, M.J, Ottaviano, G.I.P. (2012). Market size, competition, and the product mix of exporters. 1146. Centre for Economic Performance, London, UK.
- Yücel, E., Karaesmen, F., Salman, F. S., & Türkay, M. (2009). Optimizing product assortment under customer-driven demand substitution. European Journal of Operational Research, 199(3), 759-768.
Author: Magdalena Stanaszek