2011년 8월 5일 금요일

Product lines, product lining

Product line을 Production line과 자꾸 혼동해서 편집이 망가지는 경우를 본다. 이참에 자료 좀 찾아 기록해두자.

■ 자료 1: Wikipedia, Product Lining

Product lining is the marketing strategy of offering for sale several related products. Unlike product bundling, where several products are combined into one, lining involves offering several related products individually. A line can comprise related products of various sizes, types, colors, qualities, or prices. Line depth refers to the number of product variants in a line. Line consistency refers to how closely related the products that make up the line are. Line vulnerability refers to the percentage of sales or profits that are derived from only a few products in the line.

The number of different product lines sold by a company is referred to as width of product mix. The total number of products sold in all lines is referred to as length of product mix. If a line of products is sold with the same brand name, this is referred to as family branding. When you add a new product to a line, it is referred to as a line extension. When you add a line extension that is of better quality than the other products in the line, this is referred to as trading up or brand leveraging. When you add a line extension that is of lower quality than the other products of the line, this is referred to as trading down. When you trade down, you will likely reduce your brand equity. You are gaining short-term sales at the expense of long term sales.

Image anchors are highly promoted products within a line that define the image of the whole line. Image anchors are usually from the higher end of the line's range. When you add a new product within the current range of an incomplete line, this is referred to as line filling.

Price lining is the use of a limited number of prices for all your product offerings. This is a tradition started in the old five and dime stores in which everything cost either 5 or 10 cents. Its underlying rationale is that these amounts are seen as suitable price points for a whole range of products by prospective customers. It has the advantage of ease of administering, but the disadvantage of inflexibility, particularly in times of inflation or unstable prices.

There are many important decisions about product and service development and marketing. In the process of product development and marketing we should focus on strategic decisions about product attributes, product branding, product packaging, product labeling and product support services. But product strategy also calls for building a product line. (...)


Product lines: a group of products, closely related by production or marketing considerations, that exists within the overall product mix.


A product line refers to a number of products that are related and developed by the same manufacturer. Product lines are not to be confused with product bundling, which combines various items into one type of product. Items within a product line generally share the same basic theme, and with the help of a successful marketing plan these products can be entirely effective.

Frequently, a product line includes different products that are offered to the public at varying price points. This way, a manufacturer or company can ensure that all products within a line will be purchased by all kinds of people. Product line extension refers to any additional products that may be added to a current product line.

Most of the time, product extensions are introduced to the public in order to ward off competitors. By creating products that match other, competitive products, manufacturers are able to keep customers interested in a product that they are familiar with. Since most people purchase brands that they know, these same consumers are more likely to purchase a new product from a brand that they are comfortable with rather than purchase a product from an unknown brand.


Apple is doing something right because every other company, including Microsoft and Sony, is laying folks off but Apple is paving the halls with gold. Didja hear? Apple made $10 billion last year and their simple product line is the key. Look at it. There really aren’t that many products: One cellphone, four iPods, three notebooks, and three desktop computers. Now look at HP’s, Dell’s, or even Garmin and TomTom’s product lines. Apple does something different and hopefully others are taking notes.

Apple has a history of finding niche markets and making products to fill that void. However, slowly after Steve-O took over, the product lines condensed into distinct segments geared for a different buyer. You want a basic Macintosh computer? Buy the Mini. The iMac is available for all-in-one solutions and the Mac Pro is truly for the professional. The same thing follows into the notebook and iPod realms showing vastly different strategy than other companies. 

Garmin makes 82 GPS units that can be mounted in a car or carried in your hand. 82!?! That’s a lot and includes 27 designed specifically for the car. If Apple made a GPS, there would be two models available – maybe only one. Apple would shove everything they could into this one GPS and sell it at a profit instead of making similar different models that feature slightly different specs. 

Take the Garmin nuvi 755T and nuvi 765T. There is a $100 price difference between those two models and the only difference is that the $499 755T lacks the Bluetooth capability of the $599 765T. Is Garmin saying the Bluetooth module costs $100?. This isn’t just pick-on-Garmin day, the same practice exists all around the consumer electronic landscape.

Canon is selling 23 point-n-shoot cameras in four product lines; Nikon 17 in three. Monster Cable HDMI cables in ten distinct product lines and Motorola is showing 27 cell phones available on their website. Apple makes one cellphone and sold 88% more this year than the company did last.

Consumers hate choices. They say they love them, but have you ever stood in front of a wall of plasmas and LCDs with a random person? I have and did for years at Circuit City. They get overwhelmed by the amount of options, but Apple has made it easy but producing top-notch products that are easily available. The iPhone at Wal-Mart makes sense as it doesn’t require a salesman to sell the hottest phone on the market. 

Listen, I wouldn’t label myself a fanboy nor do I work exclusively on a Mac. My only iPod is a first-gen Mini that came free with my iBook G4 and I have only played with the iPhone a few times. I do, however, respect Apple greatly for keeping the product line simple. Now, if only other companies would follow suit and trim their fat, the profits would probably follow.

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