What Is a Product Line? 3 Types of Product Lines

Product lines expand a brand’s product portfolio by offering additional, related, and new products to offer a customer base greater variability. Learn about different types of product lines.

What Is a Product Line?

Product lines are similar products that brands sell to reach different customers; sometimes, product lines operate as a new product family that sits under the parent brand name. For example, PepsiCo has several product families, including Aquafina, Doritos, Gatorade, Quaker Oats, and more. Other product line examples include athleticwear companies with serval product line, like footwear, sports equipment, workout clothes, and swimsuits. These variants attract new customers and broaden the reach of a single brand.

How Do Product Lines Work?

Brands might release product lines through updates, new products, and categories to engage their current customer base. Customers with brand familiarity are more likely to purchase new products from that brand. A company with robust brand recognition and a large customer base will have a solid platform to expand product line and gain a competitive advantage in the market share.

Market research and a marketing strategy are integral to a new product launch. A brand might hold an in-person event on a product launch day, reach out to potential customers directly, or promote the new product’s availability through social media. Product launches also kickstart sales, whether as preorders or real-time sales.

3 Types of Product Lines

A company’s existing product lines may break down into different types:

  1. New additions: Brands may differentiate product lines by the product development timeline of additional products. Just as museums will often have a permanent collection alongside revolving exhibits, the makeup of product lines can also go through distinct life cycles to constantly sell upgrades and current related products.
  2. Price range: Different customers may need to shop at different price points. For example, a department store might have clothing sold at various values, from the sales rack at the back of the store to the in-season clothing in the shop window display to appeal to various market segments.
  3. Product type: A group of related products may fit under one brand while others will sit under a different one. A general merchandise store, for example, might have different product line in a culinary section, a clothing section, and a home goods section, amongst others, to reach unique target markets.

Product Line vs. Product Mix: What’s the Difference?

A product line is a company’s sub-brand or different product categories. For example, if a popcorn company sells popcorn in different flavors, popcorn is its main product line. If it then goes on to also sell pretzels, that would be a new product line.

A company’s product mix describes the reach and numeration of product line extension via length and width. A product mix width is a company’s total number of it. In this popcorn company example, there would be a width of two: a product line for the popcorn and a product line for the pretzels. A product mix length speaks to the total number of products sold, so if that popcorn comes in five flavors and the pretzels in three, the length would be eight.

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