Product Mix Vs. Product Line: 10 Key Differences [Explained]

Difference Between Product Mix and Product Line

Product mix and product line are two marketing terms that define the number of products a company has and sells. Product line refers to the group of similar products the company sells under one brand. And, product mix refers to the total number of product lines and items a company sells.

Let’s differentiate between product line and product mix:


Product Mix: The product mix is a comprehensive representation of a company’s entire range of products and product lines. It encompasses the diverse and related products offered within a company’s portfolio. This includes everything, from tech gadgets to household appliances and more.

Product Line: In contrast, a product line is a more specialized subset of the product mix. It consists of related products that share similar features, functions, target customer groups, and price ranges. To illustrate, within a tech company’s product mix, the laptop category might include distinct product lines for business laptops, gaming laptops, and budget-friendly options.


Product Mix: The product mix is all-encompassing, covering every product available from a company, regardless of how different or unrelated they may be. This means it includes both the high-end smartphones and the basic home appliances offered by an electronics company.

Product Line: A product line, on the other hand, has a more restricted scope. It focuses on a specific group of products within the broader product mix that share common characteristics and are typically designed to meet the needs of a particular customer segment. For instance, within the kitchen appliances product mix, there might be a product line for professional-grade cooking equipment.

Basis of Classification

Product Mix: The classification of products in the product mix is based on the entirety of a company’s product offerings. It takes into account the full spectrum of products and services available.

Product Line: In contrast, the classification of products in a product line is centered on the relationships and similarities between specific products within the larger product mix. It looks at how closely related and interconnected these products are.


Product Mix: The product mix often showcases the diversity and breadth of a company’s offerings. It can include products that vary widely, such as smartphones, refrigerators, and fitness equipment, highlighting the company’s ability to cater to a wide range of customer needs.

Product Line: Product lines are more focused and tend to exhibit a higher degree of similarity and relevance among the products they contain. For instance, within the cosmetics product mix, there may be a product line dedicated to skincare, emphasizing relatedness and specialization.

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Marketing Strategy

Product Mix: The product mix plays a pivotal role in shaping the overall marketing and branding strategy of a company. It influences how the company positions itself in the market and communicates its diverse offerings to customers. This requires a comprehensive approach to ensure consistency and coherence across the entire range of products.

Product Line: Conversely, within the product mix, each product line may have its own unique marketing strategy tailored to the specific products it encompasses. These strategies are designed to address the distinct needs and preferences of the target audience for that product line, resulting in a more focused and customized marketing approach.

Customer Segmentation

Product Mix: With a broad spectrum of products, the product mix addresses a broader customer base by offering a wide variety of products. It serves the diverse needs and preferences of customers across different segments, making it a versatile tool for market penetration.

Product Line: Product lines, on the other hand, are designed to target specific customer segments. They consist of related products that are curated to meet the unique requirements of a particular customer group. This targeted approach allows for more precise segmentation and customer satisfaction.

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Management Focus

Product Mix: Managing the product mix requires a holistic approach, taking into account the entire range of products and their diversity. It involves overseeing various product categories, each with its own set of challenges and opportunities.

Product Line: Managing product lines involves a more focused approach, with specific attention given to the products within each line. This approach allows for in-depth management that aligns with the specialized nature of the products in that line.


Product Mix: Strategic decisions regarding the product mix involve the overall product portfolio. Companies may decide on actions like expanding the product mix to reach new markets, contracting it to improve focus, or altering the mix to adapt to changing customer preferences.

Product Line: Decisions within a product line are made at a more granular level. These decisions may revolve around introducing new models or discontinuing specific products within a line, reflecting the need to tailor strategies to the specific dynamics of that line.

Product Life Cycle

Product Mix: Products within the product mix can be at different stages of their respective life cycles. Some may be in the introduction phase, while others are in the maturity or decline phase. This diversity requires a flexible approach to product management and marketing.

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Product Line: Products within a product line often share a similar life cycle stage. This allows for coordinated marketing and management efforts, as the products face comparable challenges and opportunities in the market. It enables a more streamlined approach to product development and promotion within that line.


Product Mix: Let’s delve into the product strategy of a technology company. Their product mix is a comprehensive array of electronic devices, including laptops, smartphones, headphones, and gaming consoles. This diverse product mix reflects their commitment to serving a wide range of consumer needs, from productivity to entertainment.

Product Line: Within the laptop category of their product mix, the company employs the concept of product lines to cater to distinct customer segments. These product lines act as specialized branches, each finely tuned to meet the unique requirements of specific users. For instance, they have product lines for business laptops, designed to provide professionals with top-notch performance and reliability.

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