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Product Line Manager

Strategize sales and marketing for an entire product line.

What does a Product Line Manager do?

A Product Line Manager is in charge of a product line — a group of related products — for which he or she serves as the ” Head Coach .” If you’ve ever played sports or danced to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” in a flash mob, you know that a star soloist can’t succeed alone. To excel, individuals often have to work together as a team. That’s true of people, but also of products, which is why companies hire Product Line Managers to mold their individual offerings into a winning team of blockbuster products.

As a Product Line Manager, you’re different from a Product Manager. While the Product Manager is typically in charge of a single product, you oversee an entire family of items.

If you work for an electronics manufacturer, for instance, you might be in charge of TVs or smartphones. If you work for a toy maker, meanwhile, you might be in charge of action figures, dolls, or games. And if you work for a food company, you might be in charge of canned goods, frozen meals, or snacks.

Whatever it is that your company makes and/or sells, your job is to manage the lifecycle of all the products in your product line in order to create cohesion and maximize sales. To that end, your responsibilities include deciding which products to sell and which to retire, consulting on products’ features and differentiators, and setting prices. You also define target markets and manage employees, including individual Product Managers. In addition, you collaborate on products’ individual and collective sales and marketing strategies.

Think of it this way: If your company were a ballet, you’d be both the Choreographer and the Producer!