Mass market

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The mass market (also known as mass consumption ) is a market with mass production , mass distribution and mass advertising .


In this context, “mass” is understood to mean a very high number of items in the production and also the sales volume of a product or service . These are bulk consumer goods that are highly standardized ; their standard promotes market transparency among consumers . Mass consumer goods are commodities that are uniformly in demand by a large group of consumers and whose production and sale is possible at a low market price due to economies of scale . The mass consumption necessary for the mass market is the demand for industrial products that enable the cheapest possible supply to broad sections of the population . The Mass Customization aims the cost advantage of mass production to the individual needs of customers connect to.


The mass market arose in the USA through large companies such as Sears Roebuck , EI du Pont de Nemours and Company or General Electric and developed rapidly between 1880 and 1930. When the economist Karl Bücher developed the law of mass production in 1910 , he provided the scientific explanation for the cost advantage inherent in mass production . Mass production became the main characteristic of industrial production .

Eli Whitney's use of the assembly line for the industrial mass production of muskets in 1798 was adopted by Henry Ford in 1913 for automobile production , which accelerated their mass production. From 1940 onwards, the automotive industry in the USA saw high demand, which led to high batch production . They caused the emergence of an affluent society ( English affluent society ) as this mass consumption in 1958 by economist John Kenneth Galbraith was called. Increasing per capita income in the western industrialized countries boosted demand on the mass markets in modern times . Even heavily populated countries like Japan ( pocket calculator 1972, entertainment electronics 1977) or China ( textiles , electronics from 2000) initially produced for their own and subsequently for global mass markets.

Business aspects

Mass markets can take advantage of the law of mass production . A production for high-reach markets causes lower unit costs than small batch sizes, for example in a niche market . Large numbers of items enable disproportionately growing profits or - with constant profit margins - falling market prices. The total unit costs decrease with increasing employment because - with constant variable unit costs - the fixed costs per unit fall hyperbolically . There is a degression of fixed costs . However, this law does not only apply to industrial mass production, but to any company with high fixed costs.

There is little product differentiation on the mass market , which is why an undifferentiated market development strategy predominates here:

marketing strategy
marketing strategy
marketing strategy
Mass market
uniform offer for all consumers
Niche market
special offer for a target group
Class market
special offers for different target groups

Undifferentiated market cultivation means that broad strata of the population are addressed without regard to particular distinguishing features.

Typical characteristics of mass production are piecework , shift work , assembly line production , series production or production of types . The last two can be distinguished for mass production as follows:

Manufacturing process Characteristic example
Series production several units of different products on different
production lines
Automobile production
Variety production several units of different products on one production line Letterpress
Mass production high quantities on a production line Beverage manufacturing


Mass markets exist where there is very high demand for standardized products / services. This is the case, among other things, in the automotive industry , in the energy market , in the food and beverage industry , ready-to-wear goods ( ready-to-wear ), mass media ( television , print media , radio ), factory farming , in the mass business of credit institutions and insurers ( standardized private customer business ) , in mass tourism for package tours , in mass mailings by postal companies , in the music business or on the telecommunications market . For example, pop music is geared towards mass distribution. After 1945 the soldier broadcasters AFN or BFBS and from 1965 the Beatclub ensured their implementation on the mass market.

Economic aspects

The respective bargaining power is determined by the number of suppliers in relation to the number of buyers, so that the market form of the polypol is most likely to characterize the mass market. But monopolies also functioned as mass markets, such as the Deutsche Bundespost until the postal reform in January 1995 . It is crucial that there is massive demand that is served by one (monopoly), several (oligopoly) or many (polypol) providers.

Products or services do not always have to remain in one type of market, but can also change. The prerequisites are a very high market potential , which enables a larger market volume , and a decreasing price level , which generates more groups of buyers . Almost every mass market started out as a niche market , but not every niche market becomes a mass market. The personal computer began with the Apple I , which was ready for the market in April 1976 and initially had a small market volume in the niche market. The PC not only filled the gap in the market for medium-sized data technology in companies , but also conquered private households . Its rapidly increasing mass production led to price reductions that made the PC affordable even for lower-income groups of buyers.

In order to achieve degression of fixed costs , the production volume ( English output ) is expanded in companies to the existing capacity limit with decreasing fixed unit costs. If the capacity even by expansion investment increases, the set of scale growing operation size by economies of scale in the form of increasing returns to scale ( englisch economies of scale ) continued. Therefore, the law of mass production encourages companies to organic business growth at, thus increasing the market share (and market power can be increased). The more mass production is expanded, the more a company can lower the price of these mass products. Since the production of larger quantities allows lower cost-covering prices, cutthroat competition emerges , which theoretically ends in the so-called natural monopoly .


Individual evidence

  1. Reinhold Sellien, Dr. Gabler's Wirtschafts-Lexikon, Volume 4 , 1984, Sp. 250
  2. Ludwig G. Poth / Marcus Pradel / Gudrun S. Poth, Gabler Kompakt-Lexikon Marketing , 2003, p. 317
  3. ^ Edward Russell-Walling, 50 Key Ideas Management , 2014, p. 132
  4. ^ Karl books, law of mass production , in: Journal for the entire political science No. 66, 1910, p. 429 ff.
  5. Uwe Dombrowski / Tim Mielke, Holistic Production Systems , 2015, p. 14
  6. Insa Sjurts (ed.), Gabler Lexikon Medien Wirtschaft , 2004, p. 377
  7. Reinhold Sellien, Dr. Gabler's Wirtschafts-Lexikon , Volume 2, 1977, Sp. 1779
  8. Günter Wöhe / Ulrich Döring , Introduction to General Business Administration , 25th edition, 2013, p. 383
  9. Torsten Kirstges, Fundamentals of travel agent and tour operator management , 2010, p. 74
  10. Günter Wöhe / Ulrich Döring, Introduction to General Business Administration , 25th edition, 2013, p. 336
  11. Insa Sjurts (ed.), Gabler Lexikon Medien Wirtschaft , 2004, p. 464
  12. Wolfgang Harburger, The logic of strategy development , 2019, p. 83
  13. Pero Mićić, Der ZukunftsManager , 2003, p. 122
  14. Steve Wozniak , iWoz - Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I invented the personal computer, co-founded Apple, and had fun doing it , 2006, p. 4 ff.