Pricing strategies


Pricing strategies

Pricing strategies for products or services include the following:

Contents

Competition-based pricing

Setting the price based upon prices of the similar competitor products.

Competitive pricing is based on three types of competitive product:

  • Products have lasting distinctiveness from competitor's product. Here we can assume
    • The product has low price elasticity.
    • The product has low cross elasticity.
    • The demand of the product will rise.
  • Products have perishable distinctiveness from competitor's product, assuming the product features are medium distinctiveness.
  • Products have little distinctiveness from competitor's product. assuming that:
    • The product has high price elasticity.
    • The product has some cross elasticity.
    • No expectation that demand of the product will rise.

Cost-plus pricing

Cost-plus pricing is the simplest pricing method. The firm calculates the cost of producing the product and adds on a percentage (profit) to that price to give the selling price. This method although simple has two flaws; it takes no account of demand and there is no way of determining if potential customers will purchase the product at the calculated price.

This appears in 2 forms, Full cost pricing which takes into consideration both variable and fixed costs and adds a % markup. The other is Direct cost pricing which is variable costs plus a % markup, the latter is only used in periods of high competition as this method usually leads to a loss in the long run.

Creaming or skimming

Selling a product at a high price, sacrificing high sales to gain a high profit, therefore ‘skimming’ the market. Usually employed to reimburse the cost of investment of the original research into the product: commonly used in electronic markets when a new range, such as DVD players, are firstly dispatched into the market at a high price. This strategy is often used to target "early adopters" of a product or service. These early adopters are relatively less price-sensitive because either their need for the product is more than others or they understand the value of the product better than others. In market skimming goods are sold at higher prices so that fewer sales are needed to break even.

This strategy is employed only for a limited duration to recover most of investment made to build the product. To gain further market share, a seller must use other pricing tactics such as economy or penetration. This method can come with some setbacks as it could leave the product at a high price to competitors.[1]

Limit pricing

A limit price is the price set by a monopolist to discourage economic entry into a market, and is illegal in many countries. The limit price is the price that the entrant would face upon entering as long as the incumbent firm did not decrease output. The limit price is often lower than the average cost of production or just low enough to make entering not profitable. The quantity produced by the incumbent firm to act as a deterrent to entry is usually larger than would be optimal for a monopolist, but might still produce higher economic profits than would be earned under perfect competition.

The problem with limit pricing as strategic behavior is that once the entrant has entered the market, the quantity used as a threat to deter entry is no longer the incumbent firm's best response. This means that for limit pricing to be an effective deterrent to entry, the threat must in some way be made credible. A way to achieve this is for the incumbent firm to constrain itself to produce a certain quantity whether entry occurs or not. An example of this would be if the firm signed a union contract to employ a certain (high) level of labor for a long period of time.

Loss leader

A loss leader or leader is a product sold at a low price (at cost or below cost) to stimulate other profitable sales.

Market-oriented pricing

Setting a price based upon analysis and research compiled from the targeted market. This means that marketers will set prices depending on the results from the research.for instance if the competitors are pricing their products at alower price then its up to them to either price their goods at an above price or below depending on what the company wants to achieve

Penetration pricing

Setting the price low in order to attract customers and gain market share. The price will be raised later once this market share is gained.[2]

Price discrimination

Setting a different price for the same product in different segments to the market. For example, this can be for different ages or for different opening times, such as cinema tickets.

Premium pricing

Premium pricing is the practice of keeping the price of a product or service artificially high in order to encourage favorable perceptions among buyers, based solely on the price. The practice is intended to exploit the (not necessarily justifiable) tendency for buyers to assume that expensive items enjoy an exceptional reputation or represent exceptional quality and distinction.

Predatory pricing

Aggressive pricing intended to drive out competitors from a market. It is illegal in some places.

Contribution margin-based pricing

Contribution margin-based pricing maximizes the profit derived from an individual product, based on the difference between the product's price and variable costs (the product's contribution margin per unit), and on one’s assumptions regarding the relationship between the product’s price and the number of units that can be sold at that price. The product's contribution to total firm profit (i.e., to operating income) is maximized when a price is chosen that maximizes the following: (contribution margin per unit) X (number of units sold)..

Psychological pricing

Pricing designed to have a positive psychological impact. For example, selling a product at $3.95 or $3.99, rather than $4.00.

Dynamic pricing

A flexible pricing mechanism made possible by advances in information technology, and employed mostly by Internet based companies. By responding to market fluctuations or large amounts of data gathered from customers - ranging from where they live to what they buy to how much they have spent on past purchases - dynamic pricing allows online companies to adjust the prices of identical goods to correspond to a customer’s willingness to pay. The airline industry is often cited as a dynamic pricing success story. In fact, it employs the technique so artfully that most of the passengers on any given airplane have paid different ticket prices for the same flight.

Price leadership

An observation made of oligopic business behavior in which one company, usually the dominant competitor among several, leads the way in determining prices, the others soon following.

Target pricing

Pricing method whereby the selling price of a product is calculated to produce a particular rate of return on investment for a specific volume of production. The target pricing method is used most often by public utilities, like electric and gas companies, and companies whose capital investment is high, like automobile manufacturers.

Target pricing is not useful for companies whose capital investment is low because, according to this formula, the selling price will be understated. Also the target pricing method is not keyed to the demand for the product, and if the entire volume is not sold, a company might sustain an overall budgetary loss on the product.

Absorption pricing

Method of pricing in which all costs are recovered. The price of the product includes the variable cost of each item plus a proportionate amount of the fixed costs. A form of cost plus pricing

High-low pricing

Method of pricing for an organization where the goods or services offered by the organization are regularly priced higher than competitors, but through promotions, advertisements, and or coupons, lower prices are offered on key items. The lower promotional prices are targeted to bring customers to the organization where the customer is offered the promotional product as well as the regular higher priced products.[3]

Premium Decoy pricing

Method of pricing where an organization artificially sets one product price high, in order to boost sales of a lower priced product.

Marginal-cost pricing

In business, the practice of setting the price of a product to equal the extra cost of producing an extra unit of output. By this policy, a producer charges, for each product unit sold, only the addition to total cost resulting from materials and direct labor. Businesses often set prices close to marginal cost during periods of poor sales. If, for example, an item has a marginal cost of $1.00 and a normal selling price is $2.00, the firm selling the item might wish to lower the price to $1.10 if demand has waned. The business would choose this approach because the incremental profit of 10 cents from the transaction is better than no sale at all.

Value Based pricing

Pricing a product based on the perceived value and not on any other factor. Pricing based on the demand for a specific product would have a likely change in the market place.

Pay what you want pricing

Pay what you want is a pricing system where buyers pay any desired amount for a given commodity, sometimes including zero. In some cases, a minimum (floor) price may be set, and/or a suggested price may be indicated as guidance for the buyer. The buyer can also select an amount higher than the standard price for the commodity.

Giving buyers the freedom to pay what you want may seem to not make much sense for a seller, but in some situations it can be very successful. While most uses of pay what you want have been at the margins of the economy, or for special promotions, there are emerging efforts to expand its utility to broader and more regular use.

Freemium pricing

Freemium is a business model that works by offering a product or service free of charge (typically digital offerings such as software, content, games, web services or other) while charging a premium for advanced features, functionality, or related products and services. The word "freemium" is a portmanteau combining the two aspects of the business model: "free" and "premium". It has become a highly popular model, with notable success.

Nine Laws of Price Sensitivity & Consumer Psychology

In their book, The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing, Thomas Nagle and Reed Holden outline 9 laws or factors that influence how a consumer perceives a given price and how price-sensitive s/he is likely to be with respect to different purchase decisions: [4][5]

  1. Reference Price Effect Buyer’s price sensitivity for a given product increases the higher the product’s price relative to perceived alternatives. Perceived alternatives can vary by buyer segment, by occasion, and other factors.
  2. Difficult Comparison Effect Buyers are less sensitive to the price of a known / more reputable product when they have difficulty comparing it to potential alternatives.
  3. Switching Costs Effect The higher the product-specific investment a buyer must make to switch suppliers, the less price sensitive that buyer is when choosing between alternatives.
  4. Price-Quality Effect Buyers are less sensitive to price the more that higher prices signal higher quality. Products for which this effect is particularly relevant include: image products, exclusive products, and products with minimal cues for quality.
  5. Expenditure Effect Buyers are more price sensitive when the expense accounts for a large percentage of buyers’ available income or budget.
  6. End-Benefit Effect The effect refers to the relationship a given purchase has to a larger overall benefit, and is divided into two parts: Derived demand: The more sensitive buyers are to the price of the end benefit, the more sensitive they will be to the prices of those products that contribute to that benefit. Price proportion cost: The price proportion cost refers to the percent of the total cost of the end benefit accounted for by a given component that helps to produce the end benefit (e.g., think CPU and PCs). The smaller the given components share of the total cost of the end benefit, the less sensitive buyers will be to the component's price.
  7. Shared-cost Effect The smaller the portion of the purchase price buyers must pay for themselves, the less price sensitive they will be.
  8. Fairness Effect Buyers are more sensitive to the price of a product when the price is outside the range they perceive as “fair” or “reasonable” given the purchase context.
  9. The Framing Effect Buyers are more price sensitive when they perceive the price as a loss rather than a forgone gain, and they have greater price sensitivity when the price is paid separately rather than as part of a bundle.

References

  1. ^ Kent B. Monroe, The Pricing Strategy Audit, 2003, Cambridge Strategy Publications, p. 40 ISBN 978-0-273-64938-0
  2. ^ Kent B. Monroe, The Pricing Strategy Audit, 2003, Cambridge Strategy Publications, p.41 ISBN 978-0-273-64938-0
  3. ^ Philip Kotler & Gary Armstrong, Principles of Marketing 13E, 2010, Pearson Prentice Hall, p.293 ISBN 978-0-13-607941-5
  4. ^ Nagle, Thomas and Holden, Reed. The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing. Prentice Hall, 2002. Pages 84-104.
  5. ^ Mind of Marketing, "How your pricing and marketing strategy should be influenced by your customer's reference point"

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