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This Week in Pricing > 1/25/15

TWIP is a recap of the week’s best pricing focused news, strategy expert and technology leader’s thought leadership, industry news and events, and resources for pricing professionals.

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Strategic Pricing Solutions

Strategic Pricing Solutions, LLC (SPS) is a management consulting firm helping clients with pricing strategies, data analytics, and pricing processes. SPS was formed by Scott Francis in 2005 with a vision of enabling B2B clients to build sustainable strategic pricing capability to significantly improve their profitability. By providing flexibility in how we serve our customers, SPS consulting enables clients to build sustainable strategic pricing capability and continuous improvement in profitability through better pricing decisions.

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Headlines

Memo To The CEO: Price War? Let’s Not Join In | Forbes

So our competitors are gearing up for a price war. This isn’t good news, but let’s not make it worse than it has to be. Let’s not join in. Selling this message is going to be hard work. We’ll need a wide range of arguments, so here are some. According to one report, at least […]

What Customers Want: Half the Price or Twice as Good | Inc.com

Turns out there is some wisdom in that line when it comes to getting customers to choose your product or service over those offered by your competitors. In order to inspire a change a consumer’s behavior to choose you over someone else, you need to offer them a similar product or service at half the […]

Biotech’s Price Wars Are Just Beginning | Bloomberg

The two drugmakers that last year introduced $1,000-a-day hepatitis C treatments said there wouldn’t be a price war over their breakthrough drugs. Instead, that’s exactly what’s starting to happen between AbbVie Inc. (ABBV) and Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) Anthem Inc., the biggest provider of health insurance plans to U.S. employers, yesterday became the third major […]

3 Ways to Use Pricing as an Effective Marketing Tool | Inc.com

Pricing whatever product or service you want to sell can work a few different ways. One thing you want to make sure of is that no matter how you set up your pricing, the customer should be getting more perceived value than the price they paid would suggest. You want the customer to spend money, […]

How Pricing Analysis Software Is Increasing Profitability for Retailers | The Point of Sale News

To say that businesses shouldn’t be engaging in price competition is being idealistic. While prices shouldn’t be used as the main tool in maintaining competitiveness, it is unwise refusing to adjust them as a reaction to the price changes in the competition. Quality alone is no longer enough as a selling point. Even if you […]

NYC pols sharpen knives. Target: Uber’s surge pricing | New York Business Journal

Another day, another feud between Uber and New York City. But this time, the fight goes to the heart of the startup juggernaut’s entire reason for existing: surge pricing. During a City Council hearing Monday, key lawmakers slammed Uber for its dynamic pricing tactics that cause prices to soar during periods of peak demand. One […]

Oil falls below $45 as OPEC plays hardball | CNBC

Oil prices continued their dramatic slump to near-six-year lows on Tuesday, as an oil minister from OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) reiterated that the group would not be changing its production strategy. WTI crude for February delivery fell below $45 a barrel on Tuesday morning for the first time since April 2009 and […]

T-Mobile CEO: Sprint can’t slash prices to grow | Kansas City Business Journal

Among several New Year’s predictions, the cantankerous chief executive at Sprint Corp.’s nearest rival asserted that its price cuts are folly for a sustainable growth strategy. John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile US Inc., insisted Tuesday that Overland Park-based wireless carrier (NYSE: S) can’t right its fiscal ship via price reductions, which recently have aimed at […]

Need To Sell Faster? Price Higher | Forbes

If you’re trying to sell your home in a hurry, your first instinct might be to cut the price in hopes of enticing more buyers. But this could be a misstep. It sounds counterintuitive, but especially in a competitive market, you may actually be able to sell your home faster by pricing it slightly higher […]

15 Thoughts on Pricing in ’15 | Selling Out

Last week, I gave a presentation to my good friends at the Aspen Live conference in Aspen, Colo. (I know, it’s tough work, but someone’s got to go!). In it, I talked about the ways in which our experience at Goldstar can help our live entertainment partners think about pricing. As I said to them, […]

#2: Emotional Pricing Is Like Drunk Dialing | Selling Out

Sometimes fear causes emotional pricing. A marketer could start to worry about losing money. That’s when the “lizard brain” takes over and decides that, by God, people are just going to have to pay more, and prices go up. That, too, is emotional pricing. A high price set in panic in order to break even […]

Q&A: Simon-Kucher & Partners on the need to raise prices in telecoms | European Communications

Continually lowering prices simply drives competitors to lower their prices and erodes profit for the whole industry. Is it too late to change tack? It’s never too late to change. However, it would require an industry turnaround as opposed to any one operator. Other industries have successfully done it. When prices get so low that […]

Cloud Computing Price War In One Chart | Business Insider

In recent years, cloud computing providers have been slashing prices — a phenomenon we’ve called the “race to zero.” Amazon Web Services, for example, has cut its price 44 times in the last six years, while Microsoft and Google have both decreased prices multiple times to keep up with AWS. On Wednesday, RBC Capital’s Mark Mahaney […]

Coupling Insights in Your Pricing | The Sales Blog

If you sell pure insights, you are a consultant. A consultant does not have to sell a product, service, or a solution, even though some consultants may be paid for doing the work to implement the change they recommend. This isn’t true for consultative salespeople. So here’s the rub. If you sell your product, or […]

Brand Pricing: Less Versus Off | Branding Strategy Insider

If I buy something on sale, what should I get? 40% less – or 40% off? They are very different things. If I purchase something for 40% off, that means I get what I would have got if I’d paid full price but I get a 40% reduction on the asking price for the very […]

The Sandwich Strategy – MBA Learnings | A Learning a Day

Federal Express or FedEx was created to compete an overnight delivery with the United States Postal Service or USPS. Responding to FedEx’s entry and early success, USPS created a product called Express Mail priced at $8.95 as compared to FedEx’s $12. FedEx, had it been like most companies, would have reduced price and gone to war […]

Price: Feel the Power | AgilityWorks

So how should price be optimised? Answering these three questions would be a good start: 1. Where’s the focus? Fundamentally a company can grow profit either by increasing market share or by increasing margin: both of which are difficult to do simultaneously at the best of times, let alone in the current market. There is […]

The in-store shopping experience gets digitized | The Future of Commerce

With countless retailers vying for the same customers, they have to find something that positions them as unique. Many online retailers did this during the holiday season by advertising free shipping up until a certain date to encourage sales because 75% of shoppers admit that they would switch retailers if one did not offer free […]

Higher shipping rates and the Amazon effect | CNBC

FedEx and UPS rate increases recently took effect while fuel prices, a key cost for shippers, are at record lows. Crude oil broke $50 a barrel, the lowest in nearly six years. So what else is driving changes in shipping prices? The answer, in short, likely includes the Amazon effect. U.S. trucking tonnage is at […]

Amazon.com, Inc Using Complex Algorithm To Outperform Wal-Mart Stores | Bidness Etc

It has been reported that Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has tried to outdo Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.’s (NYSE:WMT) pricing by making undercuts of around 4% on popular consumer items. Amazon utilizes a complex pricing strategy in order to attain user traffic by offering the lowest prices on higher volume SKUs. It also provides an incentive for third-party resellers that have […]

The things Amazon chooses to charge you more for (and why) | The Washington Post

Amazon.com is not always the cheapest place to buy everything. And neither is Wal-Mart. Both giants bill themselves as places for good deals, but a new report from retail analytics firm Boomerang Commerce compares their strategies and sheds light on the ways they engineer pricing to get that reputation. What the authors find is that […]

How Amazon Adjusts Its Prices | Business Insider

The average shopper likely thinks Amazon has the lowest prices anywhere on the web. That’s not always true. In fact, Amazon will tweak its prices many times per hour (equaling millions of individual price changes per day), taking advantage of the psychology of price perception. Amazon does this with a clever strategy that makes it seem […]

How Amazon uses psychology to trick you into thinking everything is cheap | Geek.com

When shopping for something online, most people’s go-to store is Amazon. The perception is that Amazon, without fail, offers the products you want cheaper than anywhere else. In actuality that’s not entirely true, but Amazon has very cleverly tweaked its product pricing to make online shoppers think it is. So how does the e-tailer trick you […]

Click here for more recent articles.

 

Events

Webcast: Learn How Iowa Fluid Power Improves Price Realization with SPA | SPA

When: February 18, 2015 2:00 PM Eastern 

Register to attend our webcast where Jim Kaas, President of Iowa Fluid Power, will share their journey to pricing excellence and how they are leveraging science-based strategic pricing tools to improve price realization by identifying price-sensitive products and services. To implement a solution that enhanced profitability, developed pricing […]

Webcast: Stopping Margin Erosion with Pricing Technology | SPA

When: March 11, 2015 2:00 PM Eastern

Register to attend our webcast where Brandon Liebhard, Vice President at Hodell-Natco Industries, will share their journey to pricing excellence and how they are leveraging science-based strategic pricing tools to stop margin erosion by identifying price-sensitive products and services. To implement a solution that enhanced profitability, developed pricing discipline, and […]

Seminar: The Value-based Pricing of Innovation | Stage-Gate International

When: April 14-15, 2015

Where: Washington DC

Are you capturing the value of your innovation? Firms are pouring billions in innovation investments every year with the goal of creating differentiation and competitive products and services. Many, however, forget two critical elements in the innovation management process: the clear definition and measurement of […]

Conference: Manufacturing Pricing Excellence – Barcelona 2015

When: May 20-22, 2015

Where: Barcelona, Spain

Event Overview On behalf of Copperberg and the entire Pricing competence team I am delighted to announce our 3rd Annual Manufacturing Pricing Excellence conference scheduled for 20-22nd of May 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. Since our last edition in Amsterdam, together with our advisory board and delegate network we have been […]

Click here for more recent events.

 

Resources

Pricer’s Points Blogs

Pricer’s Points: 3 Selling Secrets for Great Prices from Liam Neeson | David Mok

First, don’t lead with price. If you don’t know what the customer needs, don’t quote the deal – period! Like Neeson’s character, if you don’t know anything about the people you are dealing with and they’re shopping for price, then don’t do it. If you are leading with price, you are simply selling on price. […]

Pricer’s Points: Solving the Pricing Puzzle | P. Simon Mahler

Setting prices for products and services should be simple–cover costs, make a profit, and appeal to customers. But there are more variables to the pricing formula than many new small business owners may realize. “When you’re starting out, you may not have a good handle on all the costs you’ll incur,” observes Janet Attard, founder […]

Pricer’s Points: Your sales force is the most important part of your pricing strategy | Jesper Hansson – CPP

The world is full of amazing people with amazing abilities to develop incredible products and still you will often see that some of these products are not really successful when they are launched in the market. One example I saw about 20 years ago, was a building services product, which was developed to save energy. […]

Click here for more articles by pricing professionals who share their insights and experience.

 

Top Discussions

Discussion: Your sales force is the most important part of your pricing strategy

The world is full of amazing people with amazing abilities to develop incredible products and still you will often see that some of these products are not really successful when they are launched in the market. One example I saw about 20 years ago, was a building services product, which was developed to save energy. […]

Discussion: Designers speak out on Adobe price controversy

What do CC users think about paying different rates depending on how they accessed Adobe’s site? Sorry guys! Usually on a Friday we tend to avoid the heavy stuff, and get you in the mood for the weekend with something like a fun quiz or a look at the latest Lego creation. But today there […]

Discussion: Where is Pricing headed?

Pricing as a vocation has been around for a number of years but really ‘heated up’ in the last 10 years or so as companies of all sizes realize they need to better manage this critical area. Jumping on this bandwagon of recognition for having a Pricing Strategy, companies developed Pricing teams of all different […]

Click here for more top pricing discussions.

 

Books

As a service to pricing professionals, we have compiled a collection of over 75 of the best pricing focused hard-copy books and e-books available. The entries for each book are tagged by subject matter, include the author(s), publisher, date of publication, a picture of the front cover, and a brief summary.

Asking About Prices – A New Approach to Understanding Price Stickiness

Summary: Asking About Prices offers a groundbreaking empirical approach to a puzzle for which theories abound but facts are scarce. Why do consumer prices and wages adjust so slowly to changes in market conditions? The rigidity or “stickiness” of prices is central to the Keynesian economic theory and vital to understanding hom monetary policy works, […]

Beating the Commodity Trap – How to Maximize Your Competitive Position & Increase Your Pricing Power

Summary: Commoditization-a virulent form of hypercompetition-is destroying markets, disrupting industries, and shuttering long-successful firms. Conventional wisdom says the best way to combat commoditization is differentiation. But differentiation is difficult and expensive to implement, and keeps you ahead of the pack only temporarily. In Beating the Commodity Trap, Richard D’Aveni provides a radical new framework for […]

Cheap – The High Cost of Discount Culture

Summary: From the shuttered factories of the Rust Belt to the strip malls of the Sun Belt-and almost everywhere in between-America has been transformed by its relentless fixation on low price. This pervasive yet little- examined obsession with bargains is arguably the most powerful and devastating market force of our time, having fueled an excess […]

 

Cartoons

One should always take a little time out to enjoy the lighter side of their profession. Enjoy the following sample from our collection of our favorite pricing related cartoons.

Price Wars

 

Quotes

One should always take a little time out to enjoy the lighter side of their profession. Enjoy the following sample from our collection of our favorite pricing related quotes.

“The value of money comes from the private sector in the form of price for product, services rendered, what people are willing to pay for something they want or need. That’s where value happens.”

    – Rush Limbaugh

 

Other Resources

Pricing Resources

The source for valuable pricing resources including: academic programs, articles, blogs, books, cartoons, certifications, papers, quotes, reports, training, and videos.

Pricing Certifications

The source for top formal pricing certification programs.

Pricing Training

The source for top formal pricing training programs and service providers.

Pricing Videos

Enjoy our collection of our favorite pricing related videos and share your favorites with us and we will add them to the collection.

Pricing Tech

The source for pricing technology vendor related information and resources.

Pricing Experts

The source for pricing strategy expert vendor related information and resources.

Pricing News LinkedIn Group

Join 1,000’s of your peers in the our LinkedIn discussion group. The group offers a place to share the latest pricing strategy and technology, news, events, resources, thought leadership, and discuss the latest pricing related successes and failures in the news.

 

About Pricing News

Pricing News is a sponsor supported organization dedicated to providing free high-value resources to pricing professionals. It is the source for daily and weekly digests of pricing strategy and industry newsevents, thought leadership articlesblogsreportsacademic research, and other resources and special offers. We also share highlights from top pricing discussions and publish articles from pricing practitioners in our Pricer’s Points blog series.

Join the Pricing News LinkedIn group and learn from your pricing peers and industry thought leaders or get your Pricing News on Twitter or Google+.

Until next week,

Matt Balfour

Founder & Managing Director of Pricing News

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