Significance and importance of pricing
• The pricing of your product or service is a key element in determining the profitability of
• However it is not always to easy to get it right.
• If your price is too high demand will reduce and you may price yourself out of the market.
• If your price is too low, your sales volume may not generate enough revenue to cover the
costs associated with your business.
• People may also believe that the product or service does not offer value at such a low
• Why Is It Important?
• Pricing is a key determinant in the decision making process customers use to purchase a
product or service
• It is important to establish how much your target market will pay for your product or
• Shows you how sensitive your customers are to changes in price.
Pricing For Different Life Cycles
At different stages of your product or service life cycle you may change
your pricing strategy to suite your business needs. This includes when
you are selecting which strategies to focus on.
Low price strategy – used to encourage trial of your product or service.
As well as repurchase on a regular basis.
High price strategy – used to generate profits to cover launch costs.
Product or service may have a unique point of different.
Low price strategy – used short term to stop new competitors entering
High price strategy – used to grow profits.
Decline or Maturity Stage
Low price strategy – used to generate enough revenue to cover costs.
High price strategy – used to maximise revenue in order to fund new
Price versus Non-price Competition
• In developing a marketing programme,
management has to decide whether to
compete primarily on the basis of price, or the
non-price elements of the marketing mix. This
choice obviously affects other parts of the
firm’s marketing programme.
A firm engages in price competition by regularly offering products at as low a price as possible
and accompanied by a minimum of services. Discount houses and off-price retailers compete
in this way.
A firm can make use of the price to compete by:
1. Changing its prices
2. Reacting to price changes made by competitors
Value Pricing: In response, many companies in diverse industries are using value pricing.
This form of price competition aims to improve a product's value - that is, the ratio of its
benefits to its price and related costs. Using value pricing, a firm:
1. Offers products with lower prices but the same, or perhaps added benefits; and
2. At the same time seeks ways to slash expenses so that profits don't suffer.
Proactive and Reactive Changes: After an initial price is set, a number of situations may
prompt a firm to change its price. As costs increase, for instance, management may decide to
raise its price rather than to maintain price and either cut quality or promote the product
aggressively. Temporary price cuts may be used to sell excess inventory or to introduce a new
Price Wars: From a seller's standpoint, the big disadvantage in price-cutting is that
competitors will retaliate - and not let up. A price war may begin when one firm decreases its
price in an effort to increase its sales volume and/or market share. The battle is on if other
firms retaliate, reducing price on their competing products.
In non-price competition, sellers maintain stable prices and attempt to improve their
market positions by emphasising other aspects of their marketing programmes. In
non-price competition, sellers attempt to shift their demand curves to the right by
means of product differentiation, promotional activities, or some other technique.
With non-price competition, however, a seller retains some advantage when a
competitor decides to undersell. The best approach in non-price competition is to
build strong - if possible, unassailable - brand equity for the firm’s products. Two
methods of accomplishing this are to develop distinctive, hopefully unique, products
and to create a novel, appealing promotional programme. In addition, some firms
emphasize the variety and quality of the supplementary services they offer to
Process of setting a Price
1. Select the pricing objective to decide where you want to position
your market offering. The five major objectives that you can pursue
are survival, maximum current profit, maximum market share,
maximum market skimming or product –quality leadership. Having
a clearer objective makes it easier to set a price.
2. Determine the demand. The price you set will affect the demand
level and impact your business objectives differently. In normal
situations, price and demand are inversely related, in that the
higher the price the lower the demand and vice versa.
3. Estimate the costs. While doing this, you want to charge a price
that covers your cost of production, distribution and selling of the
product plus a decent return for your efforts and risks.
4. Analyze competitor costs, prices, offers and possible
reactions. You should consider your nearest competitor’s
price, product features and evaluate them to check their
worth to the customers. You can then decide to charge
more, same as competitor or less.
5. Select a pricing method. When selecting, consider the
cost of the product or service, competitor prices and the
customer’s assessment of the unique features. The pricing
method you decide should include one or more of these
6. Finally, select the price. Here, you must consider the
following: 1) Impact of other marketing activities like brand
quality and advertising in relation to competition.2)
Companies pricing policy, 3) Impact of the price on other
parties like the distributors and dealers.
Factors Affecting Demand Determination
• Determining Factors of the demand
In addition to the price of a good, the demanded amount depends on other factors like the
• The rent: a reduction of the rent means that we would have less to spend, reason why it
would be necessary to diminish the demand of some goods. For most of the goods, the rent
diminishes the demanded amount of the good diminishes as well. These goods are
denominated normal goods.But not all the goods are normal. If the demand of a good
increases when the rent diminishes it wil denominate inferior goods.
• The prices of other goods: When the reduction of the price of a good reduces the demand of
another one, both are denominated substitutes goods (jerseys and sweater shirts)
• When the reduction of the price of a good elevates the demand of another one, they are
denominated complementary goods (gasoline and automobiles, computers and software)
• Taste of the consumer: The most evidential determination of our demand is taste or
preferences. The economists normally do not try to explain the consumers taste because
they are based on historical and psychological issues that are outside the field of economy.
Nevertheless, they examine what happens when pleasures change.
• The expectations: Our expectations of the future can influence our present demand of a
service. For example, if we expect to gain higher rent the next month, it is possible we will
spend more in the present.
• Price set to ‘penetrate the market’
• ‘Low’ price to secure high volumes
• Typical in mass market products – chocolate bars,
food stuffs, household goods, etc.
• Suitable for products with long anticipated life cycles
• May be useful if launching into a new market
• High price, Low volumes
• Skim the profit from the
• Suitable for products that have
short life cycles or which will
face competition at some point
in the future (e.g. after a
patent runs out)
• Examples include: Playstation,
jewellery, digital technology,
new DVDs, etc.
Many are predicting a firesale in
laptops as supply exceeds demand.
• Price set in accordance
perceptions about the
value of the
• Examples include status
products Companies may be able to set prices
according to perceived value.
• Used to play on consumer perceptions
• Classic example - £9.99 instead of £10.99!
• Links with value pricing – high value goods
priced according to what consumers THINK
should be the price
Going Rate (Price Leadership)
• In case of price leader, rivals have difficulty in competing on
price – too high and they lose market share, too low and the
price leader would match price and force smaller rival out of
• May follow pricing leads of rivals especially where those rivals
have a clear dominance of market share
• Where competition is limited, ‘going rate’ pricing may be
applicable – banks, petrol, supermarkets, electrical goods –
find very similar prices in all outlets
• Charging a different price
for the same good/service
in different markets
• Requires each market to
• Requires different price
elasticity of demand in
Prices for rail travel differ for the same journey
at different times of the day
• Setting price to ‘target’ a specified profit level
• Estimates of the cost and potential revenue at
different prices, and thus the break-even have
to be made, to determine the mark-up
• Mark-up = Profit/Cost x 100
• Price Elasticity
Price elasticity measures how price increases as well as decrease affect
demand for a product or service. A price increase has little to no effect if
the product or service has little elasticity, while a high level of price
elasticity means a slight price increase will have a major effect on the
demand for the product or service. Several factors play into the price
elasticity of a product or service.
• Substitutions And Competition
The availability and perceived quality of competing products or services will
help determine how price increases affect demand. If you are selling a
product or service that has competition that consumers perceive as
similar in quality, increasing your price to more than the competition will
lead to a decrease in sales as consumers buy the competition's product or
service. Consumers may also make substitutions for a product or a
service. For example, if the price of cars increased dramatically,
consumers may begin to take mass transit more, ride a bike or walk.
Time plays a factor in the effect of price increases and sales volume. The longer a price
increase exists, without the competition increasing their prices, the longer
consumers have to change their behavior through buying competitive products or
services or substitution. How accessible competitive goods or services, as well as
substitutes are to consumers, will combine with the length of the price increase to
affect sales volume. A short price increase will affect sales volume negatively less
than a long-term price increase because consumers will have less time to change
their behavior because of the price increase.
• Pricing Strategies
Not all companies price their products to sell the highest amount of the product or
service possible. These companies incorporate strategies using prices to sell the
optimal amount of goods or services while making the maximum amount of profit
per sale. Some brands use prestige pricing, where they purposely set a high price
point or their product or service to communicate that the product or service is of
superior quality. How you use various pricing strategies to price your product or
service, though, depends on factors such as the competition, consumer's
perception of your product or service and the price elasticity of the product or
service. Finding the right price point increase while keeping sales volume high may
require trial and error.