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Principles of Marketing

Dr. Karim

Chapter 10: Pricing Understanding

and Capturing Customer Value

What Is a Price?
In Narrow Sense

Price is the amount of money charged for a

p ro d u c t .
More Broadly
Price is the sum of all the values that buyers give up in
order to gain the benefits of having or using a product.
Historically, price has been the major factor affecting
buyer choice.

Price is the only element in the marketing mix that

produces revenue; all other elements represent costs.

P r i c i n g : A K e y S t r a t e g i c To o l
Unlike product features and channel commitments, prices can
be changed quickly. At the same time, pricing is the





executives, and many companies do not handle

pricing well. However, smart managers treat pricing as a
key strategic tool for creating and capturing customer
value. Prices have a direct impact on a firms bottom line. A
small percentage improvement (increase/decrease) in price
can generate a large percentage increase in profitability.
More importantly, as part of a companys overall value
proposition, price plays a key role in creating customer
value and building customer relationships.

Factors to Consider When Setting Prices

The major factors to consider when setting
prices are:
I - Customer Perceptions of Value
II Products Cost
III Competitors Price
IV - Other Internal & External Considerations

I- Customer Perceptions of Value

Understanding how much value consumers
place on the benefits they receive from
the product and setting a price that
captures that value.

Pricing Strategies Based On

Customer Perceptions of


1 - Value Based Pricing Strategy

When customers buy a product, they exchange something

of value (the price) to get something of value (the
benefits of having or using the product). Customer






products value, not the sellers cost, as the key to

pricing The company first assesses customer needs
and value perceptions. It then sets its target price based
on customer perceptions of value.
Value-based pricing is customer driven.

2- Good Value Pricing Strategy

Recent economic events have caused a fundamental shift in
consumer attitudes toward price and quality. In response,
many companies have changed their pricing approaches to
bring them in line with changing economic conditions and
consumer price perceptions.
More and more, marketers have adopted good-value pricing
strategiesoffering the right combination of quality and
good service at a fair price.
An important type of good-value pricing at the retail level is
everyday low pricing (EDLP). EDLP involves charging a
constant, everyday low price with few or no temporary price

Walmart: The King of Every Day Low


3- Value Added Pricing Strategy

Value-based pricing doesnt mean simply charging
what customers want to pay or setting low prices to
meet competition. Instead, many companies adopt
value-added pricing strategies. Rather than
cutting prices to match competitors, they
attach value-added features and services to
differentiate their offers and thus support
higher prices.

II - Cost Based Pricing

Whereas customer-value perceptions set the
price ceiling, costs set the floor for the price
that the company can charge. Cost-based
pricing involves setting prices based on the
costs for producing, distributing, and selling
the product plus a fair rate of return for its
effort and risk.

Cost-based pricing is product driven.

Cost Based Pricing Vs Value Based


Factors to Consider When Setting Prices

Company and Product Costs
Types of costs




Factors to Consider When Setting

Company and Product Costs

Fixed costs (overhead) are costs that do

not vary with production or sales level

such as:
Executive salaries

Factors to Consider When Setting

Company and Product Costs

Variable costs are costs that vary with

the level of production such as:
Raw materials

Factors to Consider When Setting

Company and Product Costs

Total costs are the sum of the fixed and variable

costs for any given level of production

Average cost is the cost associated with a given

level of output

Factors to Consider When Setting

Costs at Different Levels of Production

To price wisely, management needs to know how its costs vary

with different levels of production.

Applied Example: Texas Instruments (TI)

TI has built a plant to produce 1,000 calculators per day. Figure (A)
shows the typical short run average cost curve (SRAC). It shows that the
cost per calculator is high if TIs factory produces only a few per day.
But as production moves up to 1,000 calculators per day, average cost
falls. This is because fixed costs are spread over more units, with each
one bearing a smaller share of the fixed cost. TI can try to produce more
than 1,000 calculators per day, but average costs will increase because
the plant becomes inefficient. Workers have to wait for machines, the
machines break down more often, and workers get in each others way.
If TI believed it could sell 2,000 calculators a day, it should consider
building a larger plant. The plant would use more efficient machinery
and work arrangements. Also, the unit cost of producing 2,000
calculators per day would be lower than the unit cost of producing
1,000 units per day, as shown in the long run average cost (LRAC) curve
Figure (B). In fact, a 3,000capacity plant would even be more efficient,
according to Figure 10.3B. But a 4,000-daily production plant would be
less efficient because of increasing diseconomies of scaletoo many
workers to manage, paperwork slowing things down, and so on. Figure
10.3B shows that a 3,000-daily production plant is the best size to build
if demand is strong enough to support this level of production.

Factors to Consider When

Setting Prices

Costs as a Function of Production Experience

Experience or learning curve is when average cost falls as
production increases because fixed costs are spread
over more units.

Pricing Strategies Based On Cost


The simplest pricing strategy is cost-plus pricing (or

markup pricing)adding a standard markup to the cost
of the product.

Sellers are certain about costs
Prices are similar in industry and price competition is
Consumers feel it is fair

Ignores demand and competitor prices

Pricing Strategies Based On Cost

Break-Even Pricing & Target Profit Pricing

Break-even pricing is the price at

which total costs are equal to total
revenue and there is no profit.
BE volume = Total Fixe Cost / [Unit Price Unit Variable

Target profit pricing is the price at

Pricing Strategies Based On Cost

The manufacturer should consider different prices
and estimate break-even volumes, probable
demand, and profits for each. This is done in
the table below.

Pricing Strategies Based On Cost

Break-Even Pricing & Target Profit Pricing

The table shows that as price increases, the break-even volume drops
(column 2). But as price increases, the demand for toasters also
decreases (column 3). At the $14 price, because the manufacturer
clears only $4 per toaster ($14 less $10 in variable costs), it must
sell a very high volume to break even. Even though the low price
attracts many buyers, demand still falls below the high break-even
point, and the manufacturer loses money. At the other extreme,
with a $22 price, the manufacturer clears $12 per toaster and
must sell only 25,000 units to break even. But at this high price,
consumers buy too few toasters, and profits are negative. The
table shows that a price of $18 yields the highest profits.
Note that none of the prices produce the manufacturers

III Competitors Price

Competition Based Pricing Strategies





based on competitors strategies, costs, prices, and

market offerings. Consumers will base their judgments
of a products value on the prices that competitors
charge for similar products.

Competition Based Pricing Strategies

In assessing competitors pricing strategies, the company
should ask several questions:
1- How does the companys market offering compare with
competitors offerings in terms of customer value?
If consumers perceive that the companys product or service
provides greater value, the company can charge a higher
If consumers perceive less value relative to competing
products, the company must either charge a lower price or
change customer perceptions to justify a higher price.

Factors to Consider When Setting

Competition Based Pricing Strategies
2- how strong are current competitors, and what are their
current pricing strategies?
If the company faces a host of smaller competitors
charging high prices relative to the value they deliver, it
might charge lower prices to drive weaker competitors
from the market.
If the market is dominated by larger, low-price competitors,
the company may decide to target unserved market
niches with value-added products at higher prices.

IV- Captive Product Pricing







that can only be

used with the main


V- Optional Product Pricing




pricing additional or


sold along with the

main product.

V I -Ta r g e t C o s t i n g
Companies often position their products based on price and
then tailor other marketing mix decisions to the prices they
want to charge. Here, price is a crucial product-positioning
factor that defines the products market, competition, and
design. Many firms support such price-positioning strategies
with a technique called target costing.
Target costing reverses the usual process of first designing a
new product, determining its cost, and then asking, Can we
sell it for that? Instead, target costing starts with an
ideal selling price based on customer value
considerations and then targets costs that will ensure
that the price is met. For example, when Honda set out to
design the Fit, it began with a $13,950 starting price point
and an operating efficiency of 33 miles per gallon firmly in
mind. It then designed a stylish, peppy little car with costs
that allowed it to give target customers those values.

VII- Other Internal and External

Considerations Affecting Price Decisions
Beyond customer value perceptions, costs, and
competitor strategies, the company must consider
several additional internal and external factors.






companys overall marketing strategy, objectives,

and marketing mix, as well as other organizational
External factors include the nature of the market and
demand and other environmental factors.

Overall Marketing Strategy, Objectives, and Mix

Price is only one element of the companys broader
marketing strategy. Thus, before setting price, the
company must decide on its overall marketing strategy
for the product. If the company has selected its target
market and positioning carefully, then its marketing mix
strategy, including price, will be fairly straightforward.
For example, when Honda developed its Acura brand to
compete with European luxury performance cars in the
higher income segment, this required charging a high
price. In contrast, when it introduced the Honda Fit
modelbilled as a pint-sized fuel miser with feisty
giddy upthis positioning required charging a low
Thus, pricing strategy is largely determined by decisions
on market positioning.

Positioning on low price: Honda Fit

Other Internal Considerations Affecting

Price Decisions

Organizational considerations include:

Who should set the price
Who can influence the prices

External Considerations Affecting

Price Decisions
The Market and

Before setting prices, the marketer must





price and demand for its products

Factors to Consider When Setting

Other Internal and External Considerations Affecting
Price Decisions

The demand curve shows the number of units the

market will buy in a given period at different prices

Normally, demand and price are inversely related

Higher price = lower demand

For prestige (luxury) goods, higher price can equal

higher demand when consumers perceive higher
prices as higher quality

Factors to Consider When

Setting Prices
External Considerations Affecting Price Decisions

Factors to Consider When Setting

External Considerations Affecting Price Decisions

Price elasticity of demand illustrates the response of

demand to a change in price
- Inelastic demand occurs when demand hardly changes when
there is a small change in price
- Elastic demand occurs when demand changes greatly for a small
change in price

Price elasticity of demand = % change in quantity

% change in price

Factors to Consider When

Setting Prices
External Consideration Affecting Price Decisions

Factors to Consider When

Setting Prices

External Consideration Affecting Price Decisions Competition:

Market Structure

External Consideration Affecting Price Decisions : Market

1) Pure Monopoly
- One firm sole seller of a specific product (e.g.,
electricity), the price is usually regulated by the

2) Oligopoly
- Few sellers (e.g., cars producers), differentiated
products, must take prices of others into account when
determining its own price and strategies.

3) Monopolistic Competition

Many sellers (e.g., clothes producers), who trade over a

range of prices.
- Sellers can differentiate their offers to buyers .

4) Perfect or Pure Competition

- Many sellers of
price takers.

an identical product (e.g., sugar),