Finance and Accounting

Navigating pricing strategies in the competitive marketplace landscape

Pricing is how products compete in the market and getting the price right is critical for success. While it is undeniably one of the most important aspects of any business, pricing is not a simple function and the options available magnify the difficulty involved in the process. Profit is naturally a topmost priority but selecting the right pricing strategy has become a challenge that many businesses struggle with. A pricing strategy includes an evaluation of pricing structures and a pricing analysis before implementing a pricing method. Pricing levels are usually fluid in nature so decision makers must understand market dynamics and customer preferences before defining a pricing strategy for the business.

A few key factors to consider while navigating common pricing strategies include:

  1. Understand business costs
  2. It is important to first understand the costs of production, distribution, overhead costs, and marketing to set up a foundation on which to build a pricing strategy. This knowledge helps determine the minimum price that a product or service can be sold at while ensuring there is some profit too. 

  3. Conduct market research
  4. Sampling the target market helps businesses understand what customers expect and how much they are willing to pay for the service or product. A comprehensive analysis of the market is especially required to identify competitors and their offerings, understand their pricing strategies and customer segments, their unique selling propositions along with their strengths and weaknesses. All this information can help a business position its pricing strategy in relation to that of its competitors.

    However, trying to undercut competitor prices is not a smart decision in the long term since it is not a sustainable practice. Instead, it is wiser to stay informed about changes in competitor pricing and be aware of how such changes could impact one’s market position. It is essential to be flexible enough to change strategies when needed.

  5. Adopt dynamic pricing strategies
  6. Such a practice enables businesses to adjust prices depending on changes in demand, customer behaviour and real-time market conditions. Other factors include inventory levels, seasonal changes and even time of day. However, there are many other popular pricing strategies too, some of which are competition-based, project-based, premium, psychological, geography-based, high-low pricing and so on. The pricing strategy selected should be selected based on industry and business type.

  7. Understand brand value
  8. Decision makers must be clear about the brand value of the organisation and its products and services. Is it selling luxury products, middle-road, or discount products? Knowing that will help decide pricing points logically and appropriately.

  9. Understand customer segments
  10. Every market has different customer segments and it is essential to identify them along with their price sensitivities, specific needs and preferences. Purchasing power and brand loyalty must both be considered while developing and tailoring pricing strategies.

    In certain cases, businesses must be willing to seek customer opinion about not only what they value and how much, in terms of cost, but also how they would like to pay – as per use or subscription. Surveys, competitor analysis, focus groups and market trends are the many ways through which customers can be studied and analysed.

    However, it may not always be possible to satisfy every customer. A prudent move would be to zero in on those customers willing to pay the extra amount and satisfy their needs and preferences. The final offering in terms of price and quality could be acceptable to other customers too.

  11. Define value proposition
  12. The unique selling proposition (USP) of the service or product being priced must be clear. The difference from competitor products in terms of quality, quantity, features, price, customer service and convenience must be understood clearly and articulated within the team while working out a pricing strategy. Customers must easily understand why they would have to pay more for a product or service. 

  13. Upsell and implement promotions
  14. Upselling techniques such as offering complimentary products or services can encourage customers to upgrade and be ready to purchase higher-priced add-ons. Promotional pricing, offers and discounts are all strategic ways to attract new customers and stimulate demand and sales. However, very frequent promotions can erode brand value.

  15. Shield your profits from inflation
  16. As far as possible, prices should be marked such that they incorporate enough profit and do not have to be constantly adjusted because of fluctuating inflation rates.

  17. Test and monitor
  18. The impact of pricing strategies, promotions and discounts need to be closely monitored and adjusted to gauge customer response, fine-tune decisions and measure profitability. Businesses should try to find the perfect balance between market competitiveness and sustainable profitability.

Clearly, pricing strategies cannot be developed with a one-size-fits-all approach or done once and be done with it. Research and analysis, creativity and flexibility all play important roles while navigating pricing strategies. Changing market dynamics and customer preferences must be assessed regularly to succeed in a competitive marketplace. Pricing strategies must also align with an organisation’s business goals at all times.

* For organizations on the digital transformation journey, agility is key in responding to a rapidly changing technology and business landscape. Now more than ever, it is crucial to deliver and exceed on organizational expectations with a robust digital mindset backed by innovation. Enabling businesses to sense, learn, respond, and evolve like a living organism, will be imperative for business excellence going forward. A comprehensive, yet modular suite of services is doing exactly that. Equipping organizations with intuitive decision-making automatically at scale, actionable insights based on real-time solutions, anytime/anywhere experience, and in-depth data visibility across functions leading to hyper-productivity, Live Enterprise is building connected organizations that are innovating collaboratively for the future.

Recent Posts