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Book Review - Smart Pricing: How Google, Priceline, and Leading Businesses Use Pricing Innovation for Profitability


The Ultimate List of Great Books on Pricing 

Individual Book Review:


Smart Pricing: How Google, Priceline, and Leading Businesses Use Pricing Innovation for Profitability

Smart Pricing: Book Review

Book Authors: Jagmohan Raju , Z.John Zhang

In Smart Pricing, Wharton professors and esteemed pricing experts Jagmohan Raju and Z. John Zhang, make use of examples to describe how the latest pricing strategies can aid companies in creating and capturing value as well as customers. 

Smart Pricing is one of the books selected from The Ultimate List of Great Books on Pricing we have compiled. Pick up a book or two - to help you charge the right price for your products or services. 

Continue reading through our review for Smart Pricing below!

Smart Pricing is recommended for anyone, from general readers , to students and professionals. It consolidates "the art “of inventive price discrimination and includes the best practices from companies across different industries.This book provides adequate and instructive, less conventional approaches to pricing decision making.

In Smart pricing Professors Raju and Zhang offer alternatives to the traditional pricing models by focusing on a new set of influencers in pricing strategy such as : consumer psychology, Marketing, and Economics , and drawing on personal breakthroughs in pricing research, together with their most recent work helping business rethink their pricing strategies.

Readers will learn how restaurant, hotels and other enterprises set their price. How google and tech companies have used pricing to remake whole industries, and how some executives have made an art of initiating and fighting price wars. The authors use case studies and examples to convey their pricing insights. It includes examples from contemporary businesses and address how they establish pricing and measure its effectiveness.

Raju and Zhang make pricing more concrete by revealing innovative strategies that are helping companies create and capture more value and customers and teach readers the pricing principles behind their innovative ideas and practices. Smart Pricing goes beyond familiar methodologies like cost-plus, buyer-based or competition-based pricing and puts an emphasis on various innovative mechanisms. This book will help you understand, identify and use them to win at setting your prices

The following are the key chapters introduced by the authors in Smart Pricing :

  1. “Pay As You Wish” Pricing
  2. Why the Best Things in Life Are Free 
  3. The Art of Price Wars
  4. Thinking Small
  5. The Automatic Markdown
  6. Name Your Own Price
  7. Subscribe and Save: Pricing for Marketing Profitability
  8. The Snob Premium
  9. Pay If It Works
  10. Conclusion

"Pricing innovation is not for the timid," conclude Jagmohan and Zhang "getting the pricing right is, in the end, both art and science."

Happy reading!



Professor Jagmohan S. Raju: Before becoming an academic professor at the Wharton School and the chair of their marketing department, professor Raju was the Marketing Editor of Management Science and the Past President of the INFORMS Society for Marketing Science. His main areas of research range from competitive marketing strategy and corporate image advertising to pricing retailing and sales promotions. He holds a Ph.D., M.S., M.A. Stanford University; an MBA from IIM, Ahmedabad; and a BTech from IIT Delhi. His research papers have won multiple awards and he has been recognized as Teacher of the year whilst at UCLA and received an MBA Teacher Award at Wharton.

Professor John Zhang is a professor of Marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining. Wharton in 2002, John taught marketing and pricing management at the Olin School of Business of Washington University in ST. Louis for 3 years and at Columbia Business School for 5 consecutive years. Johns research has a main focus on competitive strategies, pricing structure designs and channel management. He was won various Awards for his publications, including the 2001 John D.C Little Best Paper Award and the 2001 Frank Bass Best Dissertation Award, along with co-authors, due to his contribution to the understanding of targeted pricing with imperfect targetability.

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