Topics: market research
How many products should there be in an assortment, and how should they be priced individually? Does adding more products change the dynamics or psychology of customer choice? Or are there too many products that neither the customers nor the production department really can cope with?
This is a challenge in many industries. Classically, consumer goods manufacturers go through an assortment optimization (read: reduction of number of products) every few years as they also add many new innovations. But all kinds of other industries have similar challenges: how many car models to offer? What kind of software packages / plans should a Software-as-a-Service vendor offer?
The revenue growth management and pricing disciplines are in constant growth, with more and more companies seeing that revenue and price optimization can deliver additional profit growth as well as help with managing the overall market position.
How do customers react when presented with different prices? How does their willingness-to-pay vary by segment or country, or how does it change over time, either organically or when subjected to stimuli? PriceBeam runs many studies around the world and we have collected some of the general insights and trends from willingness-to-pay studies in 2019.
Pricing is the strongest profit driver available to management. One percent improvement in price yields much higher operating profit improvement than e.g. one percent improvement in units sold, unit costs or fixed costs. Therefore, price increases should come regularly and at the very least annually. Also, almost all countries and markets have inflation, so as a minimum you should plan price increases in line with inflation. But a true price increase strategy reflects the value perceived by customers and price you as a result can harvest.
What should the next price be? for a new product about to be launched? or an existing service where one wants to increase the price for any number of reasons? The facts are that in 88% of all cases the price setting process inside a company is largely based on guesswork and gut feeling rather than science. Or simply based on the previous price.
Prices are almost never the same in international markets. They vary due to taxes, cost structures, local market needs, currency exchange rates, tariffs, differences in competitive situations and a myriad of other reasons. They even vary because this is the way it has always been. If looking at different industries, consumer products (CPG/FMCG) have more than 100% difference in prices, with even regional differences in e.g. the European Union of up to 50% for the same product. Car manufacturers are well-known for their price differences and even relatively global products such as computer software has had a number of bad PR cases where e.g. Australians would pay twice as much for Adobe software as US customers.
But international price differences are more good than bad. Here is why.
What is a Price Premium?
There are a number of different metrics one can use to evaluate brand strength. Brand recognition, likeability, willingness to recommend, readiness to purchase are some of the most popular ones. A number of studies have shown, that these cognitive and affective factors are also linked with the consumers’ willingness to pay for a brand’s products. The more appealing a brand, the more the consumer is typically willing to pay for its products. Therefore, a comparison of the willingness to pay for a brand with relevant references products or “NoName” competitors provides insights into a company’s brand strength.