- Research Feature
- Read Time: 24 min
Companies create product versions from multiple components. The big challenge is how to take the available components and combine them into the product versions and product lines that will maximize profits.
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Companies should spend less time trying to fool customers with hidden charges and devote more effort to competing on differences that really matter, say the authors. Imaginative managers may want to consider how a move toward honest pricing in their industry — such as unit pricing at supermarkets and the U.S. government”s Energy Star program — could help sell more and better products to a loyal customer base.
The ability to set the right price at the right time, any time — the very definition of a pricing capability — is becoming increasingly important. Based on their work with dozens of companies, the authors explain how investments in human capital, systems capital and social capital come together to form a pricing capability that competitors will have a hard time imitating.
The authors examine the theoretical and practical problems associated with trade promotions, and they explain how the right kind of deal can be created — a transparent system that generates mutual trust and provides benefits to both manufacturers and retailers. The key is proper implementation of what is thus far a little understood tool: the pay-for-performance trade promotion, in which retailers get rewarded according to how much they sell, not how much they buy.
As adapting to globalization becomes increasingly necessary, business customers are pressuring suppliers to accept global-pricing contracts. By exploring why customers want GPCs, under what circumstances the contracts are likely to profit suppliers, and how to successfully implement contracts, the authors identify preparation as the key to success.
Consumers favor retailers that save them time and energy. By understanding a retail experience from drive in to check out, companies can maximize the speed and ease of shopping and build lasting customer relationships.
Gray market goods -- brand name products sold through unauthorized channels -- are an increasing threat to multinational companies. The authors present a framework to help select the right approach to coordinating price-setting decisions on the basis of a subsidiary's local resources and the complexity of a product's market. Examples of price coordination methods are provided.
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