Tag Archives: pricing

The World’s Most Expensive Pigeon!

Determining the right price for a product or service is not always easy. Organizations need to determine the strategy that is best for meeting its objectives. Does the organization want to establish a beach-head and gain market share, or reach the elite purchasers? Pricing strategies include demand-oriented, cost-oriented, profit-oriented, and competition-oriented approaches. Within these various approaches are price models that include skimming, penetration, luxury, bundling, price-lining, return-on-investment, and more. And finally, do not discount the strong appeal used with psychological pricing.

All these strategies are interesting, but how does one apply them to a unique product such as a rare Stradivari viola made in the 1700s? Or a prized Belgian racing pigeon? In the case of the Stradivari, the auction price starts at $45 million. For the pigeon (named Armando) the auction price rose to $1.4 million in approximately and hour as two Chinese buyers kept increasing their competing bids trying to obtain the world’s fastest pigeon! Armando is believed to be the most expensive bird ever to be sold at auction. The attraction to the Chinese buyer was likely due to the sport of pigeon racing becoming more popular among the countries elite.

So, next time you see a pigeon sitting on a statue on the park, consider how valuable the little guy might be.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. As class begins, poll students about pets and pricing. Ask who has a pet and how much they paid. Ask other students if they were going to buy an animal, how much would they consider spending?
  2. Show a video about the Belgian pigeon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2SwXWV5Rec
  3. The auction site (with additional video) can be found at: https://www.pipa.be/en/newsandarticles/reports/armando-joel-verschoots-record-breaking-pigeon-video
  4. Discuss pricing strategies (e.g., demand-oriented, cost-oriented, profit-oriented, competition-oriented, etc.).
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a different price approach and determine a SMART objective for the approach.
  6. Next, have students use their selected price model to determine prices for the ordinary products (e.g., milk, gas, eggs, etc.), shopping products (e.g., shoes, jackets, etc.), and luxury items (e.g., Tiffany, Louis Vitton), and rare (e.g., Tibetan Mastiff, Stradivari viola).

Source:  Belinger, J. (19 March, 2019). Chinese buyer bids record $1.4 million for racing pigeon. CNN

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Why are Prices Going Up?

Pricing is a very strategic part of marketing and planning. And, yes, price is also one of the four P’s and is usually referred to as a tactic. However, when an organization is setting strategic objectives, the price level is a critical factor that may be adjusted to help a company meet its objectives. However, raising prices can be difficult as consumers tend to balk at paying more for a product or service that they have had for years. Among companies raising prices are two affecting many college students: Netflix and Whole Foods.

In January, Netflix raised prices for its subscription plans by 18% to $13/month. The increase is intended to help Netflix cover increasing costs for original content and streaming services. Some of its highly-rated content includes “Bird Box,” “Stranger Things,” and “The Crown.” According to Netflix, it has 10% of all U.S. TV screen time, or a billion hours each day.

In February, Whole Foods raised prices on hundreds of its products in order to cover increasing costs of inflation, including transportation, ingredients, and more. The price increases range from a few cents to several dollars, depending on the product and manufacturer.

Is it worth the price?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Question students: Why are Netflix and Whole Foods raising prices? How does the price increase fit into the company’s strategy? What environmental factors should be considered?
  2. Show a video about Netflix price increase: https://mashable.com/video/netflix-raises-prices/?jwsource=cl#tzDtP.YOImq1
  3. Discuss the six steps for pricing (determining objectives, estimating demand, determining cost/profit relationships, select price level, set list price, and make adjustments).
  4. Discuss the various pricing models in class: demand-oriented, cost-oriented, profit-oriented, and competition-oriented.
  5. Divide students into groups and have each group work on any/all of the six steps.
  6. When setting the price level, assign each team a different model to use (demand-oriented, cost- oriented, etc.).

Source: Ad Week, Wall Street Journal, other news sources

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New Shopping Records: Black Friday and Cyber Monday

If you are reading this, congratulations. It means you survived the busiest shopping days of the season: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And, busy is an understatement. Shoppers took to the stores and online in masses, scoping up deals and getting started on holiday shopping for loved ones (and their selves).

The numbers are nearly as staggering. According to Adobe Analytics:

  • Shopping dollars from Nov. 1 – 26 totaled $58.52 billion
  • Black Friday accounted for a record-making $7.9 billion, including $6.22 billion spent online
  • Top products included Fingerlings, L.O.L. Surprise, Nintendo Switch, Laptops from Dell & Apple, LG TVs, drones, and Amazon Echo
  • Sales traffic vs. revenue by device type:
    • Desktop: 42% traffic for 61% of purchases
    • Smartphones: 49% of traffic for 30% of purchases
    • Tablets: 8% of traffic for 9% of purchases
  • Buy Online, Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) increased 50% from last year
  • Cyber Monday sales reached $7.9 billion, the largest single shopping day in the U.S.
  • Sales from smartphones also hit an all-time high of $2 billion

What did you buy?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students about shopping over the Thanksgiving weekend.
  2. What did they buy? How much did they spend? Gifts or personal purchases?
  3. Did students shop in stores, online, or both?
  4. Purchase volumes by type?
  5. Review the data and charts from Adobe site: http://exploreadobe.com/retail-shopping-insights/
  6. Additional information CNBC Article and video: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/24/black-friday-pulled-in-a-record-6point22-billion-in-online-sales-adobe.html
  7. Other video: https://youtu.be/DDhk6O5TSN0
  8. Given the results from holiday shopping, what are three things that retailers must do to continue to meet customer needs?

Source: Adobe Analytics, CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, other news sources

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