Tag Archives: pricing

Google’s new Pixel 5

Ready for a new phone? Just the thought of researching new phones and then paying hundreds of dollars more can give consumers a headache. Google seems to be paying attention this fatigue and is making its phones a little simpler and a little less expensive.

It seems like Google is responding to pandemic economic concerns and is pricing its phones in a comfortable middle ground. These products seem made for watching TV or listening to music at home, all without needing to shell out a thousand dollars for a new device. [A Google executive stated that “The world doesn’t need another $1,000 phone right now.”]

The new Pixel phones are priced a bit differently than the past. For example, last year’s Pixel 4 pricing started at $800, but the new Pixel 5 starts at $700. There is even a lower-priced model called the Pixel 4a5G that is priced from $500 – $600.

The Pixel 5 eliminated facial recognition to unlock the phone (good for mask-wearing users!), as well as radar technology that recognized a user waving a hand over the phone, and telephoto and zoom lenses. But on the other hand, it added a larger battery and ultralow-power mode that lets the phone run 48 hour on a charge. The screen is larger and users can wirelessly charge other devices by laying them on the back of the phone.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What phone do they have? How long have they had it? Are they going to buy a new phone in the next few months? Why or why not?
  2. Video of Pixel 5 phone: https://youtu.be/twNDke-cfv4
  3. Show Google’s new phones: https://store.google.com/product/pixel_5
  4. Discuss competition: Who are the direct competitors for this product?
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team do a chart of a different brand of phone, including features and pricing.
  6. What are the points of difference between the various phones?
  7. How much does pricing matter?
  8. How much do features matter?

Sources: Associated Press; New York Times; Washington Post; The Verge; other news sources

 

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Peloton Adds New Products and Cuts (Some) Prices

The pandemic has been tough on most companies. Consumer demand for products has shifted, as well as buying behavior. Some companies won’t make it successfully through this period. However, unlike other companies, Peloton seems to have weathered the Covid-19 pandemic very well. Sales for home fitness equipment have been strong as gyms and fitness centers have closed or limited the number of patrons in their facilities.

Recently, Peloton expanded its product line with new versions, and has cut prices on older equipment by roughly 16%. Peloton currently sells two primary types of exercise equipment: a stationary bike priced at $2,245 and a treadmill priced at $4,295. When the new products launch, the new Peloton Bike+ will be $2, 495, but the older bike will be reduced to $1,895. The new bike will accommodate more than just biking and includes upgraded cycling, a better sound system, and a 24-inch touchscreen that swivels for yoga or weight training in a different area.

The new treadmill will be cheaper at $2,495 compared to the existing treadmill at $4,295. The new prices are intended to extend the customer base while still offering high-margin products.

Peloton continues to offer “connected fitness” to its subscribers, linking them to instructors and other workout fans so that even when working out alone at home, customers can connect with a community of other riders and instructors. Monthly subscription memberships are $39/month and the company currently has roughly 866,000 subscribers. In addition to cycling classes, the company streams yoga instruction, strength training, running, and more workout programs.

Ready to ride?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss industries impacted by Covid-19. Which companies are winners? Losers?
  2. How has the pandemic impacted Peloton?
  3. Show Peloton’s Web site: https://www.onepeloton.com/
  4. What is the impact of the new products and price reductions for older products?
  5. Compare a Peloton bike and subscription to the average gym membership. What are advantages and disadvantages?
  6. Divide students into teams and have each team research and compare Peloton’s products and services to its competitors:
    1. NordicTrack: https://www.nordictrack.com/
    2. Echelon Fitness: https://echelonfit.com/
    3. Mirror: https://www.mirror.co/
    4. Tonal: https://www.tonal.com/
  7. What pricing strategies is Peloton using? Will this be an advantage or a disadvantage compared to the competition?

Sources: Associated Press; New York Times; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

 

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Pricing in the Entertainment Streaming Industry

The entertainment streaming industry is on fire right now. Apple, Hulu, Netflix, Disney, HBO, and more brands are ramping up to fight it out for the monthly consumer subscription!

Here is how the current prices compare between services:

Service Monthly cost Shows
Netflix $12.99 Stranger Things
Hulu $11.99 (ad free), or

$5.99 (with ads)

Handmaid’s Tale
Amazon Prime Video $8.99 Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Apple TV+ $4.99 The Morning Show
Disney+ $6.99 The Simpsons
HBO Max $14.99 Friends

 

Notice anything interesting in the prices? How each price ends? Which vendor is using penetration pricing? Or below-competition pricing? Name a price model and it’s probably on the list above. Blockbusters, as well as all-new created movies and shows are all offered from multiple services and it can be hard to determine which has which. The marketing focus should be on differentiation – the services are starting to sound alike, and be priced alike.

There has been a dramatic shift in recent years about how consumers get their information and entertainment, and how many more consumers use streaming services each year. The average consumer in 2019 has 2.6 stacked services. This is up from 1.6 stacked services in 2016, but far short of the projected 4.9 staked streaming services by 2023.

Think about it… how many services are currently in your household?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: How many subscription services does each household have today? Add them and average it for the class.
  2. Show a video about the topic: https://www.wsj.com/video/video-streaming-services-battle-for-subscribers/AED37E41-E1EC-447A-A47F-C55D1834B7E0.html
  3. Pricing is usually a complex topic. 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. For these streaming services, divide students into groups and have each group work on setting the price level.
  6. Assign each team a different model to use (demand-oriented, cost- oriented, profit-oriented, and competitor-oriented) and have the team explain how the model was used when setting their price.
  7. Compare the various pricing models and discuss advantages/disadvantages of each.

Source: FitzGerald, D., & Flint, J. (29 October 2019). AT&T lays out price, show line-up for HBO. Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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