Another Creative Pricing Scheme

Posted in

It is not often that you see companies using really unusual pricing to build future business. Here is one that I like. Every price has three and, usually four, components: the Benefit Package, the Basis of Charge, the List price and usually some Optional Components of price. The Benefit Package includes all of the Function, Reliability and Convenience benefits associated with the main product. The Basis of Charge is the way the company quantifies the unit of sale that it prices with the List Price, which is the stated price per unit of product sold.…

Read More

The NYSE Stumble Offers a Lesson for All Leaders

Posted in ,

Recently, the New York Stock Exchange agreed to sell itself to the German exchange, Deutsche Boerse. For generations, the NYSE was the place to trade equities of the finest companies in the U.S. Its sale to a German exchange is a sign of how desperate its market situation has become. The NYSE’s fall offers some important lessons for a market leader in any industry. The NYSE’s market share has fallen out of bed. Six years ago, 75% of the traded shares of companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange traded on that exchange. Today,…

Read More

Amazon’s Blockbuster Innovation

Posted in

In 2005, Amazon introduced its Prime Free Shipping program. This yearly subscription program promised free two-day shipping on any purchase the subscriber made from Amazon. Five years later, 13% of Amazon’s 130 million active users are Prime members. More significantly, 20% of the subscribers who purchased products from Amazon in the last twelve months are Prime subscribers. These Prime subscribers purchase two to three times as much as non-Prime subscribers over the course of a year. This Performance innovation removes an impediment to purchasing on Amazon. In fact, it increases the odds greatly that online…

Read More

Whirlpool and Electrolux Blink

Posted in

The home appliance market has been a difficult place to compete during several periods over the last thirty years. It is tough again today. Sales of large appliances have fallen steadily since 2007. Competition is intensifying with the pressure of the South Korean competitors, LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics, on Whirlpool Corp and Electrolux AB. Whirlpool and Electrolux are suffering from rising costs for steel, copper, plastics and other raw materials. To offset these cost increases, the two companies plan price increases of 8% to 10% in the spring. The problem: the Koreans aren’t playing…

Read More

News Corp Responds to the Market for “Free”

Posted in

The newspaper industry has faced a mighty challenge over the last few years. There is so much “free” content to complete with them. Newspaper revenue continues to plummet. Internet users are reluctant to pay for content. All the free content, supported by advertising revenue, has decimated the newspaper industry. The industry’s cousin, the magazine industry, is not far behind. This trend can’t continue forever. Already, many people are asking themselves how much they can trust the information on the internet. The need for Reliability drives the demand for Snopes.com. How many “free” web sites can…

Read More

The Long and Arduous Journey of the Airline Industry May be Reaching an End

Posted in

The government deregulated the airline industry in 1978. Since that time, the basic pricing in the industry, as well as airline fortunes, have been more or less continuously on the downward slope. It has been a very long trip down. The industry may be heading up again, though. In the third quarter of 2010, the average domestic airfare was 11% higher than a year earlier. Profits returned to the industry in 2010 behind higher prices. In some part, these higher prices were the result of the additional fees that most of the domestic carriers charged…

Read More

The Advent of the F-Commerce Revolution

Posted in

Don’t look now, but we are entering the world of F-commerce. What is that, those of you older than thirty will ask? F-commerce is selling through a Facebook page. The trend is early yet, but likely to turn into a stampede. JC Penney and 1-800-Flowers.com both have established full E-commerce stores within their Facebook page. The stores include check-out and other features you typically find on an E-commerce web site. Facebook claims that twenty-five of the largest retail sites are already integrated with Facebook, as are seventeen of the twenty-five fastest growing retail sites. Think…

Read More

Cost Reduction by Redesigning the Product

Posted in

Over the last several years, we have studied many examples of cost reduction initiatives to improve productivity and create economies of scale. In simplest terms, there are four actions that improve productivity and economies of scale. First, reduce the rate of cost you pay for an input. Second, reduce the inputs that do not produce output. Third, reduce unique activities or components in products and processes by redesigning the products and processes. Fourth, spread fixed cost activities over new product output. The cellular telephone carriers are introducing measures to reduce their costs by redesigning the…

Read More

The Japanese Pay the Price

Posted in ,

The figures are in for U.S. auto sales in 2010. The biggest winners in percentage growth were Hyundai, at 24%, and Ford at 20%. Toyota lost .4% and Honda grew a mediocre 7%. The Japanese struggled in 2010. Earlier we wrote a blog about Ford’s ascendency and Toyota’s problems (see Blog HERE). Toyota is paying the price for failing its customers. Honda appears to be getting painted with the “failure” brush, though I doubt its punishment is deserved. I am actually using the word “fail” to mean something specific here. A company fails its customers…

Read More

But Can You Control Other Entrants?

Posted in ,

The United Autoworkers (UAW) is on a new campaign. The union plans to organize workers in hither-to non-union foreign-owned automobile plants in the United States. This campaign may or may not work, but in the long run it will prove futile unless the union can compete in the international market, against all international auto workers. There are 575,000 autoworkers in the U.S. Nearly 20% work for foreign-owned plants. All of these plants are non-union. The foreign-owned plants were intentionally placed in right-to-work areas, many in the South. The UAW is likely to have some difficulty…

Read More