211-The Importance of Consistency in the Approach to Pricing
A company has to send a consistent pricing message if it wants its customers to get its message. An example is Asda. Asda is the U.K. arm of Wal-Mart stores. Asda has always advertised itself as the home of “every day low prices.” It strayed from this message during the recession.
As the recession took hold, Asda followed its major competitors in offering promotional pricing, such as temporary price deals and two-for-one specials. (See the Perspective, “The Grasshopper and the Ant” on StrategyStreet.com.)
This approach worked during the recession. The company gained market share. However, as the recession ended, the company lost all of the market share it had gained with its promotional pricing. It then found that its customers were confused about what its pricing tactic really was. The company has re-established its theme of “every day low pricing.” In order to emphasize that theme, it has launched a price guarantee program which guarantees the consumer that its prices will be the lowest among its competitors, whether there is a promotion or not. The program invites the customers to check receipts online, and to obtain a rebate if a competitor is offering a better deal. (See the Perspective, “How Price Kills Profits” on StrategyStreet.com.)
It will take a while for consumers to have confidence in this renewed emphasis on every day low prices.
Walmart sold most of its interest in ASDA in 2020. The grocer continues to be successful in the UK market. It is the third-ranked competitor with 14% market share. Its main claim to fame is its ironclad price guarantee which reads as follows: “If we’re not 10% cheaper than Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, or Waitrose on your comparable grocery shop we’ll give you the difference. Guaranteed! It’s as simple as that!” The company is a successful Predator Price Leader competitor in its market. See HERE for more perspective.
HOW CAN THESE BLOGS HELP ME?
If you face a competitive marketplace, read these blogs. We wrote them to help you make better decisions on segments, products, prices and costs based on the experience of companies in over 85 competitive industries. Much of the world suffered a severe recession from 2008 to 2011. During that time, we wrote more than 270 blogs using publicly available information and our Strategystreet system to project what would happen in various companies and industries who were living in those hostile environments. In 2022, we updated each of these blogs to describe what later took place. You can use these updated blogs to see how the Strategystreet system works and how it can lead you to better decisions.