- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Pearson Education (US); 1 edition (26 March 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0134384997
- ISBN-13: 978-0134384993
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.7 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 299 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Smart Pricing: How Google, Priceline, and Leading Businesses Use Pricing Innovation for Profitability Paperback – 26 Mar 2010
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About the Author
Professor Jagmohan S. Raju is the Joseph J. Aresty Professor at the Wharton School and the Chair of the Marketing Department. He is also the Executive Director of the Wharton-Indian School of Business partnership. Before becoming an academic, Professor Raju worked with the Tata Administrative Service and Philips India Ltd.
He has a Ph.D., M.S., M.A. Stanford University; an MBA from IIM, Ahmedabad; and a BTech from IIT Delhi. He was recognized for the best academic performance in his class for each of the two years he studied at IIM Ahmedabad, a merit scholarship at IIT Delhi, and the President’s Gold Medal at Punjab Public School, Nabha.
Professor Raju is the past Marketing Editor of Management Science and the Past President of the INFORMS Society for Marketing Science. His main areas of research include competitive marketing strategy, pricing, retailing, sales promotions, sales force compensation, corporate image advertising, and strategic alliances. He has supervised 12 doctoral dissertations to date. He coordinated the Wharton Marketing Department’s PhD Program. He serves on Wharton’s Academic Personnel Committee, and Globalization Committee.
His research papers have won the John DC Little best paper award (twice), the Frank Bass dissertation paper award (twice) and several other recognitions. He has received several teaching awards, some of which include the George Robbins Teaching Award and Marketing Teacher of the Year while he was at UCLA; Wharton Executive MBA Teaching Awards; Wharton Miller-Sherrerd Core Teaching Award, and the Indian School of Business Teaching Award. Professor Raju teaches the core marketing class and the pricing elective at Wharton.
Professor Z. John Zhang is a Professor of Marketing and Murrel J. Ades Professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Automation and Philosophy of Science from Huazhong University of Science and Technology (China), a Ph.D. in History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania, and also a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan.
Prior to joining Wharton in 2002, John taught pricing and marketing management at the Olin School of Business of Washington University in St. Louis for three years and at Columbia Business School for five years. In the past eight years, John has also taught pricing to over two thousand Chinese executives in Mandarin as part of Wharton’s executive education and other outreach and collaborative programs. He also won the 2003 EMBA Electives Teaching Award for teaching pricing to Wharton EMBAs.
John’s research focuses primarily on competitive pricing strategies, the design of pricing structures, and channel management. He has published many articles in top marketing and management journals on various pricing issues such as measuring consumer reservation prices, price-matching guarantees, couponing, rebates, targeted pricing, access service pricing, choice of price promotion vehicles, channel pricing, price wars, and the pricing implications of combative advertising. In recent years, he has also developed a keen interest in the movie and telecom industries. He has also published a number of articles in Chinese on pricing and retailing issues in China. He currently is collaborating with scholars in many countries to explore various pricing and channel issues in emerging markets and beyond. He won the 2001 John D.C. Little Best Paper Award and the 2001 Frank Bass Best Dissertation Award, along with his co-authors, for his contribution to the understanding of targeted pricing with imperfect targetability.
As part of his service to the marketing community, John serves as Associate Editor for Quantitative Economics and Marketing. He is also an area editor for Marketing Science and Management Science.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I found Chapter 3 on price wars in China, Chapter 4 on thinking small (which has some good points about Bottom of the Pyramid markets and what we can learn from them), Chapter 5 on automatic mark downs, and chapter 9 on pay for performance models especially useful. In chapter 3 on price wars in China there is a nice light explanation of Incremental Break Even Analysis and how it intersects with strategic choices in pricing competition. When reading this section I suggest you pop up your favorite spreadsheet and build the model then run a few scenarios on it to get a feel for its behavior (unless you are one of those rare people who can understand the behavior of an equation just by running it in your own mind). Then apply the model to yourself and your competitors and see what pricing decisions it leads to. The historical treatment of automatic markdowns at Filene's basement (I am writing in this in Cambridge, just across the Charles River from Filenes) and the analysis of buying psychology are also compelling. Pay for performance will be, I believe, one of the most disruptive pricing strategies going forward, and the more different examples one can read the better. I am glad that they included the classic Tom Nagle article "Money-Back Guarantee ... and other ways you never thought to buy your drugs" (the article is available on-line at LeveragePoint). There are useful 'rules of thumb' at the end of this chapter on when pay performance is likely to work. (Other chapters also have this feature, which is a nice feature of the book - the authors give you some guidance on when a particular pricing strategy is likely to work.). On the other hand, although the authors introduce two-sided markets in the chapter on Google, they do not unfold the implications for pricing and pricing strategy. Two-sided markets are likely to eat through traditional markets everywhere they can be applied (see Catalyst Code by David S. Evans; Richard Schmalensee).
This book does not do for B2C pricing what Strategy and Tactics of Pricing (Nagle, Hogan and Zale) does for B2B. It does not have an integrative framework that can help one think through B2C pricing. Sadly, I do not think such a book has been written or such a framework developed. This may be because B2C pricing is very much a part of brand strategy, and any integrative approach to B2C pricing would also have to be a book on branding (and how branding is changing in a social media world). Pricing experts and brand builders are seldom the same people and often do not work well together, but a transformative book on B2C pricing will require input from both sides.
Not only are the concepts in this book essential for domination in the business world, but they can help in any situation. I really urge you to read it. It shows you how to think outside of the box. John Zhang taught how to look at pricing in a different way, and now I approach every situation differently. It's just amazing how much one book can change your outlook on life.
The authors outline nine alternative pricing models including free, "pay as you wish", "pay if it works", and premium pricing. They also cover price wars and various types of discounting. I enjoyed the book because it broadened my horizons in terms of viable pricing models. You won't walk away with any techniques, but if you enjoy pricing stories and insights into pricing strategies you may not have encountered before, it's a good read. The authors give some interesting insights for each of the pricing models that make it engaging. For instance, they give detailed examples of why some restaurants have effectively implemented a "pay as you wish" pricing model. They also go into detail about why pricing wars work in some markets and give an interesting history of discounting methods.
There's not really a conclusion to the book nor does it culminate in a summary; rather, the authors stay true to their initial premise that pricing is an explicit activity, not governed by an "invisible hand of the market." They write that pricing should be informed by business and customer context so each example is a way of getting you to think about what might work for different markets and customer groups.
If you're looking for a professional pricing book that will help you actually set prices, try "The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing" by Thomas T. Nagle and Reed K. Holden. For a less technical treatment of pricing, I'd suggest "The Price Advantage" by Michael V. Varin or "Pricing with Confidence" by Reed K Holden. If you liked "Freakonomics" and are interested in more detail about pricing in the real world, try "Why Popcorn Costs So Much at the Movies" by Richard B. McKenzie.
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