How to Price Your Product or Service With Market Research Data
Setting the optimal price for your offering requires balancing multiple factors from costs to competitor pricing to customer willing-to-pay. Robust market research guides pricing strategy.
This guide explores market pricing techniques to determine the ideal price point based on costs, analysis, experiments, and customer feedback. We’ll cover common pricing models, quantitative and qualitative pricing research methodologies, and optimizing pricing over the product lifecycle.
Let’s help you leverage data to price profitably!
Why Pricing Research Matters
Price profoundly impacts purchase decisions. Setting pricing too high risks limited adoption. But pricing too low leaves profits on the table and devalues your brand.
Without data, pricing becomes guesswork. Research minimizes risk by informing strategy based on:
- Customer willingness-to-pay
- Price sensitivity and elasticity
- Competitor benchmarking
- Production, distribution, support costs
- Ideal premiums for product/service tiers
- Reactions to different pricing models like subscriptions vs one-time
- Impact of discounts, bundles, financing options on purchases
- Pricing gaps and opportunities in your industry
Backed with insights, you can maximize revenue while aligning to customers’ reasonable expectations. But failing to validate assumptions with research risks disappointment.
Pricing Research Methodologies and Tactics
Leverage both qualitative feedback and quantitative data through:
Ask target buyers open-ended pricing questions to surface concerns, willingness to pay, reactions to models, etc.
Facilitate product pricing discussions with 6-8 prospects. Observe interactions.
Collect feedback at scale via online surveys. Ask about preferences, acceptable price points, interest in tiers.
Have prospects choose between product/pricing combinations to reveal preferences.
Discrete Choice Modeling
Similar to conjoint, determine preferences based on trade-offs between pricing factors.
Van Westendorp Analysis
Using four questions, identifies acceptable price ranges based on too cheap vs. too expensive thresholds.
Measure price elasticity by offering different groups different pricing randomly for the same product.
A/B or Multivariate Testing
Test alternate pricing on your website and track conversion rates to gauge impact.
Cross-methodology insights build a complete picture guiding strategy. Combine qualitative and quantitative learning.
Common Pricing Models and Strategies
Armed with pricing research learnings, several models exist to maximize value.
Determine fixed and variable costs to produce, distribute and support. Add desired profit margin.
Match competitors’ pricing after confirming positioning and costs support parity.
Establish perceived value with an initial high price, then drop to target regular price appearing discounted.
Price low initially to acquire customers, then increase later once established.
Higher pricing reinforces perception of quality and exclusivity for certain brands/products.
Offer a tiered lineup with clear delineations between entry, mid, and premium offerings.
Discount when multiple related products purchased together. Increase average order value.
Each model serves specific positioning, customer, and competitive contexts. Research indicates which maximizes your value.
Pricing Considerations By Product Lifecycle Stage
Ideal pricing evolves across the product lifecycle:
Price competitively to attract early adopters and build market share. Discounts help penetration.
As popularity and demand increase, consider raising prices gradually. Test for price sensitivity.
Establish clear product tiers. Manage production costs and aim for profit maximization as competition intensifies.
Lower pricing to retain customers as interest falls. Reduce production levels to maintain margins.
Leverage introductory discounts, premium tiers, cost control, and bundled offerings at different lifecycle stages.
Optimizing Pricing Over Time
Once launched, continue refining pricing:
Stay on pulse of customer perceptions and willingness to pay over time through ongoing surveys, interviews, and moderator groups.
Track Sales Data
Analyze price elasticity, order values, and conversion rates by offer. Watch for patterns.
If competitors alter pricing, evaluate matching or maintaining based on your positioning and costs.
Try promotional discounts, financing incentives, or model shifts periodically. Measure impact on metrics.
Address Issues Proactively
If volume drops significantly at a given price point, assess external factors and adjust quickly.
Offer Client Savings
Provide loyalty pricing, upgrades, or subscriptions for VIP clients to maintain relationships long-term.
Pricing optimization never ceases. Consistent research, competitor monitoring, and data analysis ensure you keep earning maximum value.
Notable Product Pricing Failures
While research guides smart pricing, some notable historical mistakes caution against missteps:
- Google Glass – Priced originally at $1,500, it failed to entice mainstream technology consumers vs. early adopters.
- Juicero – The $700 juicer failed by pricing far above competing products providing similar functionality.
- HP TouchPad – HP slashed prices by over 60% just weeks after launch to spur lagging tablet sales, angering early buyers.
- MoviePass – Attempted to gain subscribers through a low $10 per month movie ticket subscription that ultimately proved grossly unprofitable.
- Amazon Fire Phone – Amazon’s smartphone tried to compete on price alone at $199. Mediocre device quality caused failure.
- New Coke – Coca-Cola replaced its classic formula with New Coke without sufficient testing. Mass rejection forced relaunch of “Coca-Cola Classic”.
While pricing missteps happen, thorough data-driven research provides the compass to navigate uncertain markets and set the optimal price.
Key Takeaways for Research-Based Pricing
Here are core lessons for maximizing pricing through testing and data analysis:
- Conduct quantitative and qualitative research through surveys, interviews, focus groups, and experiments.
- Gauge customer willing-to-pay, price sensitivity, reactions to models, feature trade-offs.
- Use techniques like conjoint analysis, A/B testing, and elasticity tracking.
- Factor in competitive pricing and production, distribution, support costs.
- Align pricing strategy to product lifecycle stage based on maturity and demand.
- Continuously monitor sales data, customer sentiment shifts, and competitor behaviors.
- Adjust pricing periodically based on new learnings to optimize revenue.
Getting pricing right means balancing company profit, customer value, positioning, and strategic goals. Market research provides the missing link revealing ideal pricing sweet spots.
While some trial and error persists in pricing, robust data illuminates the path, reducing risk and revealing opportunities to capture greater customer willingness-to-pay.
So commit to treating pricing as an evolving science. Consistent research, testing, and monitoring leads companies prospering from ideal price discovery.
- 1 How to Price Your Product or Service With Market Research Data
- 1.1 Why Pricing Research Matters
- 1.2 Pricing Research Methodologies and Tactics
- 1.3 Common Pricing Models and Strategies
- 1.4 Pricing Considerations By Product Lifecycle Stage
- 1.5 Optimizing Pricing Over Time
- 1.6 Notable Product Pricing Failures
- 1.7 Key Takeaways for Research-Based Pricing