The Pricing Decision 2: Price and the Market
By Ellen O’Hara, Head of Business Development at Cockpit Arts
There’s no doubt that getting your pricing right is a crucial part of your marketing and business strategy as a designer-maker.
As part of the Pricing Decision series I am looking at three key areas: Cost, Market and Value, as well as how different pricing strategies fit with the overall goals, for your practice and business.
Last week my post looked at the relationship between price and cost with cost-plus pricing. This week I will explain how the market affects the pricing decision.
Price and The Market
Market based pricing methods depend on having an accurate picture of what’s going on in your marketplace. For example: Are you selling to craft collectors? The mainstream gift market? Or high end fashion? And what are the current trends in these market sub-sections?
In the larger, mainstream markets, prices will tend to be dervied from two key factors:
- What competitors are charging
- What customers are willing to pay
Who are your compeitiors and what are they charging?
If you don’t feel there are any direct competitors out there, try and pick out a few other makers or brands that:
- Are making similar work
- Are aiming at a similar customer base
- Who are at a similar stage in their career and have a similar profile
How do your prices compare? Are you competitive, or potentially over or under pricing yourself?
What are customers willing to pay?
- Research other companies’ prices online, in stores and in galleries. Pick a broad range of products so that you can compare the going rate for different types of products in your field. For instance as a designer-maker jeweller, you could look at a combination of mass produced high-street designer jewellery and high end fashion jewellery, as well as other makers.
- Look at the overall price range that other companies offer (minimum and maximum), how different work is priced differently, whether discounts are offered etc.
Use all of this information together to inform your own pricing decisions.
The advantages of following a market-based approach are that it tends to keep you price competitive in the eyes of your customers, so it’s important to consider who you’d like to be compared with and sit alongside in terms of price.
The disadvantages of this method are that the market price may not provide you with the profit margin that you want (and need!). You may actually have a very different business model to the people you are comparing yourself with, who may be able to produce and sell work at very different costs.
New and Unique Work
Your work may be so new and unique that there is no solid market-based price to compare with. So you have to be the price setter yourself. If this is the case, it’s likely that you’re operating at the niche end of your market, where the percieved value of your work bears more influence on price than what others might be producing and charging. We’ll explore this in more detail next week with The Pricing Decision # 3: Price and Perceived value.
Let us know how you get on by leaving a comment on your experiences in making your own pricing decisions.
And if your doing some financial planning this summer, come along to our workshop: Financial Planning for Growth on 11 August.
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Tags: cashflow, Finances, goals, Industry Experts, planning, pricing, sales, top tip, Workshops