Product pricing is a major and vital focus of market research. The idea is not to find what consumers like, but to establish what they are willing to pay for any given product or service. Then researchers use that information to establish a price tag that is ideal for maximizing the profit for that product or service. There are four primary methods researchers use to establish this ideal price tag: Conjoint Analysis, the Brand-Price Trade-Off, the Gabor-Granger technique, and the Van Westendorp Price Sensitivity Monitor.
What consumers are willing to pay is not the only consideration in pricing strategy. The market you are in and the cost of production are also important considerations in establishing optimum prices. Some items, like cars and computers, lose value almost the minute they are made. And you do not want to charge $10.00 for something that costs you $25.00 to make and market. Price models and market models are a part of pricing research that are used to estimate prime demand points and the responses of competitors in your market. All these things and more need to be considered when deciding what pricing strategy to use.
The Gabor-Granger technique, also known as immediate pricing, is a survey-based system. Customers are asked if they would purchase a certain product at a specific price. They are asked this question with a variety of different prices. From the results of this survey, the perfect price for each person can be established and then the best average price can be estimated from all the responses. On the plus side, this techniques gives you a quick answer. On the other hand, it may not be especially accurate because people may not give a truthful answer about how much they would be willing to pay for the product. The other drawback is that this approach only asks about a specific isolated product – if consumers are faced with the same, or a similar, product for a lower price, they would likely purchase the less expensive item.
The van Westendorp Price Sensitivity Monitor is also survey-based but, it asks more questions that are more specifically aimed. Rather than one question, as the Gabor-Granger technique, it asks four questions: at what price is it a bargain; at what price is the product becoming too expensive; at what price would you start questioning the quality of the product; and at what price is the product way too expensive to think about buying it.
While it may not seem like a big difference – one question versus four – the four questions of the van Westendorp approach offer more detailed information, making it easier to establish a full range of prices for a specific product. That extra information can then be used to address variation in competitors’ prices as well as variation in individual customer responses.
No matter which specific technique, or combination of them, that you decide to use, there is a quantity of good information you can use to establish the best success for your product or service.