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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.
 

Intelligent Discounting Can Drive Better Profits

 
Last week, Marka and the FEI tribe discussed the concept of product “cannibalization” and how it should play into a company’s overall product-entry strategy. This week, they discuss how strategic discounting can lead to better profits. Remember, fire = print.

Lucy stood before the FEI tribe one morning at their daily product strategy meeting.

“Today, we’re going to talk about the ‘D’ word,” Lucy said.

“Donut?” Zoot suggested.

“No, no,” Numo said. “It’s obviously ‘danish.’”

“Sounds like you two haven’t had breakfast yet today,” Lucy said. “Actually, the word I’m referring to is ‘discounting.’”

“FEI does not discount,” Org stated definitively. “My grandfather Prometheus didn’t discount, and my father didn’t discount...you get the idea.”

“Are you sure about that?” Numo asked.

“Why, Numo, I’m surprised to hear you of all people being open to a discussion about discounting,” Marka remarked, raising a straw colored eyebrow.

“If the demand for our product is ‘elastic,’ we’ll sell more units and make more money,” Numo explained.

“But our profit percentage per unit sold will be lower,” Org said.

“That’s true,” Numo conceded. “Discounting doesn’t always make sense for FEI, but pricing to the realities of the marketplace should at least be considered. In the right situations, intelligent discounting can lead to better profits as well as revenue growth. Marka, pass the coal please.”

Marka handed Numo the coal, and he began writing on the whiteboard:

Discounting Can Help Keep Competitors Out of an Account


“The cost of losing a highly valued customer is sometimes greater than the cost of the discount required to keep the business,” Numo explained. “If we notice a competitor closing in on one of our valued accounts, we might decide to discount in order to lock the client in and discourage the competitor from getting involved.”

“Why else would we discount?” Org asked.

“That’s a question for next week,” Numo said, raising his eyebrows.

Today’s FIRE! Point
Discounting isn’t always a bad strategy. Pricing to the realities of the marketplace should at least be considered. In the right situations, intelligent discounting can lead to better profits as well as revenue growth.

FIRE! in Action
Bay Chamber Concerts Lowers Prices and Grows Sales


The performing arts company had noticed declining audience numbers as ticket prices rose. So it introduced more low-priced tickets and increased subscription discounts, which resulted in an increase in paid attendance of 17 percent.

Next week: The FEI tribe discusses two more reasons to consider discounting.

 
 

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