Strategies for Pricing

Explore key pricing strategies to maximize profits, attract your target audience, and maintain a competitive edge. Learn about cost-plus, competitive, value-based pricing, and more.


The Procure 4 Marketing Team

8/27/20244 min read

a woman in a suit and a purse
a woman in a suit and a purse

In today’s post, we’re diving into the various strategies for pricing your products or services. Pricing is a crucial element of your marketing mix, influencing not only your revenue but also how customers perceive your brand. Selecting the right pricing strategy can help you maximize profits, attract your target audience, and maintain a competitive edge. Let’s explore some key pricing strategies and how to apply them effectively.

1. Cost-Plus Pricing

Cost-plus pricing is a straightforward approach where you add a fixed percentage (markup) to the cost of producing your product. This method ensures that all costs are covered and a profit margin is achieved.

Example: If it costs $50 to produce a product and you want a 20% markup, the selling price would be $60.


  • Simple to calculate and implement.

  • Ensures coverage of production costs and profit margin.


  • Doesn’t consider competitor pricing or customer demand.

  • May lead to overpricing or underpricing if costs fluctuate.

2. Competitive Pricing

Competitive pricing involves setting your prices based on what competitors are charging. This strategy is useful in markets where customers frequently compare prices.


  • Lower Pricing: Set prices below competitors to attract price-sensitive customers.

  • Matching Pricing: Align your prices with competitors to avoid price wars.

  • Premium Pricing: Price above competitors to signal superior quality or exclusivity.


  • Keeps your product competitive in the market.

  • Helps you attract customers from competitors.


  • May lead to reduced profit margins if prices are set too low.

  • Can trigger price wars, eroding profitability.

3. Value-Based Pricing

Value-based pricing sets prices based on the perceived value to the customer rather than the cost of production. This strategy focuses on how much customers are willing to pay for the benefits they receive.

Example: Luxury brands often use value-based pricing to reflect the premium nature and exclusivity of their products.


  • Can lead to higher profit margins.

  • Aligns price with customer perceptions of value.


  • Requires deep understanding of customer preferences and perceptions.

  • Can be challenging to quantify perceived value.

4. Penetration Pricing

Penetration pricing involves setting a low initial price to attract customers and gain market share quickly. Once the product gains traction, the price is gradually increased.

Example: New subscription services often offer low introductory rates to attract subscribers.


  • Quickly builds customer base and market presence.

  • Discourages competitors from entering the market.


  • Initial low prices may result in low profit margins.

  • Customers may resist price increases later on.

5. Skimming Pricing

Skimming pricing sets a high initial price for a new or innovative product to maximize profits from early adopters willing to pay a premium. The price is gradually lowered over time.

Example: Technology companies often use skimming pricing for new gadgets and devices.


  • Maximizes revenue from early adopters.

  • Helps recoup development costs quickly.


  • High initial prices may deter price-sensitive customers.

  • Can attract competitors who offer lower-priced alternatives.

6. Dynamic Pricing

Dynamic pricing adjusts prices in real-time based on demand, market conditions, and other factors. This strategy is commonly used in industries like airlines, hospitality, and e-commerce.

Example: Online retailers may adjust prices based on inventory levels and competitor pricing.


  • Maximizes revenue by responding to market demand.

  • Can help manage inventory and optimize sales.


  • May confuse or frustrate customers if prices fluctuate frequently.

  • Requires sophisticated pricing algorithms and data analysis.

7. Psychological Pricing

Psychological pricing leverages human psychology to make prices more attractive to customers. Common techniques include setting prices slightly below a round number (e.g., $9.99 instead of $10) and using tiered pricing to create perceived value.

Example: Retailers often use prices ending in .99 to create the impression of a deal.


  • Increases perceived value and can boost sales.

  • Simple to implement and understand.


  • Can be perceived as manipulative if overused.

  • May not significantly impact all customer segments.

Aligning Pricing Strategies with Business Goals

When choosing a pricing strategy, it’s essential to align it with your overall business goals and market positioning. Here’s how to ensure alignment:

1. Market Penetration

If your goal is to quickly gain market share, penetration pricing might be the best approach. Offering lower prices initially can attract a large customer base and establish your presence in the market.

2. Profit Maximization

For businesses focused on maximizing short-term profits, skimming pricing can be effective. By targeting early adopters with high prices, you can recoup development costs and generate significant revenue.

3. Brand Positioning

Your pricing strategy should reflect your brand positioning. Premium pricing aligns with a luxury brand image, while competitive pricing suits a value-oriented brand. Ensure your pricing communicates the desired brand message to your target audience.

4. Customer Retention

To foster customer loyalty and retention, consider value-based pricing and loyalty programs. Offering personalized pricing based on customer behavior and purchase history can enhance satisfaction and encourage repeat business.

Selecting the right pricing strategy is crucial for achieving your business objectives and maintaining a competitive edge. By understanding the various pricing strategies—cost-plus, competitive, value-based, penetration, skimming, dynamic, and psychological—you can choose the approach that best fits your market conditions, customer preferences, and business goals.

Remember, pricing is not a one-time decision but an ongoing process. Continuously monitor market trends, customer feedback, and competitor actions to refine your pricing strategy and ensure long-term success.

Stay tuned for our next post, where we will explore advanced pricing tactics and their applications in different business scenarios. Happy pricing!