quarta-feira, agosto 29, 2012

Aumentar preços (parte IV)

Andreas Hinterhuber em "Towards value-based pricing—An integrative framework for decision making" ajuda-nos a fechar esta série.
Como eu suspeitava, o pricing é uma variável esquecida pelas empresas:
"Pricing has largely been neglected by managers. Despite all laments of intensified price competition and the perceived difficulty of raising prices, empirical research by McKinsey & Company has shown that less than 15% of companies do any systematic research on pricing."
Voltando ao tema da Parte III, Hinterhuber apresenta os seus números acerca da relação entre preço, custos e lucro:
"Impact of price on profitability is high. Finally, the impact of even small increases in price on profitability by far exceeds the impact of other levers of operational management, as shown in:

A 5% increase in average selling price increases earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) by 22% on average, compared with the increase of 12% and 10% for a corresponding increase in turnover and reduction in costs of goods sold, respectively.
Given the high impact of pricing on profitability, why has the subject attracted so little interest in management practice?"
E Hinterhuber propõe uma resposta que põe o dedo na ferida:
"According to the author’s experience, managers seem to have fallen victim to two erroneous beliefs. First, managers seem to believe that there is nowhere else conflict is so strong as in the field of pricing. The dominant assumption is that what is gained by the firm is lost by the customer and vice versa, and that pricing is, in the end, a zero-sum game (Moi ici: Algo que ilustra bem o pensamento associado ao ambiente industrial de produção massificada que reinou e simboliza o século XX). Second, managers generally do not seem to believe in their ability to significantly influence their industry’s pricing structure. A common managerial lament is the following: ‘‘In our industry, prices are mostly dictated by the market. Therefore, we focus on costs and volumes.’’ (Moi ici: Este é o grande cancro! A incapacidade para largar o século XX e entrar na heterogeneidade, no século XXI, em Mongo, na Terra dos Weirdos, na diferenciação, no gourmet genuíno, nas delicatessen autênticas... agrilhoados à eficiência, aos volumes e aos custos)" 
Será que os clientes, mesmo os compradores industriais, só pensam no preço?
"Are customers really as price sensitive as commonly believed?
They found that purchasing managers ranked product attributes as the most important criteria, then service attributes, and finally, price as the least important criterion. Sales managers, by contrast, ranked price much higher in what they perceived to be the most important purchasing criteria of their customers, indicating how weak their understanding of the critical purchasing criteria of their customers was."
Mas chega de conversa, que acções Hinterhuber recomenda para subir os preços?
"Increase the value of the product’s perceived substitutes (substitution effect).
In stores where generic (no-name versions of off-patent products) and branded products are placed side by side for easy comparison, sales of low-priced products are usually much greater." (Moi ici: Voltar ao arranque da Parte II. Por isso é que as empresas portuguesas têm de se colocar nas mesmas prateleiras onde estão os produtos Made in West Europe e não naquelas onde fazem companhia aos Made in Asia)
"Emphasize the product’s unique value (unique value effect). Buyers are less sensitive to a product’s price the more they value any unique attributes that differentiate the product from competing products.
The goal is to offer something ‘‘unique,’’ a differentiation that customers will pay for despite the existence of lower priced alternatives." (Moi ici: Diferenciação, autenticidade, individualidade, novidade, tradição, ... arte em vez de "plástico")
"Create switching costs between products (switching cost effect). Buyers are less sensitive to the price of a product the greater the added cost (both monetary and nonmonetary) of switching suppliers. The greater the product-specific investments that a buyer must make to switch suppliers, the less price sensitive a buyer is when choosing between alternatives." (Moi ici: Por isso, apostar na customização, apostar na individualização das relações com os clientes, fugir da normalização, derrubar as barreiras entre a empresa e o cliente)
"Render comparisons between products difficult and impossible (difficult comparison effect). Buyers are less sensitive to the price of a known reputable supplier when they have difficulties comparing alternatives.
All efforts of product differentiation can be interpreted as measures to render comparisons between brands as difficult. The capacity to create a differentiated product is confined by the limits of imagination. (Moi ici: Recordar os pincéis, a pintura, a arte. Ao contrário dos custos no denominador, a imaginação no numerador, não tem limites) Even producers of commodities differentiate themselves by the amount, the extent, and the speed of service they provide to customers." (Moi ici: Fugir da padronização, dos produtos maduros, dos RFP fechados, dos "eu também")
"Increase prices (price–quality effect). Buyers are less sensitive to a product’s price to the extent that a higher price signals better quality.
For products perceived to be superior along a critical performance dimension, this effect strongly suggests the opportunity of building a brand name. It is impossible and damaging to a company’s credibility to build a brand with an inferior product. If, however, the product is superior in some important way, a brand name creates value for customers. Similar to insurance, it offers a guarantee for consistent reliability and performance. Higher prices for brands versus no-name competitors add value for both the customer and the company." (Moi ici: Apostar em desempenho e em marca. Não uma coisa oca, mas algo sustentado)
"Relate the product to an important end-benefit (end benefit effect). Customers are less price sensitive whenever the purchase price accounts for a smaller share of the total cost of the end-benefit. (Moi ici: Não são as especificações, não são os atributos, são as experiências, são os resultados na vida dos clientes)
"Be fair (or, at least, create the impression of being so)."

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