How can anyone possibly write a Pricing
book that has two glaring omissions: (1) it does not distinguish between
Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) pricing, and (2) it
does not talk about price elasticity?
The answer is “very easily”, when you are Mark Stiving and you’ve just published “Impact Pricing”. The book focuses on B2C
examples because, the fact is, that's what readers are most familiar with. But readers
interested in business markets are not disappointed, as Stiving cleverly
illustrates where consumer pricing concepts and strategies apply to business
markets throughout the book.
So why ignore price elasticity, with the
exception of three paragraphs? Stiving’s response is simple and practical:
because he has “never seen a company that
really knows its demand curve” (p69)? And you don’t have to take his word
for it. As Scott McNealy, former
CEO Sun Microsystems, once said: “Pricing [is] confusing for us too. In
the whole history of Sun, we have never known what demand is, what elasticities
are, or what the right prices are for our equipment”
For me, the real highlight of this book is
Chapter 4, which could easily have been titled “An Idiots Guide to Value-Based
Pricing", so clear, concise and well-structured is the chapter (as is the rest
of the book).
It doesn’t matter if you work for a company
that’s small or large, selling goods or selling services, or operates in
business or consumer markets, there is something in this book for you. This is
also, in my opinion, the first book that caters to the needs of the start-up /
entrepreneur community, which makes it THE pricing book for the 21st
With this in mind, it should come to the
surprise of readers that Stiving blogs at the appropriately-named www.PragmaticPricing.com.