Customer Opinion: Most Flexible Pricing Options Reagents & Instruments
|発行||Percepta Associates Inc.||商品コード||293584|
|顧客の見解：最も柔軟な試薬・装置の価格オプション Customer Opinion: Most Flexible Pricing Options Reagents & Instruments|
|出版日: 2013年10月31日||ページ情報: 英文||
We set out to understand, at a top level, which life science suppliers are recognized in the industry for having the most flexible pricing options, for reagents and for instruments. The questions posed to North American, European and Chinese audiences were:
The responses were unprompted and participants simply wrote in an online survey their supplier of choice. The questions were stated in English language for North America and Europe and in Chinese for China.
The questions were posed online to Percepta's global panel of active life science researchers in quarter 2 of 2013. The number of responses collected and analyzed are summarized in the table below.
Over all thirteen suppliers account for 85% of the global citations for most flexible reagent pricing options:
Life Technologies leads the industry in recognition for price flexibility in the reagents category with over a quarter of global citations. Thermo Fisher Scientific and Sigma are the only other suppliers to garner more than 10% of global citations.
On a regional basis the leaders generally mirror the global findings with a few notable exceptions:
Over twelve suppliers account for 85% of the global citations for most flexible instrument pricing options:
Thermo Fisher Scientific enjoys leadership in recognition for price flexibility in the instruments category with over a fifth of global citations. Life Technologies and Bio-Rad are the only other suppliers to garner more than 10% of global citations.
On a regional basis the leaders generally mirror the global findings with a few notable exceptions:
See listing of the 20 instrument suppliers receiving citations for most flexible pricing, by region, in the Appendix
Unprompted researcher opinion on which supplier has the most flexible pricing options provides an interesting snapshot of which companies researchers believe best meet their expectations for price, a key driver, for many customer types in purchase decision making.
Clear variation in opinion across geographical regions provides life science marketing groups with some insight into regional preferences woven together with supplier origins, history and also recent price reductions in a given region.
We believe it is important for readers of this report to stop and consider how to use stated supplier preferences as opposed to derived preference and researcher behavior when it comes to making purchasing decisions. For example, while researchers may state accuracy of their experiments is the most important consideration when making product purchasing decisions, price and brand of the products may weigh in much higher on their actual purchasing decisions. It is important to tease out these key drivers to position products in line with customer expectations. Marketing decisions regarding the product, promotion, place, and price will impact the success or failure of a life science product portfolio and ultimately define the market value of a brand. The different components of the marketing mix must work effectively in concert to create and enhance value to the end-user. Price however, is the only way marketing managers can capture the value they have worked so hard to create with product, promotion, and place.
Value-based pricing is the best way to gauge the price a customer is willing to pay and , when done early in product development, has the added advantage of controlling variable, fixed, and even sunk costs. Value-based pricing forces the marketing manager to evaluate the actual value of a product or service before development or manufacturing begins and thus before incurring much in the way of manufacturing or other costs. After all, the customer will ultimately determine what price they are willing to pay using their own perception of value. If your price is too high sales will lag; too low and manufacturing forecasts may suffer backorders and higher variable cost, and most importantly, revenue will be left on the table. In either case profitability suffers. In the worst case scenario the customer finds little or no value in the product at any price, leaving the supplier with development and manufacturing losses.
Before embarking on a more detailed discussion on value-based pricing for life science products let's take a moment to briefly review how product, promotion, and place ca impact and add to value.
The 3P's that Create Value
Product: The product is the functional nucleus around which we cluster the other three Ps of the marketing mix. Without a product (or service) there is nothing to promote, place, or price. This is the best justification for the high degree of effort put into developing life science products in the first place. Once we have them we strive to keep them alive as long as possible. Assuming the product functions well for a specific bench application, it has an inherent core value. This core value may also be shared by other competing products for the same application.
In the case of line extensions and incremental product improvements, the product development team typically focuses on product differentiation, adding to its core value by incorporating additional features that will deliver incremental benefit to the end-user. Truly novel life science products are by definition highly differentiated. As such they often carry higher value, providing they serve an unmet market need. While features and benefits are staple value drivers, decisions regarding brand, quality, and even packaging also impact the value of the product, service or technology. Every marketer involved in product development has an arsenal of product tactics that should be used to add value.
Promotion: Key features and benefits of any product or service must be made plain to the customer in order to raise the perceived value above the core value. It is here that life science marketing managers tell the story of their product-s added value through tactics, such as print and electronic advertising, prominent website positioning, sales promotions and public relations campaigns. To be effective, all promotional communications should have a consistent, compelling, yet simple competitive message highlighting relevant benefits that resonate with the end-user. It is also important to provide proof statements or data to support any claims. Once you have convinced the customer that there is merit to your claims, it is also critical that that a strong call to action is prominent. When done well, the inherent core value is enhanced, even if only incrementally, over other products for that application.
Place: More value can be added to a product by considering how the customer will actually find and gain access to it. Some products are best simply listed and available for ordering on-line. Alternatively, customers may value the convenience of having commonly used products available in an on-site store room. Making the distribution channel convenient to the customer can add significantly to the perceived value.
After all, we know convenience stores charge more for a quart of milk than supermarkets, not because the milk is better, but because it is more readily at hand.
Capture Value with Value-based Pricing
Few tactics have the impact on the bottom line that value-based pricing can deliver. When all tactics of the marketing mix work together to create value above the product-s core value in the mind of the end-user, the value is recaptured through pricing. But before we act too quickly, we must recognize that pricing has many variables at play. This is true because pricing is not just a function of the price marketing managers set but how the customer, your competitors, and even your own sales managers respond to those prices.
Figure: The perceived value is built with the tactics of the Marketing Mix. The core value is the inherent value of a product for a given application. Incremental performance improvements are communicated through Promotion, thus adding value. Place adds value through improved access or support. Price captures the bulk of the perceived value leaving the buyer an incentive to buy.
Any well-conceived pricing model must trade enough value to the customer for the price paid, or there is simply no incentive to buy.
Hitting the right price point will require a broad knowledge of multiple factors such as, your manufacturing costs, your competitors- manufacturing costs, competitive pricing for similar products, price sensitivity in the segment, price elasticity, and brand equity to name a few. The beauty of value-based pricing is that all of these are addressed in one pricing model.
Conjoint analysis is a quantitative market research method that is based on the fact that realism yields the most credible data. We-ve all participated in surveys with questions like this:
Please rate the importance of the following attributes when considering the purchase of a protein isolation system:
Respondents, particularly in North America, tend to make selections in the 4 to 7 range, ignoring the lower ratings on the scale. As a result, differences between importance ratings for product features are underrepresented and the marketer may learn little about how to improve the product. Furthermore, the question bears little resemblance to how customers make real-world purchasing decisions.
In reality, customers often are forced to make difficult concessions when selecting a product, perhaps sometimes thinking "I-m not happy about it, but I-m willing to pay the higher price as long as I get the level of purity I require." Choice based conjoint analysis is a commonly used market research method that simulates real-world purchasing behavior.
Survey respondents are forced to make buying decisions based on a combination of features, requiring them to make difficult trade-offs as in real life. For example, end-users choose their preferred option from a series of product configurations, each having varying performance levels and prices. For understanding consumer preferences, this is in striking contrast to traditional online surveys, where ratings of product features can often show limited differentiation from feature to feature.
Questions are presented in choice format, requiring participants to make tradeoffs and thus identifying the truly important features (see example below).
Which of the following would you buy?
Besides its ability to measure the importance of product features, preferred performance levels, head-to-head adoption scenarios with competing products, conjoint analysis is also used as a tool to model pricing options.
Perhaps the most useful element of conjoint analysis is model market simulation scenarios that yield purchase likelihoods of the product of interest or share of preference for your hypothetical new product versus existing competitor products at varying price points. Percepta can deliver client-recommended simulations and/or train the client on how to run their own market simulation studies.
While effective for critical product launch decisions, in some cases, such as niche market launches or incremental product improvements, conjoint analysis may prove to be cost prohibitive. Van Westendorp Price Sensitivity Analysis
An alternative approach involves an analysis pioneered in the 1970s by the Dutch economist, Peter van Westendorp, known as the Price Sensitivity Meter. It offers a readily available means to assess price sensitivity for certain products that are already familiar to the end-user. The van Westendorp Price Sensitivity Analysis (PSA) is a powerful method that helps incorporate end-user price perceptions into corporate strategic pricing decisions. The method is based on the assumption that price is a fundamental reflection of value and that customers understand enough about the market landscape to express valid opinions related to acceptable product prices.
The Price Sensitivity Meter relies on a series of simple questions that zero in on the price range that the end-user believes is neither too expensive for the application, nor too inexpensive to have any real value.
The van Westendorp approach relies on the following four price-related questions:
Properly plotting the cumulative frequencies for each question (see chart) helps arrive at an optimal price point and a range of acceptable prices for the product (or service) of interest. In this way, the relative simplicity of the PSA method allows it to be easily incorporated into a standard online survey and drive your pricing strategy. While less exact than a conjoint analysis it can be very useful for some pricing situations, such as pricing incremental product improvements.
As an added benefit, van Westendorp analysis is often less expensive than other pricing research methods, such as conjoint analysis, which require complex design and specialized software for implementation and analyses.
The van Westendorp Price Sensitivity Meter (modified here for simplicity) measures the average price point that is perceived to be neither too expensive or inexpensive. Applies to products with which the customer is familiar.
At Percepta we offer these and other tools and methodologies which can be used to help guide and inform tactical and strategic marketing decisions. The Percepta team has years of practical product development and pricing experience. Our deep understanding of the space means that that you can rely on Percepta to be an extension of your own internal expertise, helping you hone in on the best pricing strategy, at product launch or at various milestones in your product lifecycle.
Citations and Additional Reading: