More Thoughts on Professional Pricing Society’s Spring 2010 Conference

May 8, 2010

Posted by Ed Arnold

Posted in Why LeveragePoint?


It’s Saturday morning and heading home after a whirlwind week at the Spring PPS Conference. Thursday evening’s reception was heavily attended and Friday’s morning/early aft sessions were well attended too.  Here are a few nuggets I came away with:

  • Joanne Smith of DuPont gave an excellent presentation Thursday afternoon detailing the journey that DuPont made over the past eight years – making the shift from volume to profit. The theme of “be willing to lose share” was a pratical case study of Tom Nagle’s talk earlier that day. DuPont was able to record 22 straight quarters of price increases (until the last 2 recession quarters). Bottom line: DuPont lost $2B in earnings because of loss volume, but GAINED $19B in earnings because of effective pricing! The best argument for value-based pricing I’ve ever heard.
  • Early yestreday morning Ted Hartnell of Decision Ready gave an interesting presentation on a topic near and dear to my heart – the microbrew industry. Usng the product life cycle as a backdrop he illustrated various types of differentiation and it’s impact on value pricing. Later we discussed this further at the hotel bar – thanks for the beer, Ted!
  • Rafe VanDenBerg from Zilliant gave an excellent talk on scientific methods for segmenting based on customer purchasing behavior. Key insight: willingness to pay can vary not only by customer but on a transaction by transaction level. Example: the demand for cold medicine increased dramatically when the customer is suffering the symptoms of a cold. At LeveragePoint, we refer to these as buying triggers. Makes a whole lot of sense and often overlooked.

No doubt, I missed many other great insights since I didn’t attend several presentations but hoping others can fill the gaps here.

Ed Arnold
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