The world's foremost expert on pricing strategy shows how this mysterious process works and how to maximize value through pricing to company and customer.
In all walks of life, we constantly make decisions about whether something is worth our money or our time, or try to convince others to part with their money or their time. Price is the place where value and money meet. From the global release of the latest electronic gadget to the bewildering gyrations of oil futures to markdowns at the bargain store, price is the most powerful and pervasive economic force in our day-to-day lives and one of the least understood.
The recipe for successful pricing often sounds like an exotic cocktail, with equal parts psychology, economics, strategy, tools and incentives stirred up together, usually with just enough math to sour the taste. That leads managers to water down the drink with hunches and rules of thumb, or leave out the parts with which they don't feel comfortable. While this makes for a sweeter drink, it often lacks the punch to have an impact on the customer or on the business.
It doesn't have to be that way, though, as Hermann Simon illustrates through dozens of stories collected over four decades in the trenches and behind the scenes. A world-renowned speaker on pricing and a trusted advisor to Fortune 500 executives, Simon's lifelong journey has taken him from rural farmers' markets, to a distinguished academic career, to a long second career as an entrepreneur and management consultant to companies large and small throughout the world. Along the way, he has learned from Nobel Prize winners and leading management gurus, and helped countless managers and executives use pricing as a way to create new markets, grow their businesses and gain a sustained competitive advantage. He also learned some tough personal lessons about value, how people perceive it, and how people profit from it.
In this engaging and practical narrative, Simon leaves nothing out of the pricing cocktail, but still makes it go down smoothly and leaves you wanting to learn more and do more-as a consumer or as a business person. You will never look at pricing the same way again.
About the Author
Hermann Simon is Chairman of Simon-Kucher & Partners Strategy & Marketing Consultants, which has 27 offices in 22 countries. He is the world’s leading authority on pricing. Simon was a professor of business administration and marketing at the Universities of Mainz (1989-1995) and Bielefeld (1979-1989). He was also a visiting professor at Harvard Business School, Stanford, London Business School, INSEAD, Keio University in Tokyo and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He studied economics and business administration at the universities of Bonn and Cologne. He received his diploma (1973) and his doctorate (1976) from the University of Bonn. He has received numerous international awards and honorary doctorates and was voted the most influential management thinker in German-speaking countries after the late Peter Drucker.
Simon founded Simon-Kucher & Partners in 1985 together with two of his doctoral students. After advising the firm for a decade, Hermann left his academic career in 1995 to assume the full-time role as CEO of Simon-Kucher & Partners, where he led the firm’s international expansion. When he left that role in 2009, Simon-Kucher & Partners had become the world’s largest pricing consulting practice, active in all major industries. The firm has consulted with almost 100 members of the Fortune 500, some in decades-long relationships.
Simon has published over 30 books in 26 languages, including the worldwide bestsellers Power Pricing, Manage for Profit, Not for Market Share, Hidden Champions
, and Hidden Champions of the 21st Century
. He has served on the editorial boards of numerous business journals, including the International Journal of Research in Marketing, Management Science, Recherche et Applications en Marketing, Décisions Marketing, European Management Journal
as well as several German journals. Since 1988 he has been a columnist for the business monthly Manager Magazin
. He is also a board member of numerous foundations and corporations.
Praise for Confessions of the Pricing Man "This is the best book I know to open your mind to the practical problems in setting your prices." PHILIP KOTLER, S.C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. "Hermann Simon is 'The Pricing Man' and a giant within our discipline. With more than 40 years of experience in pricing research and practice with companies across the globe and across all major industries, he possesses the know-how to help organizations large, medium-sized, and small to improve their pricing acumen. This book will help you improve your pricing management skills, strategies, and tactics - and it will help your company also." KEVIN MITCHELL, President, The Professional Pricing Society, Inc. "Hermann Simon is a man who can get upset about being offered a 35 percent discount on a new digital camera. His fascination with 'willingness to pay' is infectious. As much as any individual, he is behind the professionalization of pricing in the past couple of decades." WILLIAM POUNDSTONE, Author, Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It)
Chapter 1 My first painful encounters with prices.
Chapter 2 Everything revolves around price.
Chapter 3 The strange psychology of pricing.
Chapter 4 Price positioning: High or Low.
Chapter 5 Prices and profit.
Chapter 6 Prices and decisions.
Chapter 7 Price differentiation: The high art.
Chapter 8 Innovations in pricing.
Chapter 9 Pricing in crises and price wars.
Chapter 10 What the CEO needs to do.