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Whither Middlemen?

July 2018 Communication, Corporate

Middlemen make for an easy target for disgruntled customers and observers of the economy. At times it can be unclear how they are adding value to a transaction. Sometimes it looks like middlemen are simply inserting themselves into a transaction to increase costs and take a cut.

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The Cost of Free

April 2018 Pricing, Selling

On the other hand, getting people to open up their wallets and pay for a service, especially if they’ve become accustomed to using it for free, is hard. That’s true for pay-only services and it’s also true of the attempt to split the difference between free and paid: freemium.

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When Price Doesn’t Matter

March 2018 Pricing

If you find yourself in this situation, reducing price can help to clear existing inventory but it will not solve the fundamental problem of lacking a product that people want. Better to preserve what profits you can and invest them into developing a product that addresses a customer need.

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When Shortage Is Strategic

February 2018 Marketing, Product

Shortages can be signals of excitement, quality, even virtue. “Sold out” is a powerful story for the right kind of product. Musk’s goal isn’t optimizing his earnings from flamethrowers. His goal is building excitement and investment around his companies. Selling out a flamethrower, and even a hat, does that in a big way.

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Checking Assumptions

December 2017 Communication, Pricing

Pricing is not only numbers, but strongly psychological and emotional. Certain norms emerge that dictate how products and services are sold in different industries. Customers come to expect those norms, whether or not they are necessarily the most economically efficient.

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About the author

Kyle Thompson-Westra is a Consultant at Wiglaf Pricing. His background includes digital strategy, marketing analytics, and international relations. He holds a BA from Tufts University and an MBA from DePaul University.

Kyle Thompson-Westra
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