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Nine laws of price sensitivity and consumer psychology
In their book, The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing, Thomas Nagle and Reed Holden outline nine laws or factors that influence how a consumer perceives a given price and how price-sensitive s/he is likely to be with respect to different purchase decisions: [3][4] 1. Reference price effect: Buyer’s price sensitivity for a given product increases the higher the product’s price relative to perceived alternatives. Perceived alternatives can vary by buyer segment, by occasion, and other factors. 2. Difficult comparison effect Buyers are less sensitive to the price of a known / more reputable product when they have difficulty comparing it to potential alternatives. 3. Switching costs effect: The higher the product-specific investment a buyer must make to switch suppliers, the less price sensitive that buyer is when choosing between alternatives. 4. Price-quality effect: Buyers are less sensitive to price the more that higher prices signal higher quality. Products for which this effect is particularly relevant include: image products, exclusive products, and products with minimal cues for quality. 5. Expenditure effect: Buyers are more price sensitive when the expense accounts for a large percentage of buyers’ available income or budget. 6. End-benefit effect: The effect refers to the relationship a given purchase has to a larger overall benefit, and is divided into two parts: Derived demand: The more sensitive buyers are to the price of the end benefit, the more sensitive they will be to the prices of those products that contribute to that benefit. Price proportion cost: The price proportion cost refers to the percent of the total cost of the end benefit accounted for by a given component that helps to produce the end benefit (e.g., think CPU and PCs). The smaller the given components share of the total cost of the end benefit, the less sensitive...
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