Cockpit Arts: The Pricing Decision 2: Price and the Market

Ahead of this week’s Cockpit Arts Finance workshop with MyCake on Wedensday, 11th August 2010: Financial Planning for Growth we have some more Top Tips by Ellen O’Hara, Head of Business Development at Cockpit Arts.

There’s no doubt that getting your pricing right is a crucial part of your marketing and business strategy as a designer-maker.

As part of the Pricing Decision series I am looking at three key areas: Cost, Market and Value, as well as how different pricing strategies fit with the overall goals, for your practice and business. 

My last post looked at the relationship between price and cost with cost-plus pricing. This week I will explain how the market affects the pricing decision.

Price and The Market

Market based pricing methods depend on having an accurate picture of what’s going on in your marketplace. For example: Are you selling to craft collectors? The mainstream gift market? Or high end fashion? And what are the current trends in these market sub-sections?

In the larger, mainstream markets, prices will tend to be dervied from two key factors:

  1. What competitors are charging
  2. What customers are willing to pay

Who are your compeitiors and what are they charging?

If you don’t feel there are any direct competitors out there, try and pick out a few other makers or brands that:

  • Are making similar work
  • Are aiming at a similar customer base
  • Who are at a similar stage in their career and have a similar profile

How do your prices compare?  Are you competitive, or potentially over or under pricing yourself?

What are customers willing to pay?

  • Research other companies’ prices online, in stores and in galleries. Pick a broad range of products so that you can compare the going rate for different types of products in your field. For instance as a designer-maker jeweller, you could look at a combination of mass produced high-street designer jewellery and high end fashion jewellery, as well as other makers.
  • Look at the overall price range that other companies offer (minimum and maximum), how different work is priced differently, whether discounts are offered etc. 

Use all of this information together to inform your own pricing decisions.

The Advantages

The advantages of following a market-based approach are that it tends to keep you price competitive in the eyes of your customers, so it’s important to consider who you’d like to be compared with and sit alongside in terms of price.

The Disadvantages

The disadvantages of this method are that the market price may not provide you with the profit margin that you want (and need!). You may actually have a very different business model to the people you are comparing yourself with, who may be able to produce and sell work at very different costs.

New and Unique Work

Your work may be so new and unique that there is no solid market-based price to compare with. So you have be the price setter yourself. If this is the case, it’s likely that your operating at the niche end of your market, where the percieved value of your work bears more influence on price than what others might be producing and charging.  We’ll explore this in more detail next week with The Pricing Decision # 3: Price and Perceived value.

Let us know how you get on by leaving a comment on your experiences in making your own pricing decisions.

See more top-tips on finance from Ellen and other industry experts.

Or check our resources section for a worksheet on Calculating Your Costs and Budgeting.

And if your doing some financial planning this summer, come along to our workshop: Financial Planning for Growth on 11 August.

2 thoughts on “Cockpit Arts: The Pricing Decision 2: Price and the Market

  1. Pingback: Cockpit Arts: The Pricing Decision part 3: Price and Percieved Value | MyCake financial management

  2. Pingback: MyCake’s 3 Top Tips on where to start with your Pricing Strategy | MyCake financial management

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