Firms rely on price to cover the cost of production, to pay expenses, and to provide the profit incentive necessary to continue to operate the business. We might think of these factors as helping organizations to: (a) survive, (b) earn a profit, (c) generate sales, (d) secure an adequate share of the market, and (e) gain an appropriate image.
Capsule 20: Review
• Price should be viewed from three perspectives:
• the customer
• the marketer
• Pricing objectives:
• market share
• Survival: It is apparent that most managers wish to pursue strategies that enable their organizations to continue in operation for the long term. So survival is one major objective pursued by most executives. For a commercial firm, the price paid by the buyer generates the firm's revenue. If revenue falls below cost for a long period of time, the firm cannot survive.
• Profit: Survival is closely linked to profitability. Making a USD 500,000 profit during the next year might be a pricing objective for a firm. Anything less will ensure failure. All business enterprises must earn a long-term profit. For many businesses, long-term profitability also allows the business to satisfy their most important constituents–stockholders. Lower-than-expected or no profits will drive down stock prices and may prove disastrous for the company.
• Sales: Just as survival requires a long-term profit for a business enterprise, profit requires sales. As you will recall from earlier in the text, the task of marketing management relates to managing demand. Demand must be managed in order to regulate exchanges or sales. Thus marketing management's aim is to alter sales patterns in some desirable way.
• Market share: If the sales of Safeway Supermarkets in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area of Texas, USA, account for 30 per cent of all food sales in that area, we say that Safeway has a 30 per cent market share. Management of all firms, large and small, are concerned with maintaining an adequate share of the market so that their sales volume will enable the firm to survive and prosper. Again, pricing strategy is one of the tools that is significant in creating and sustaining market share. Prices must be set to attract the appropriate market segment in significant numbers.
• Image: Price policies play an important role in affecting a firm's position of respect and esteem in its community. Price is a highly visible communicator. It must convey the message to the community that the firm offers good value, that it is fair in its dealings with the public, that it is a reliable place to patronize, and that it stands behind its products and services.