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Christie’s Jussi Pylkkanen and superauctions
NOVEMBER 10, 2015 | FT | John Gapper.

....Of all his crafty sales tactics, the one used to greatest effect by Christie’s 52-year-old global president — the auctioneer on top of the wave of wealth in the world’s art market — is the query: “Are you sure?” He asks it as one of the last two bidders in an auction drops out, threatening to finish it. As he halts the action for a few seconds — what he calls “the auctioneer’s pause” — pressure builds on the reluctant bidder.

'Are you sure, sir?'

Auctions are unusual in the 21st century - most things, even luxury items such as watches and clothes, sell at fixed prices although there is some room to haggle. Even many items on eBay, the electronic platform, are sold at fixed prices. In The Dynamics of Auction , Christian Heath, a professor of work at King's College, London, describes them as "a somewhat anachronistic method of selling goods, more common perhaps to traditional agrarian societies than post-industrial capitalism."

They are still used for art because every painting is different and has no intrinsic value - it does not yield anything and the cost of manufacture is usually tiny. They are also a good way to get high prices - when buyers compete against a deadline, they behave differently. The desire not only to acquire it but to beat others causes what Deepak Malhotra, a Harvard professor, terms the "emotional arousal" of auctions.

"We know that the Modigliani [being sold on Monday] is the artist's greatest work," says Pylkkanen, never short of an extravagant compliment for his inventory. "We know that it was painted in 1917. We know that it is being sold 100 years later, and that nobody in their lifetime has had an opportunity to buy it on the open market. We're all individuals and when we get a chance, it's like, 'That's the one. I've got to go [for it].' "

The task of the auction house is to gather as many people as possible - especially wealthy people - in a saleroom, or on the end of a phone line to the room, and to create the atmosphere for such moments to occur. The auctioneer must be charming, relaxed, and pleasantly ruthless. "You need poise, control and an element of openness because you're inviting people to this thing. You're making them compete without pushing too hard."
art  art_market  auctions  books  Christie’s  collectors  collectibles  high_net_worth  intrinsic_value  Jussi_Pylkkanen  power_of_the_pause  pricing  sales_tactics 
may 2018 by jerryking
Big brands lose pricing power in battle for consumers
Save to myFT
Anna Nicolaou in New York and Scheherazade Daneshkhu in London 2 HOURS AGO

The product manufacturers are being squeezed by the big retailers — notably, Amazon and Walmart, which together sell $600bn worth of goods a year. Walmart has long put pressure on suppliers to cut prices. Amazon’s rise has exacerbated the “deflationary impact”, Société Générale says, creating a “much tougher environment in the US”. After Amazon bought Whole Foods in June, the price war grew more intense in groceries, pushing prices to historic lows that punished producers. 

Brand loyalty has suffered in the process. Equipped with the tools to compare prices online instantly, and bombarded with more choices, shoppers are growing more likely to opt for cheaper and discounted products — particularly in categories such laundry detergent and shampoo. To keep their spots on store shelves, brands are having to accept lower prices......Former Amazon employees say the company’s algorithms scan prices across competitors in real time, automatically adjusting its own so it can offer the lowest price. While most big brands have wholesale agreements with Amazon, third-party sellers are prolific on the site, complicating price control further. A 34oz bottle of P&G’s Pantene Pro-V Shampoo & Conditioner was listed by 10 different sellers — nine of them third parties — on the shopping site.

Amazon’s dominance makes it difficult for brands to abandon the platform, or try to sell directly on their own websites. “You have 200m customers on Amazon. If you walk away, there’s 200m people who are going to just buy from your competitors,” says James Thomson, a former Amazon manager who consults brands. “You’re probably not going to win.”

“This is a pretty dire situation,” he adds. “If brands are worried about meeting quarterly targets, they can’t afford to lose Amazon sales.”

Still, “the retailers have nothing to gain by pushing [consumer products makers] into bankruptcy”,
......Consumer goods companies have responded to the pricing pressures by aggressively cutting costs, led by the “zero-based budgeting” model of 3G Capital,
large_companies  Fortune_500  brands  CPG  pricing  price_wars  shareholder_activism  Amazon  P&G  Nestlé  win_backs  price-cutting  Nelson_Peltz  shifting_tastes  Colgate-Palmolive  upstarts  Unilever  zero-based_budgeting  3G_Capital  e-commerce  Mondelez  Big_Food 
february 2018 by jerryking
Best Buy’s Secrets for Thriving in the Amazon Age
SEPT. 18, 2017 | The New York Times | By KEVIN ROOSE.

Here are the keys to Best Buy’s turnaround, according to Mr. Joly:

1. Price, price, price

The most worrisome trend in big-box retail was “showrooming” .....To combat showrooming and persuade customers to complete their purchases at Best Buy, Mr. Joly announced a price-matching guarantee....Price-matching costs Best Buy real money, but it also gives customers a reason to stay in the store, and avoids handing business to competitors.

2. Focus on humans

Mr. Joly also realized that if Best Buy was going to compete with Amazon, which has spent billions building a speedy delivery system and plans to use drones to become even more efficient, it needed to get better at things that robots can’t do well — namely, customer service & customer experience....Best Buy fixed its internal product search engine. It also restored a much-loved employee discount that had been suspended and embarked on an ambitious program to retrain its employees so they could answer questions about entirely new categories of electronics, such as virtual reality headsets and smart home appliances.....Customers had always loved Best Buy’s Geek Squad.....sometimes, people needed help before they bought big and expensive gadgets. So it started an adviser program that allows customers to get free in-home consultations about what product they should buy, and how it should be installed....a pilot program last year, the service is now being rolled out nationwide.

3. Turn brick-and-mortar into showcase-and-ship

Best Buy’s online ordering system was completely divorced from its stores. If a customer placed an order on the website, it would ship from a central warehouse. If that warehouse didn’t have the item in stock, the customer was out of luck.....Mr. Joly realized that with some minor changes, each of Best Buy’s 1,000-plus big-box stores could ship packages to customers, serving as a mini warehouse for its surrounding area. Now, when a customer orders a product on Best Buy’s website, the item is sent from the location that can deliver it the fastest — a store down the street, perhaps, or a warehouse five states away. It was a small, subtle change, but it allowed Best Buy to improve its shipping times, and made immediate gratification possible for customers. Now, roughly 40 % of Best Buy’s online orders are either shipped or picked up from a store.

Best Buy also struck deals with large electronics companies like Samsung, Apple and Microsoft to feature their products in branded areas within the store. Now, rather than jamming these companies’ products next to one another on shelves, Best Buy allows them to set up their own dedicated kiosks. (Apple’s area inside a Best Buy, for example, has the same sleek wooden tables and minimalist design as an Apple Store.) It’s a concept borrowed from department stores, and it’s created a lucrative new revenue stream. Even Amazon has set up kiosks in Best Buy stores to show off its voice-activated Alexa gadgets.

4. Cut costs quietly

Almost every business turnaround plan includes cutting costs. Best Buy has used the scalpel as quietly as possible, gradually letting leases expire for unprofitable stores and consolidating its overseas divisions, trimming a layer of middle managers in 2014, and reassigned roughly 400 Geek Squad employees within the company. No public rounds of layoffs, which can crater employee morale and create a sinking-ship vibe.

Best Buy has also found more creative penny-pinching methods. Once, the company noticed that an unusually high number of flat-screen TVs were being dropped in its warehouses. It revamped the handling process, reducing the number of times TVs were picked up by a clamp lift and adding new carts to prevent TV boxes from falling over. The changes resulted in less broken inventory and bigger profits.

5. Get lucky, stay humble and don’t tempt fate

It’s lucky that the products it specializes in selling, like big-screen TVs and high-end audio equipment, are big-ticket items that many customers still feel uncomfortable buying sight unseen from a website. It’s lucky that several large competitors have gone out of business, shrinking its list of rivals. And it’s lucky that the vendors who make the products it sells, like Apple and Samsung, have kept churning out expensive blockbuster gadgets.

“They’re at the mercy of the product cycles,” said Stephen Baker, a tech industry analyst at NPD Group. “If people stop buying PCs or they don’t care about big-screen TVs anymore, they have a challenge.”

Mr. Joly knows that despite Best Buy’s recent momentum, it’s not out of the woods yet. To succeed over the long term, it will need to do more than cut costs and match prices. Walmart, another big-box behemoth, is investing billions of dollars in a digital expansion with the acquisition of e-commerce companies like Jet and Bonobos, and could prove to be a fierce rival. Amazon has been expanding into brick-and-mortar retail with its acquisition of Whole Foods, and is moving into Best Buy’s home installation and services market....
“Once you’ve had a near-death experience,” he said, “arrogance, if you had it in your bones, has disappeared forever.”
penny-pinching  Amazon  Best_Buy  big-box  CEOs  turnarounds  pilot_programs  nationwide  brands  kiosks  cost-cutting  luck  Wal-Mart  Jet  Bonobos  pricing  showrooming  price-matching  customer_service  search_engines  in-home  BOPIS  Samsung  Apple  Microsoft  store_within_a_store  consumer_electronics  product_cycles  customer_experience  contra-Amazon 
september 2017 by jerryking
The New Innovator’s Dilemma: When Customers Won’t Pay for Better - WSJ
Aug. 15, 2017 | WSJ | By Denise Roland.

As the turmoil at Novo Nordisk shows, there are commercial limits to innovation. Nokia Corp. and BlackBerry Ltd. both lost their market dominance in smartphones because competitors beat them with major technological advances. Both firms are in the process of reinventing themselves.

In other cases, though, innovation has hit a wall. That is especially the case in some pockets of the pharmaceuticals business, where the scope for big improvements is narrowing.
CDC  Novo_Nordisk  innovation  pricing  marketing  strategy  insulin  diabetes  Denmark  Danish  pharmaceutical_industry  pharmacy-benefit_management 
august 2017 by jerryking
The High Cost of Raising Prices - WSJ
By Andy Kessler
July 30, 2017

The more prices rise, the more customers bolt. It’s like running up a down escalator and never getting to the top. With the stock market hitting highs just about every day, investors need to be wary of companies that raise prices to make their numbers. These stocks make for spectacular sell-offs on even the slightest earnings miss......I had a friend who worked at General Electric for decades. He told me that in strategy sessions with his management, Jack Welch would constantly berate them, saying, “Any idiot can raise prices.” Except he used a stronger word than idiot to coax them into squeezing out costs, adding features, improving services and generally delighting customers. Contrast this with Berkshire Hathaway . Vice Chairman Charlie Munger found that with See’s Candies “we could raise prices 10% a year and no one cared. Learning that changed Berkshire.” .........There’s a long list of price bumpers. Walk down any supermarket aisle. Kellogg’s prices constantly snap, crackle and mostly pop. Procter & Gamble toothpaste sizes shrink faster than my cavity count, always less for the same price. Now private-equity firms are circling P&G. Same for Nestlé . Expect rising beer and liquor prices soon....Empires are lost on rising prices. Until recently, rather than innovate in mobile or cloud computing, Microsoft kept raising the price of its Windows operating system to computer manufacturers. Tablets and phones ate their lunch. Fees rose at eBay until Amazon took its growth away. .........Increasing prices attracts others to attack your market. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos warns: “Your margin is my opportunity.”....Competition solves much of this problem. Investors love protected businesses, but eventually relentless price increases kill them all. Consumers are the kangaroo at the bar in the old cartoon: The bartender says, “Say, we don’t get a lot of kangaroos in here.” The kangaroo replies, “No, and with these prices, I can see why!” Call me a kangaroo, but I prefer to invest in companies that lower prices and offer more.
Andy_Kessler  pricing  price_hikes  drawbacks  margins  Charlie_Munger  CPG  shareholder_activism  P&G  Nestlé  Kellogg  Jack_Welch  GE  large_companies  cost-cutting  Amazon  Jeff_Bezos  staying_hungry  delighting_customers  high-cost 
july 2017 by jerryking
Art market ripe for disruption by algorithms
MAY 26, 2017 | Financial Times | by John Dizard.

Art consultants and dealers are convinced that theirs is a high-touch, rather than a high-tech business, and they have arcane skills that are difficult, if not impossible, to replicate..... better-informed collectors [are musing about] how to compress those transaction costs and get that price discovery done more efficiently.....The art world already has transaction databases and competing price indices. The databases tend to be incomplete, since a high proportion of fine art objects are sold privately rather than at public auctions. The price indices also have their issues, given the (arguably) unique nature of the objects being traded. Sotheby’s Mei Moses index attempts to get around that by compiling repeat-sales data, which, given the slow turnover of particular works of art, is challenging.....Other indices, or value estimations, are based on hedonic regression, which is less amusing than it sounds. It is a form of linear regression used, in this case, to determine the weight of different components in the pricing of a work of art, such as the artist’s name, the work’s size, the year of creation and so on. Those weights in turn are used to create time-series data to describe “the art market”. It is better than nothing, but not quite enough to replace the auctioneers and dealers.....the algos are already on the hunt....people are watching the auctions and art fairs and doing empirics....gathering data at a very micro level, looking for patterns, just to gather information on the process.....the art world and its auction markets are increasingly intriguing to applied mathematicians and computer scientists. Recognising, let alone analysing, a work of art is a conceptually and computationally challenging problem. But computing power is very cheap now, which makes it easier to try new methods.....Computer scientists have been scanning, or “crawling”, published art catalogues and art reviews to create semantic data for art works based on natural-language descriptions. As one 2015 Polish paper says, “well-structured data may pave the way towards usage of methods from graph theory, topic labelling, or even employment of machine learning”.

Machine-learning techniques, such as software programs for deep recurrent neural networks, have already been used to analyse and predict other auction processes.
algorithms  disruption  art  art_finance  auctions  collectors  linear_regression  data_scientists  machine_learning  Sotheby’s  high-touch  pricing  quantitative  analytics  arcane_knowledge  art_market 
june 2017 by jerryking
The High-Speed Trading Behind Your Amazon Purchase - WSJ
By CHRISTOPHER MIMS
Updated March 27, 2017

Beneath the placid surface of product pages lies an unseen world of bots, algorithms, flash crashes and fierce competition......Just beneath the placid surface of a typical product page on Amazon lies an unseen world, a system where third-party vendors can sell products alongside Amazon’s own goods. It’s like a stock market, complete with day traders, code-slinging quants, artificial-intelligence algorithms and, yes, flash crashes.

Amazon gave people and companies the ability to sell on Amazon.com in 2000, and it has since grown into a juggernaut, representing 49% of the goods Amazon ships. Amazon doesn’t break out numbers for the portion of its business driven by independent sellers, but that translates to tens of billions in revenue a year. Out of more than 2 million registered sellers, 100,000 each sold more than $100,000 in goods in the past year....It’s clear, after talking to sellers and the software companies that empower them, that the biggest of these vendors are growing into sophisticated retailers in their own right. The top few hundred use pricing algorithms to battle with one another for the coveted “Buy Box,” which designates the default seller of an item. It’s the Amazon equivalent of a No. 1 ranking on Google search, and a tremendous driver of sales.
fulfillment  Amazon  pricing  back-office  third-party  bots  algorithms  flash_crashes  competition  retailers  e-commerce  product_category  private_labels  stockmarkets  eBay  Wal-Mart  Jet  Christopher_Mims 
march 2017 by jerryking
Canada beware: We are suffering a great depression in commodity prices - The Globe and Mail
MICHAEL BLISS
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jan. 15, 2016

The Great Depression of the 1930s used to be understood as a worldwide structural crisis that was partly an adjustment to the great expansion of crop acreage and other primary industries undertaken to meet the demands of the First World War. Unfortunately the history of those years now tends to be viewed through the distorting lenses of economists fixated on monetary policy and financial crisis management.

They thought that the crisis of 2008 might become a replay of the 1930s. For the most part they have not realized that it is today’s global depression in commodity prices that has eerie echoes of the great crack-up. If it’s true that we have overexpanded our productive capacity to meet the demands of Chinese growth, and if that growth is now going to slow, or even cease, then history is worrisomely on the verge of repeating itself....One sign of the beginning of wisdom is to be able to shed illusions. Make no mistake. Right now, the world is experiencing a great depression in commodity prices, led by the collapse of oil, that represents an enormous shrinkage in the valuation of our wealth. As a country whose wealth is still highly dependent on the returns we can get from selling our natural resources, Canada is very vulnerable. In a time of price depression, our wealth bleeds away.
'30s  adjustments  commodities  commodities_supercycle  economic_downturn  Great_Depression  historians  history  illusions  Michael_Bliss  natural_resources  overcapacity  pricing  overexpansion  slow_growth  wisdom  WWI 
january 2016 by jerryking
Price of fresh produce to soar while loonie plunges - The Globe and Mail
ALEKSANDRA SAGAN
TORONTO — The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016
fresh_produce  pricing  OPMA 
january 2016 by jerryking
TTC chair looks to boost parking revenue - The Globe and Mail
OLIVER MOORE - URBAN TRANSPORTATION REPORTER
TORONTO — The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015
TTC  pricing  parking 
november 2015 by jerryking
The Price of Bad Pricing - NYTimes.com
By Jay Goltz
July 6, 2011

pricing is more complicated. You may say you want to offer the best price. But what does that mean? The lowest price for the customer? The price that will provide the best value for the customer? The price that will result in the highest profit for your company? The price that will result in the most sales for your company?

It can get even more complicated. To figure out the relationship between the price you charge and the profitability that results, you have to do some cost accounting. For instance, if you are manufacturing a product, you have to take into consideration reject rates, machine maintenance, insurance, rent, utilities and inventory carrying costs, just to name a few expenses. Maybe you own an auto parts store that specializes in carrying parts for older cars. You pride yourself on having the alternator for almost every car built since 1960. Surely that would suggest that you could charge a premium. But how much? What is the carrying cost of your huge inventory?
small_business  pricing  running_a_business 
november 2014 by jerryking
The Risks of Cheap Water - NYTimes.com
OCTOBER 14, 2014 | NYT | Eduardo Porter.

the proliferation of limits on water use will not solve the problem because regulations do nothing to address the main driver of the nation’s wanton consumption of water: its price.

“Most water problems are readily addressed with innovation,” said David G. Victor of the University of California, San Diego. “Getting the water price right to signal scarcity is crucially important.”... markets and prices are an indispensable part of the tool kit to combat scarcity....The signals today are way off. Water is far too cheap across most American cities and towns. ...Adding to the challenges are the obstacles placed in the way of water trading.
California  droughts  water  scarcity  pricing  signals 
october 2014 by jerryking
Wal-Mart targets rivals with price cuts - The Globe and Mail
MARINA STRAUSS - RETAILING REPORTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Aug. 14 2014
Marina_Strauss  retailers  Wal-Mart  pricing  price-cutting 
august 2014 by jerryking
Amazon Absorbing Price Fight Punches - NYTimes.com
JUNE 1, 2014 | NYT | David Carr.

Hachette Book Group, one of the big Manhattan publishers, has taken on Amazon in a bitter dispute over pricing. Hachette is suffering big losses because Amazon is delaying delivery of Hachette titles while also eliminating discounts. (Its authors are getting clobbered in the process.) Amazon is taking a reputational hit for not putting its customers first, which has long been its guiding philosophy.
David_Carr  Amazon  books  publishing  Hachette  pricing  contra-Amazon 
june 2014 by jerryking
The high cost of low food prices - The Globe and Mail
Sylvain Charlebois

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Monday, Jan. 06 2014
food  pricing  retailers  consolidation  Loblaws  Wal-Mart  Sylvain_Charlebois  high-cost 
january 2014 by jerryking
The Heat Is On for Farmers - WSJ.com
Nov. 20, 2013 | WSJ | By Neena Rai.

Ongoing extreme weather shocks are threatening global food security: Agricultural harvests are now more prone to drastic variations in size, making food prices increasingly volatile...The sharp increase in 2013 cereal production is due to a rebound in the U.S. corn crop and record wheat harvests in countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States. World rice production in 2013 is also expected to grow.

Global cereal stocks are thus anticipated to increase 13% this year to 564 million metric tons. Wheat and rice stocks are projected to rise, by 7% and 3% respectively, said the FAO...."In the last decade, food prices have been highly erratic and we have never seen such instability before," says Bruce Campbell, director of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security. "There are a number of causes, but an important one relates to the weather, where drought or heat hits a major food-producing region of the world. "I think the extremes we have seen in the last few years are here to stay," he warns.... Raju Agarwal, executive director of OneProsper International, an Ottawa-based charity, which distributes drip-irrigation kits to Indian farmers.....While boosting crop production and improving access to food are key to ensuring global food security, in developed nations a more efficient use of available food could also help to feed the hungry. Even small, easy acts by consumers and retailers could dramatically cut the 1.3 billion metric tons of food wasted each year world-wide, the U.N. has said. It claims approximately one-third of all food produced, worth around $1 trillion, is wasted or lost in the food production process.
farming  agriculture  climate_change  grains  cereals  weather  volatility  instability  pricing 
november 2013 by jerryking
Boss Talk: A New Test for Panera's Pay-What-You-Can - WSJ.com
June 4, 2013 | WSJ | By ANNIE GASPARRO.

A New Test for Panera's Pay-What-You-Can

WSJ: How has the competitive landscape changed in the fast-casual area?
Mr. Shaich: We were clearly the first people out there in the space. For at least five years, in the mid '90s, my stock was flat. I couldn't get anybody to see a place that existed between fast food and fine dining.

Basically, fast casual is us, Chipotle and Starbucks . Probably between the three of us, we represent 95% of the sales that are considered fast casual.
Panera  fast-casual  CEOs  restaurants  loyalty_management  pricing  competitive_landscape  baked_goods 
august 2013 by jerryking
What’s an Idea Worth? - NYTimes.com
By ADAM DAVIDSON
Published: July 29, 2013 (think about this for WaudWare)

Companies like G.E., Nike and Apple learned early on that the real money was in the creative ideas that can transform simple physical products far beyond their generic or commodity value....we have no idea how to measure the financial value of ideas and the people who come up with them.
fees_&_commissions  invoicing  intangibles  billing  transformational  GE  Nike  Apple  fees  goodwill  professional_service_firms  branding  metrics  time-management  productivity  knowledge_economy  creativity  pricing  value_creation  ideas 
august 2013 by jerryking
No to Keystone. Yes to Crazy. - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: March 9, 2013

If Keystone gets approved, environmentalists should have a long shopping list ready, starting with a price signal that discourages the use of carbon-intensive fuels in favor of low-carbon energy. Nothing would do more to clean our air, drive clean-tech innovation, weaken petro-dictators and reduce the deficit than a carbon tax.... Finally, the president could make up for Keystone by introducing into the public discourse the concept of “natural infrastructure,” argues Mark Tercek, the president and chief executive of The Nature Conservancy, and the co-author of “Nature’s Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature.”

“Forests, wetlands and other ecosystems are nature’s infrastructure for controlling floods, supplying water, and doing other things we need to adapt to climate change.
Tom_Friedman  climate_change  books  nature  hydraulic_fracturing  petro-dictators  petro-politics  natural_gas  Keystone_XL  pricing  carbon_tax  public_discourse  natural_infrastructure 
march 2013 by jerryking
U.S. Crop Tour Draws Global Crowd - WSJ.com
August 26, 2012| | By IAN BERRY and OWEN FLETCHER
U.S. Crop Tour Draws Global Crowd
Increased Foreign Participation Reflects Price Volatility, International Demand.... the four-day Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, which took place last week, and similar excursions by the increasingly high stakes of agricultural commodities and the chance to gain intelligence that could give them an edge on competitors.

The increased foreign participation in the crop tours comes amid higher volatility in corn, wheat and soybean futures markets in recent years and the heightened globalization of agriculture. The U.S. farm boom stems in part from the expansion of the middle class in China, which has led to increased meat consumption, fueling more demand for grains and soybeans to feed livestock.
commodities  food_crops  pricing  volatility  slight_edge  agriculture  futures_markets  high-stakes  market_intelligence 
january 2013 by jerryking
As Natural-Gas Bills Rise, Landlords Face a Choice - WSJ.com
March 12, 2003 | WSJ | By RAY A. SMITH | Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.
natural_gas  volatility  energy  pricing 
january 2013 by jerryking
Food in 2013: Pay more, waste less - The Globe and Mail
SYLVAIN CHARLEBOIS

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Monday, Dec. 31 2012,
food  pricing  droughts  commodities  food_crops  Sylvain_Charlebois 
january 2013 by jerryking
How branding should boost your bottom line
December 5, 2012 |Toronto Caribbean | JG Francoeur.

“The single most important decision in evaluating a business is pricing power. If you’ve got the power to raise prices without losing business to a competitor, you’ve got a very good business. And if you have to have a prayer session before raising the price by 10 percent. then you’ve got a terrible business.” says Warren Buffet. If you employ solid branding techniques you can do the same with your business. raise your prices and boost your income!
To build a good brand you must focus on the 5 P5 of branding. Start by answering this questions and building your branding plan.
* First is purpose: When someone hears your name. what do you want them to think?
* Second is proposition: Your proposition is your core competency. You've got to know yourself to grow yourself!
* Third is packaging: 55 percent of how people perceive you is visual and most small business owners look small, unprofessional and unreliable. You must convey an image that will inspire confidence for your prospects.
* Fourth are people: It’s simple but powerful, your net worth is equal to your network of people. Big brands are surrounded by other big brands and you can do the same if you employ a partnership model.
* Fifth is perseverance: Many business owners think clients will fall from the sky. They try one venture or one marketing initiative and because it’s not successful they quit. You must never quit because your dream is important not only to you but to others who you will inspire along the way.
branding  howto  brands  brand_purpose  packaging  perseverance  purpose  value_propositions  human_capital  the_single_most_important  pricing  Warren_Buffett  price_hikes 
december 2012 by jerryking
Even a Losing Bid Can Pay Off
November 18, 1996 |WSJ pg A12 | by Adam Brandenburger, a professor at Harvard Business School. Barry Nalebuff is a professor at Yale School of Management. They are the authors of "Co-opetition " (Currency/Doubleday, I996).

What might you have done differently? You could have bid lower. but there's no guarantee that would have worked any better. The problem with the strategy was more basic. The right question to ask is: How important is it to the customer that you bid? If your bidding is important-even if the customer is just trying to gain leverage against his current supplier—then you should get compensated for playing the game.
game_theory  pricing  questions  strategy  coopetition  Monsanto  negotiations  auctions  Adam_Brandenburger  Barry_Nalebuff 
august 2012 by jerryking
Another Jolt to Global Food Prices - NYTimes.com
August 9, 2012, 4:31 pmComment
Another Jolt to Global Food Prices
By JUSTIN GILLIS
globalization  pricing  food  agriculture 
august 2012 by jerryking
Pricing_How Should Bell Sygma Price?
+ Value pricing
+ Strategic pricing
+ Flat fee/fixed price pricing
+ Transaction based/load sensitive pricing
+ Business/operating metrics pricing

When is value pricing the wrong tool?
Think through the implications for customers who intend to use value pricing with their customers.==> They have to do more work. Not everyone is up for that!
pricing  howto  Bell_Sygma 
july 2012 by jerryking
Life on the food chain
May 14, 2004 | CNN/Money | By Mark Gongloff, senior writer.

Though economists often ignore food prices when talking about inflation, consumers can't, and investors shouldn't, since higher prices can be a boon for some companies and a headache for others.
pricing  supply_chains  farming  agribusiness  grocery  restaurants  price_hikes 
july 2012 by jerryking
Drought sends grain prices soaring
Jul. 19 2012 | The Globe and Mail | by CARRIE TAIT AND PAV JORDAN.
commodities  grains  food_crops  weather  pricing  farming  agriculture  droughts  corn 
july 2012 by jerryking
Oil guru points to substitutes keeping lid on energy prices
Apr. 19 2010 | Globe and Mail | DAVID PARKINSON.

"Essentially, all forecasting, no matter what's being forecast, is a straight-line extrapolation of what has been experienced very recently," he said in an interview in Toronto yesterday.

"All of our work is aimed at forecasting changes of direction and discontinuity, because that is the reality of the world. For the last several decades, our forecasts are nearly always this contrast with the consensus."
oil_industry  pricing  energy  substitution  forecasting  straight-lines  discontinuities  extrapolations  step_change  linearity 
june 2012 by jerryking
In Praise of 'Gouging' - WSJ.com
September 7, 2005 | WSJ | Editorial.

Anti-gouging laws also punish companies for building excess capacity and reserves in advance of a crisis like the one we're now having. One lesson of Katrina is that we should reward companies for stockpiling oil and gas for the times when it is most urgently needed. Price gouging laws give them no incentive to endure the costs of carrying this excess inventory.
crisis  editorials  price_hikes  pricing  natural_calamities  stockpiles 
june 2012 by jerryking
Seth's Blog: On making a ruckus in your industry
Seth Godin on April 07, 2012

* Bring forward a new idea or technology that disrupts and demands a response
* Change pricing dramatically
* Redefine a service as a product (or vice versa)
* Organize the disorganized, connect the disconnected
* Alter the speed to market radically
* Change the infrastructure, the rules or the flow of information
* Give away what used to be expensive and charge for something else
* Cater to the weird, bypassing the masses
* Take the lead on ethics

(Or you could just wait for someone to tell you what they want you to do)
Seth_Godin  blogs  disruption  pricing  information_flows  free  ethics  niches  change_agents  disorganization  ideas  new_businesses  idea_generation  disconnecting  Tabla  game_changers  Play_Bigger 
may 2012 by jerryking
Markets Information
Fresh Produce Alliance
www.freshproducealliance.com
markets  information  farming  agriculture  Canadian  Ontario  pricing  decision_making 
may 2012 by jerryking
Food companies eye more price hike opportunities - The Globe and Mail
Mar. 01, 2012 | Globe and Mail | marina strauss

Still, food producers and grocers haven’t yet passed on to consumers all the effects of their commodity price hikes, said Kevin Grier, senior market analyst at the George Morris Centre, an agri-business researcher in Guelph, Ont.

“We as consumers still haven’t felt the full brunt of price increases.”

As a consumer, a price hike will force him to stick more to necessities – bread rather than pies or cakes; chicken legs instead of pricier chicken breasts. “I’ll buy less of the discretionary things,” Mr. Grier said.
food  pricing  Marina_Strauss  George_Weston  baked_goods  Maple_Leaf_Foods  price_hikes 
march 2012 by jerryking
An emerging market for market data -
June 29, 2008 | The New York Times | By Tim Arango.

the company has been testing a program called Reuters Market Light for several months in Maharashtra, an Indian state about the size of Italy. The state is one of India's prominent agricultural centers, with farmers growing onions, oranges, corn, soybeans, wheat and bananas. But the farmers' business suffers from the difficulty of comparing prices from one market to another.

"We kind of saw that there was a clear market inefficiency," said Mans Olof-Ors, a Reuters employee who had the idea for Market Light three years ago. "The farmer would decide which market to travel to, then would just sell to that market. So there was no competition between markets."

Reuters has dispatched about 60 market reporters to the region to report on the going price for, say, oranges or onions, and to package the data into a text message that is sent to subscribers.

The service is signing up about 220 subscribers a day at a price of 175 rupees, or about $4.10, for three months at post offices throughout Maharashtra. The average monthly income of a farm household is about $50, according to the Indian government. The service has about 40,000 customers so far - a tiny portion of India's farm population, which is in the hundreds of millions, but it proves that many farmers are hungry for more information.

Reuters has collected anecdotal evidence from farmers about how the service has influenced their decisions about crop sales. One farmer, according to Reuters, held back the sale of 30 quintals of soybeans - one quintal equals 100 kilograms, or 220 pounds - for 15 days after noticing that prices had been rising for several days. He was able to get 400 extra rupees a quintal.

Amit Mehra, managing director of Market Light, said early data showed that most subscribers were making more money from their crops.
food_crops  Thomson_Reuters  India  farmers'_markets  pricing  data  market_inefficiencies  inefficiencies  mobile_phones  text_messages  data_marketplaces  anecdotal 
october 2011 by jerryking
The Billion Prices Project and the Value of Data
May 30, 2011. | : The New Yorker | by James Surowiecki. A new
venture called the Billion Prices Project may help change that. The
B.P.P., which was designed by the M.I.T. economists Alberto Cavallo and
Roberto Rigobon, gathers price data not via survey but, rather, by
continuously scouring the Web for prices of online goods around the
world. (In the U.S., it collects more than half a million prices
daily—five times the number that the government looks at.) Using this
information, Cavallo and Rigobon have succeeded in building what amounts
to the first real-time inflation index. The B.P.P. tells us what’s
happening now, not what was happening a month ago.

Read more
http://www.newyorker.com/talk/financial/2011/05/30/110530ta_talk_surowiecki#ixzz1NAObusGP
James_Surowiecki  data  economy  economics  inflation  CPI  statistics  MIT  pricing  digital_economy  massive_data_sets 
may 2011 by jerryking
Book Chat on 'The Big Thirst': The Future of Water
May 3, 2011 | NYTimes.com. | By DAVID LEONHARDT. Who reviews,
‘The Big Thirst’: The Future of Water by Charles Fishman, who a longtime
writer for Fast Company magazine. Fishman previously wrote “The
Wal-Mart Effect,” which was an Economist “book of the year” in 2006 and a
finalist in The Financial Times’s awards for best business
book.....Free water — water so cheap you never think about cost when
making water use decisions — is a silent disaster. When something is
free, the message is: It’s unlimited. Free water leads to constant waste
and misallocation.
“We will not, going forward, have water that has all three of those
qualities at the same time: unlimited, unthinkingly inexpensive and
safe.” ....Reminds me of an adage often cited in engineering circles:
"Good, fast, cheap - - pick any two." [JCK: Optimization--the balancing speed, rigor, quality, and agility. Leave perfection to higher powers.]
water  books  water_footprints  future  free  optimization  pricing  resource_allocation  misallocations  waste  inexpensive  engineering  fast  cheap  fast-paced 
may 2011 by jerryking
Lessons in Setting Prices - Small Businesses
April 20, 2011 | NYTimes.com | By EILENE ZIMMERMAN
pricing  small_business  howto 
april 2011 by jerryking
How to Master the Art of Negotiating Price - WSJ.com
MARCH 22, 2011, By MIKE MICHALOWICZ. At what point in a
negotiation do you show your hand? Most people believe if they know what
their prospective client is thinking it will give them an advantage. So
they wait to quote a price. They do their homework. They look for
clues. Sometimes they just come right out and ask: "What's your budget?
Are you looking for great quality, a fast turnaround, or do you plan to
go with the cheapest option? What number are you thinking of?" Big
mistake.
If you want to come out on top, use this simple shortcut: Be first. No
dancing around the issue. No hemming and hawing. Just give them a number
right off the bat. In doing so, you'll set the starting point for the
discussion, from which all further discussions will stem (jk: anchoring)
anchoring  goal-setting  howto  negotiations  pricing  running_a_business  think_threes 
march 2011 by jerryking
How Companies Can Regain Control Over Their Prices - WSJ.com
AUGUST 23, 2010 | WSJ | By DETLEF SCHODER And ALEX
TALALAYEVSKY. Thanks to the Internet, companies have lost control of
their pricing power. Here's how they can get it back. (1) What are
people saying about you?; (2) Embrace, but try to limit, the bargain
hunters ; (3) Escape the commodity trap ; (4) Control the sales network;
(5) Ban online customers who repeatedly eat into your profit margin ;
(6) Clear the market, (7) Offer discounts through intermediaries who
hide the brand; (8)Reshape the search landscape
pricing  strategy 
august 2010 by jerryking
Rafi Mohammed: Getting Pricing Right -
May 27, 2010 | BusinessWeek | By Nick Leiber. Small
businesses should feel confident about charging more, says the author of
The 1% Windfall.
pricing  small_business  authors 
august 2010 by jerryking
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