Pricing Case Study – Legal Publisher


"Illustration of price points, or concave...

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Problem Statement

A major legal publisher identified a need for justifiable tiered pricing to be introduced into their marketplace.  This publisher was one of the top market leaders, providing unique value-add analysis of the legal content.  There was no one platform for their products: they had acquired many smaller companies in their sphere of influence, and were trying to integrate into a unified value proposition.  This would help direct them towards their upcoming strategy, and whether building a single platform was indeed the best solution.

It is not uncommon for a pricing tactic to precede the strategic direction for a company.  Pricing has a long history of testing market waters – usually with special introductory offers, which may include up to free provision of a product in order to garner market feedback.  Companies have also used pricing to impel customers to purchase another product.  (For more information on how Pricing Models can drive business strategy, see Pricing In A One-Size-Fits-None World.)

In the case of this publisher, the hope was that pricing would help build a value proposition in the marketplace.  How? 

Well, this organization was large, and had been growing their portfolio for some time.   There was a strong overlap of market verticals for all of their products, but each product line had grown its own unique pricing structure and history.

Those who have read the 123’s of Pricing would know my initial reaction would be first to DO NO HARM – don’t change a single thing in the marketplace until ready.  Management agreed, and we agreed to move to the next step – BE PREPARED.  What analyses would be necessary to determine the optimal tiering and pricing structure?  Where would they migrate their customers’ expectations, over a great deal of time; what could a new pricing structure which encompassed their whole portfolio look like? 

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The Solution

The deliverable was to show the hiring manager what analyses would be requested to help structure the pricing.  I created a presentation, outlining the analyses you’ll find on the pages to follow.  I didn’t get the job in the end, though I did get close; but the analyses were exactly the types of ones which impressed the hiring manager enough to get me to the final round of interviews.  With a little more knowledge about a company (as I will not publish proprietary information on this site) you can imagine how in-depth the analyses might get.

So what was the solution, exactly?  To create a multi-level analysis of pricing data, incorporating the following elements:

  • Existing market segments and criteria
  • Holdings data
  • Bundling/add-on structure
  • Win-Loss data at the segment level
  • Usage at the segment level

Once all the data are analyzed, next steps would include: making determinations, gaining approvals and creating pricing tools before training sales and launching the new segmentation/pricing structure.

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