Pricing Your Product Properly Matters

Before you sell your products or market your services you must first identify the cost. Understanding the price will give you a better perspective of your potential revenue, competitors  and target customers. Pricing your product is a defining mark for your company and should not be taken lightly. Follow this five-part series to understand the complexity, trickery, and science behind pricing.

Originally published on Control. March 12, 2015

Part One: Cost-plus Pricing or Value-based Pricing

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There are two general principles to pricing your products and services. You can rather implement the cost-plus or the value-based pricing method. Whichever one you choose, it will not only define your product but your company as a whole.

So what’s the difference?

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Part Two: 7 Free Tricks To Pricing Your Product

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The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Shoppers are inherently programmed to compare prices. If you place a $20 T-shirt next to one that costs $50, it is instantly clear which one is more affordable. However, if the $20 one is made to be far less desirable and—for what you are getting—is still quite pricy. That’s because the intention is not to sell the $20 product, but to get people to opt for the more expensive deal for the reason that it’s actually worth it.

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Part Three: Tiered Pricing Can Take Your Product To The Next Level

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Tiered pricing gives people choices—and we all know that people love choices. When it comes to payment, choices may bring more value to your customers. Why not let them choose how much they want and how much to pay for it? After all, when you go to the coffee shop you want the freedom to pick Small, Medium, or Large. This ideology can work for your product or services too.

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Part Four: 6 Ways To Conduct An Effective Discount Promotional Campaign

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After the free samples and 14-days trial period, you may be pressed to earn more leads and gain more revenue. Without adjusting your standard price, you’ve decided that implementing a discount or promotional campaign is the best avenue to take. However, there are no fixed rules when applying discounts or generating coupons. You can hand out flyers on the street, but all that effort may be wasted time. Here are six tips to conducting a successful discount promotional campaign.

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Odds are at one point or another you’ll want to increase the price of your product. Investors, competitors, your internal team, and even the public may be urging you to do so. You yourself know that the current price is under valuing your product and this path is no longer sustainable. There are many reasons why raising the price makes sense, but the question is not why you should hike prices, but how to do it effectively without losing customers and decreasing your conversion rate.

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Flags don’t kill people

Image via radiolive.co.nz

Tearing down the Confederate flag is the smallest step in ending hate

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published by The Other Press. July 7, 2015

Unless you tie a flag around someone’s throat and choke the person out, flags are simply a symbol—harmless. Alter a swastika slightly and you’ll have the symbol for Buddhism. Banning the Confederate flag is the easiest thing to do as a reaction to the Charleston church shooting in South Carolina. It’s the easiest way to say we disagree with discrimination and murder. But such an act will not temper the hate brewing in so many.

The Confederate flag is a different symbol for different people. Some believe it represents Southern heritage, Dixie pride, the Dukes of Hazards, etc. For others, it’s not unlike the swastika; it represents white supremacy, the Ku Klux Klan, and neo-confederates. So, is the Confederate flag racist? How isn’t it? Are there any ethnic people in South Carolina pissed that the flag is being banned from big brand retailers and removed from government buildings? My guess is few are.

I’ll admit, what I understand of the southern region of the United States has been received secondhand through books, cinema, and television. Clearly I don’t know what it’s like to walk down the street and receive Southern hospitality, and you can understand how I—someone clearly not white—may be wary to step into a room full of Confederate flags. I can’t help feeling that people who defend guns and the Confederate flags would not defend you or me with the same amount of passion.

While I believe the flag is indeed a symbol for slavery, therefore racism, I’m not convinced that banning it will accomplish much in the long run. Flags can burn, but ideas can pass on like viruses. It’s a lame reflex reaction that allows those in charge to feel a little self-righteous, patting each other on the back as if they themselves have abolished slavery. No, Apple, you have not ended racism by eliminating all American Civil War games from your app catalogue. No, Wal-Mart, you are not heroic for taking Confederate flags off your shelves.

Flags are not the real problem. Flags don’t kill people, guns do and murderers do. Malicious groups and backward-thinking education systems kill people. The Confederate flag did not motivate 21-year-old Dylann Roof to enter that church on a Wednesday evening in June and kill nine people while severely injuring one. The reason was much more deeply rooted than a flag.

Pack an extra change

Image via http://www.thestar.com/

Naked tourists need to respect sacred rules—even if rules are ridiculous

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published in The Other Press. July 7, 2015

Travelling is all about taking risk. The whole idea of travelling is built upon adventure. What travellers forget—especially Western travellers—is that our vacation grounds are other people’s homes.

On May 30, a group of Canadian, Dutch, and British tourists visiting Malaysia decided to strip down on Mount Kinabalu for photographs. The mountain was considered the most sacred peak in the country. The act was not only considered disrespectful, but also thought to be the cause of a magnitude 5.9 earthquake that ended up killing 16 people.

It’s hard to argue that the earthquake and the obscene act had any correlation. In my mind, the two events were just an unfortunate coincidence. The movement of tectonic plates—not tits and penises—causes earthquakes. Nude photography is a popular trend; just ask the celebrities who have had their phone hacked. We all love thrills and what is more exciting than nude pictures and travelling? It’s totally a memory worth having, right?

There’s nothing wrong with naked pictures if you are willing to take full responsibility for them. For the tourists in Malaysia, they paid for it heavily. It became a criminal offence and it cost lives. Anytime you disrespect sacred rules and suffer immediate consequences that must cause some remorse. It reminds us that while travelling we are guests in someone else’s country; we need to acknowledge their rules and customs and abide by them.

Getting in trouble abroad is every tourist’s nightmare. So why put yourself in a bad situation? I don’t blame those tourists for “angering the Gods and causing an earthquake.” They were just behaving like idiot tourists and got linked to a tragedy.

If you are travelling and you want to be adventurous, be sure you learn the rules first. General laws and ethics are not universal. You can be certain if something is deemed sacred that the rules are stricter. Don’t fuck around. It’s okay to break through your comfort zone and do something daring, but breaking the rules can put you in a tough position, especially where language barriers are involved.

There are plenty of places to be naked in this world, plenty of places to act the fool. The key is to know where and when that is okay. Being a good traveller is not just about being adaptive, but also intelligent and aware of the ever-changing rules.

Burning bridges

Image via BC Gov on Flickr

Why closing public infrastructure for amusement is always a poor idea

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published in The Other Press. July 7, 2015

June 21 was a day of many activities. It was Father’s Day, National Aboriginal Day, and of course, International Yoga Day. In Vancouver, the plan was to close off the Burrard Bridge and have one of the biggest outdoor yoga events in the world. Om the Bridge, sponsored by lululemon, YYoga, and AltaGas, received enormous backlash as the big day approached. Celebration turned into hostility and mockery—at one point, Premier Christy Clark posted a photo of herself in front of a Tai Chi centre with a caption calling out “yoga haters.” Not surprisingly, the event collapsed as sponsors bailed.

I don’t have any problems with large gatherings of people doing yoga as long as I’m not required to participate. What tends to bug me is the misuse of public infrastructure and taxpayers’ money. Needless to say I’ve never been a big fan of parades, and the money spent on an event like Om the Bridge could be better used maintaining the bridge itself. It’s not because I’m not flexible or that my Chaturanga pose needs significant work, I just think that if you want peace and harmony, closing off a major artery on a busy day is a bad idea.

That is not to say that all International Yoga Day events are failures; in fact, many large cities with greater congestion than Vancouver pulled them off. Paris hosted their event beneath the Eiffel Tower. New York yoga fanatics joined together in Times Square. It’s a little ridiculous both how chill and how stuck-up our city is. Vancouver is like a spoiled brat. You throw a party for it and it’ll just end up throwing a tantrum back, stating that it deserved more gifts and cakes.

This city just can’t handle large-scale events, because Vancouver always has to create mountains out of molehills. Remember when the Canucks were in the Stanley Cup Finals against the Boston Bruins, and the city decided to build a big outdoor screen so that we could all gather together to cheer for the team? The result was billions of dollars of destruction and four goals in the Canucks’ net.

One of Vancouver’s most annoying traditions is the Celebration of Light. For years, residents of the West End have had to deal with hundreds of thousands of rambunctious people coming into their neighbourhood, taking up parking spaces, blocking off streets, and making a mess. All for what? A few nights of bullshit fireworks, polluting the sky with smoke, and disrupting the peacefulness of summer. It’s true that the Celebration of Light is a great opportunity to get your friends together, spend the day on a crowded beach, and then mosey on home via two hours of transit, but it’s really just a large-scale corporate handshake.

A city functions through organized chaos. Someone is always unhappy with something, be it transit, the weather, or some dumb event. I love this city, it’s full of diverse people, but somehow whenever we try to plan a party, a group has to cry and make it all about themselves. Our events become more polarizing—alienating instead of building the community.