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Long-term market trends: Long-term trends are the pulse of the marketplace. These trends indicate the potential forces and factors that could influence the business's demand conditions, cost structure, and competitiveness. As a product manager, you observe these trends and decide whether to act on them or ignore them in your pricing decisions.
The long-term market trends provided in the pricing cases are the same for all the products. To assist you in making your pricing decisions, the company's market research department has summarized the relevant trends and their potential impacts on the unit cost of products.
Make or buy: Some parts and associated activities for the products could be brought from a high-quality supplier instead of making those in-house. Buying from the supplier will lower the unit cost by 10%. Currently, few competitors are using outsourcing, but the trend is likely to continue in the long run.
Customer service: Some firms in the industry are following a “customer is always right” strategy and providing a 100% satisfaction guarantee in the form of no question asked refund for dissatisfaction, subsidized in-home services and delivery etc. If we adopt the enhanced customer service strategy, it will increase the unit cost by 20%, and the trend is expected to stay.
Automation: There is an opportunity to automate some activities, which will save 30% of product unit cost. However, very few competitors have chosen to automate some parts of their operation at this point. Expert predicts that automation trends are likely to increase in society in the foreseeable future.
Co-creation: We can reduce unit costs by 10% if we engage our customers in doing some of the activities as part of their buying process. Not many firms in the industry have started the practice of cocreation yet.
Big Data Analytics: Some specialized companies offer big data analytics services for the products we sell. The services provide insights and evidence on customers’ choices, preferences, gaps in the market etc. If we buy these services, it will increase unit product cost by 5%. Many organizations are using these services to stay relevant in the marketplace.
Market Index: The market index refers to the strength of demand and competition. The market index for a particular product can vary between two extremes. At one extreme, where the strength of demand is high and competition is weak, you could set HIGHER prices for more profitable per unit sales or COMPETITIVE prices to attract a large number of customers for maximum market share and maximum profit.