Regulation is Hurting Cabs and Helping Uber

Uber is overtaking the world! In just four years, the private car sharing service has grown from its debut in San Francisco to now serving 143 cities in 40 countries. Investors, of course, are taking note. A recent private investment effectively valued Uber at $18.2 billion – only Facebook raised money from investors at a higher valuation!

As much as I am enamored with Uber’s service – it’s playing in an uneven playing field. Local governments regulate the prices of Uber’s chief rivals, taxi cabs. As a result, taxi cabs are sitting ducks to Uber’s opportunistic pricing. Please check out my latest piece for the Harvard Business Review which discusses this unfair competitive environment.

The Amazon/Hachette battle is totally centered on price – please check out my recent appearance on Bloomberg West where I discuss this issue.

Posted on July 10th, 2014 (0 Comments)

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Adding Fees that Customers Won’t Hate

In many industries, it’s customary to add surcharges and what I am saying is that it may behoove companies to add surcharges if it highlights their brand. Ticket reseller, StubHub, for instance, offers a very strong ticket authenticity guarantee. If something is wrong with your purchased ticket, one call to StubHub and they’ll do everything possible to get you into the event. That’s value. If I were StubHub, I’d add an “insurance” fee that highlights this value as well as generates higher profits.


While some may argue this is nickel and diming customers, I actually think the way that you structure these add-on prices can bolster your brand! In fact, even if your industry does not customarily add surcharge.


Please check out my latest piece for the Harvard Business Review which discusses additional fees and how they can strategically enhance your company’s brand (as well as reap higher profits).

Posted on June 12th, 2014 (0 Comments)

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Whole Foods Market Needs More Than Price Tinkering

Life isn’t all that grand for Whole Foods these days. The organic and all-natural food purveyor recently had to lower its revenue and earnings estimates – for the third time in six months! As a result, its stock slide by 19%.

 

Whole Foods admits that it has a pricing problem – but I find its actions are so tepid. Its key problem is that it has a poor pricing brand image (“Whole Paycheck”). Please check out my latest piece for the Harvard Business Review which describes what Whole Foods needs to do to turn around its pricing situation.

Posted on May 22nd, 2014 (0 Comments)

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