Learn how newcomer brands can stand out with the right penetration pricing strategy

Mastering Market Entry with Penetration Pricing Strategy for Newcomer Brands

Entering a new market can be a daunting task for any brand, especially for newcomers. However, with the right penetration pricing strategy, new brands can successfully penetrate the market, gain a foothold, and compete against established players. 

One such pricing strategy is the penetration pricing strategy. Let’s explore what penetration pricing is, its benefits and drawbacks, and how newcomer brands can effectively use it to master their market entry strategies.

What is Penetration Pricing?

Penetration Pricing Strategy

Image Source: Shopify 

Penetration pricing is a marketing tactic where a company sets a low initial price for a product or service to quickly attract a large number of customers and increase market share. The primary goal of this approach is to enter the market rapidly, build brand awareness, and establish a customer base before competitors respond. Once the brand has gained significant market share and customer loyalty, it can gradually raise prices without losing too many customers.

Benefits of Penetration Pricing Strategy

market penetration pricing

Image Source: Corporate Finance Institute 

There are several advantages associated with using a penetration pricing strategy for newcomer brands:

  1. Rapid Market Penetration: As mentioned earlier, setting a low initial price helps attract a larger audience in a shorter time frame. By doing so, newcomer brands can create buzz around their products and services, generate sales, and become known within their target markets.
  2. Increased Brand Awareness: Lower prices often lead to higher sales volumes, which in turn increases brand visibility. With increased exposure, more potential customers learn about the brand, further solidifying its position in the market.
  3. Customer Loyalty: By offering affordable prices initially, newcomer brands have the opportunity to convert first-time buyers into loyal customers who continue purchasing from them even after they increase their prices. Additionally, these satisfied customers may recommend the brand to others, generating positive word-of-mouth advertising.
  4. Competitive Advantage: Setting lower prices than competitors using competitive intelligence allows newcomer brands to differentiate themselves and stand out in crowded markets. It also forces incumbent businesses to reconsider their pricing strategies, potentially creating opportunities for disruption.
  5. Reduced Marketing Costs: Since penetration pricing relies heavily on price as a promotional tool, newcomer brands save money by reducing their investments in traditional marketing channels like television ads, billboards, and print media.

What are the Drawbacks of Penetration Pricing?

While there are numerous benefits to using penetration pricing, some downsides must be considered:

  1. Profit Margin Constraints: Low prices mean reduced profit margins per unit sold. To offset this, newcomer brands need to sell high volumes of their products or services to maintain financial stability during the early stages of market entry.
  2. Perceived Quality Issues: Consumers sometimes associate low prices with inferior quality. Therefore, newcomer brands employing a penetration pricing strategy must work extra hard to convince potential customers that their offerings provide value despite being priced lower than alternatives.
  3. Potential Retaliation from Established Players: Incumbent businesses might react negatively to newcomer brands’ aggressive pricing tactics. They could retaliate by slashing their prices or launching counterattacks aimed at undermining the newer entrants’ credibility and reputation.
  4. Difficulty Raising Prices Later: If not executed carefully, increasing prices later on can lead to backlash from customers who become accustomed to paying less. Thus, timing and communication are crucial when transitioning away from a penetration pricing strategy.

Implementing Penetration Pricing Strategies for New Brands

To successfully implement a penetration pricing strategy, newcomer brands should consider the following steps:

  • Identify Target Customers: Understand your ideal buyer persona and tailor your pricing accordingly. Ensure that your low introductory price still generates enough revenue to cover costs while remaining attractive to your desired demographic.
  • Set Clear Goals: Define specific objectives for your market entry campaign, such as gaining X% market share within Y months or achieving Z sales volume within the first six months. Having clear goals enables you to measure progress and adjust your strategy if needed.
  • Monitor Competitors: Keep track of rival companies’ pricing strategies and adapt yours accordingly. Be prepared to modify your approach based on changes in the competitive landscape.
  • Communicate Value Proposition: Clearly articulate the unique selling points (USPs) of your products or services. Emphasize how they deliver exceptional value compared to competitors, justifying the initial lower price point.
  • Gradually Increase Prices: Plan for when and how you will transition away from your introductory pricing. Incrementally raising prices over time reduces the risk of alienating existing customers and maintains their trust in your brand.

Brands That Used Penetration Pricing Strategies Successfully

  1. Uber
Uber Penetration Pricing

Image Source: SlideGeeks 

Uber entered the taxi industry with an innovative ride-hailing app and aggressively discounted fares compared to traditional taxis. By offering lower prices, Uber attracted a massive user base, built brand awareness, and forced incumbents to reassess their own pricing models. Although Uber eventually raised its rates as it matured and expanded into other services like food delivery and electric bikes, its initial focus on affordability helped cement its status as a major player in urban transportation.

  1. Warby Parker 

Warby Parker revolutionized the eyewear industry by offering designer prescription glasses at affordable prices through its direct-to-consumer model. When the company launched in 2010, it offered five styles of frames for $95 each, including single-vision lenses – significantly cheaper than most brick-and-mortar retailers. 

Warby Parker Penetration Pricing

Image Source: UCLA Anderson 

This strategic move allowed Warby Parker to capture market share, grow rapidly, and develop a loyal customer base that appreciated both its stylish designs and accessible pricing. Today, Warby Parker continues to expand, now operating physical stores alongside its online presence.

  1. Spotify

Streaming music platform Spotify used a freemium model upon its entrance into the market, providing basic ad-supported streaming services free of charge while charging premium users for additional features like offline listening and higher audio quality. By allowing users to access its content at no cost, Spotify attracted millions of listeners and convinced many to upgrade to paid subscriptions once they became hooked on its service. 

Spotify Business Model

Image Source: FourWeekMBA

This approach enabled Spotify to challenge established giants like Apple Music and Pandora and secure its place as one of the leading music streaming platforms globally.

Conclusion

These examples demonstrate how effective penetration pricing strategies can help newcomer brands break into various industries, disrupt conventional business models, and achieve lasting success. By learning from these case studies and applying best practices, emerging companies can maximize their chances of making a splash in today’s fiercely competitive marketplace.

Competitor pricing is essential to create a name for your brand and that’s where 42Signals can be of great value. Simply Schedule a demo to learn more about our services. 

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