Does it make sense for BoltBus to use product line pricing? Why or why not?
It makes sense for BoltBus to use product line pricing as it gives them advantage over other bus companies in the market. Product line pricing is the practice of using a limited number of prices for multiple products that a business offers (Boone & Kurtz, 2013). Product line pricing aims to maximize the sales of different products by creating a complementary instead of having competitive products (Boone & Kurtz, 2013). This way the business products will have an impact on one another as it has had an effect on BoltBus. However, product line pricing has the disadvantage of inflexibility especially when prices are unstable. Goods and services are viewed in a certain way by the customers (Boone & Kurtz, 2013). This means that most expensive things are considered as of higher quality than the same product at a lower price. However for BoltBus, product line pricing has been an advantage in getting more customers.
BoltBus Company strives to provide safe services and non-stop premium level services between the main cities. The company offers a select seat for $1 on all its routes and also uses the rewards programs on its business where the clients can buy eight tickets and get the ninth one free (Long & Han, 2013). This ensures that the company has a competitive advantage over other business. Pricing is a primary component of BoltBus marketing strategy and very crucial as their business is set up in a very competitive sector (Long & Han, 2013). There are almost 15 other bus companies as well as the option for planes and trains for many people. Therefore they opted for the product line pricing to enter the market. The famous pricing includes the $1 ticket for some seats, and the remainder seats go for about $20 (Long & Han, 2013). The regular costs are cost lower than in other companies, so they still have a competitive advantage. This strategy ensures high customer turnover for the bus company (Gordon, 2012).
The company has no need to monitor the prices of fuel and labor since it has increased its prices in small portions so that they can maintain the value and profitability. Since the market is very competitive, BoltBus monitors the prices of other companies. Thus, the bus company makes sure that they offer lower prices that the other companies while still meeting their intended costs. The company also gives the customers who chose to drive cheaper and convenient services, thus driving their growth to higher heights (Boone & Kurtz, 2013).
2. What is BoltBuss primary strategy for setting prices?
BoltBus primary strategy for setting prices is based on the customers turn over. By looking the previous data, the company can monitor the customers turnover per route. After the company looks ta some variables such as frequency of runs, so that they can ensure maximum revenue profitability without devaluing then customers (Chen et.al. 2013). For instance, during the weekends and holidays, the amount of clients, increases, and the bus company offers more runs during such peak periods. During the weekdays when the turnover id less, the company cuts the runs. Another way is through offering low prices in low demand periods to attract more clients and during. People are attracted to low prices and will come in large numbers if the company has lower prices than any other company. During high demand periods, they offer the standard prices or higher prices because the clients are in huge numbers (Hustic & Gregurec, 2015). The company uses this strategy because on the peak days; the tickets sell out, so there is no need to reduce or offer discounted prices. However, when there is a low turnover of customers, the company would rather have a discounted seat than have an empty seat. Empty seat cost the company more revenue than when it gives the seats at lower prices. The pricing Policy used by BoltBus is attractive to customers while at the same time increasing the volume (Boone & Kurtz, 2013). If people hear of discounts they are likely to use that service than any other.
3. Explain how product line pricing used by BoltBus is strongly influenced by the other three Ps in the marketing mix.
In any business, to ensure competition advantage, the four Ps are essential. The four Ps include product, price, and promotion and place (Gordon, 2012). The product focuses on what the customers expects to get from the product and what features they would want to see as well as how they like the product. When looking at the price, the business should consider the value of the product to the buyer or whether the customers are price sensitive (Gordon, 2012). After establishing how their clients behave in certain costs, they should come up with discounted prices and ensure their prices are lower than from their competitors, for instance, BoltBus evidently has lower pricings than its competitors and also offers discounts on certain seats for as little as $1 (Schwieterman, 2013). For the promotion, the company should set the marketing messages for their target market and come up with convenient ways to reach to the audience, such as through the social media. Bolt Bus Company gives its customers an opportunity through Facebook and Twitter to win the $1 seats making the game fun while benefiting in profits (Wu & Chen, 2014). The business then comes up with the best time to promote, for example, BoltBus promotes during the high demand seasons and peak hours. When looking into the place, the business needs to assess where the buyers look for their goods and services and, thus, come up with methods of distribution to ensure higher sales. BoltBus makes sure that its tickets are affordable and readily available to its customers.
Product line pricing is advantageous for the company as it helps it to attract a lot of customers while still maintaining customer value and profitability (Fishelson et.al. 2013). For BoltBus, the product line pricing has helped it gain a competitive advantage over other companies and maintain an extensive customers volume
Boone, L. E., & Kurtz, D. L. (2013). Contemporary marketing. Cengage learning.
Chen, Y. J., Tomlin, B., & Wang, Y. (2013). Coproduct technologies: Product line design and process innovation. Management Science, 59(12), 2772-2789.
Fishelson, J., Freckleton, D., & Heaslip, K. (2013). Evaluation of automated electric transportation deployment strategies: integrated against isolated. IET Intelligent Transport Systems, 7(3), 337-344.
Formentini, M., & Romano, P. (2016). Towards supply chain collaboration in B2B pricing: a critical literature review and research agenda. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 36(7).
Gordon, R. (2012). Re-thinking and re-tooling the social marketing mix. Australasian Marketing Journal (AMJ), 20(2), 122-126.
Hustic, I., & Gregurec, I. (2015, January). The influence of price on customer's purchase decision. In Central European Conference on Information and Intelligent Systems (p. 27). Faculty of Organization and Informatics Varazdin.
Long, D., & Han, Q. (2013). The Growth of Chinatown Bus: Beyond Ethnic Enclave Economy in America.
Schwieterman, J. P. (2013). The Motor Coach Metamorphosis (Doctoral dissertation, College of Business, Drexel University, Philadelphia).
Wu, S., & Chen, S. (2014, December). A Bi-level algorithm for product line design and pricing. In 2014 IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (pp. 14-18). IEEE.
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