Posts by: Kyle T. Westra

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You Get What You Pay For

By Kyle T. Westra September 1, 2016

One of the strongest arguments against advertising as the primary method of monetization is that you pay with your time and attention, which is a resource both finite and irreplaceable. Services like Spotify aggregate hundreds of labels on one easily accessible interface and payment system.

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How Can the Music Industry Bridge the Gap Between Physical and Digital Experiences?

By Kyle T. Westra August 3, 2016

We’re visual creatures, too. Whereas programs like iTunes and Spotify will display album art, it’s not the same experience as standing before a rack of albums. Similarly with books, despite all of the advantages of e-readers, they have not captured the experience of examining a wall of books. Digital is great, but, unsurprisingly, there are features of the physical world that still have a certain primacy for, well, physical beings:

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Tesla’s Software Upsell

By Kyle T. Westra July 3, 2016

What Tesla has changed for the automotive industry is now that upselling process can continue long after the purchase of the vehicle. If you buy a S60 then get a better-paying job with a longer commute, you can choose to upgrade with essentially no additional cost to serve for Tesla. And spacing out the payments for the vehicle and later the capacity may make the original vehicle purchase more palatable for the consumer.

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Middlemen In the New Economy

By Kyle T. Westra May 9, 2016

Marina Krakovsky argues in a compelling new book that conventional wisdom was wrong. The Middleman Economy argues that, while transaction costs have decreased for everyone, they have decreased at an even faster rate for professional middlemen, leading to have an even larger role in today’s economy.

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Why is Gas Priced by Fractions of a Cent?

By Kyle T. Westra April 4, 2016

The fact that consumers buy gas on a continuum rather than in discrete gallons (unless you’re a wizard with the gas nozzle handle) likely makes it easier for both sides to live with the current arrangement. The pump price and volume numbers go along until the tank is full or you release the handle, and there perhaps isn’t much analytical thought put into the final ratio that appears.

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Maintaining Pricing Excellence During Currency Depreciation

By Kyle T. Westra March 4, 2016

It is preferable to maintain or carefully increase prices in a clear, methodical way, only decreasing cost slowly and with much consideration. Careful analysis is required to take into account different SKUs, product lines, geographies, and customer segments, adjusting prices in the way that fits best each unique category.

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Incentives Aren’t Everything

By Kyle T. Westra February 4, 2016

Therefore, it is important to design a sales incentive structure that puts heavy emphasis on company profit, if that is indeed what your company seeks. Your company probably does. Shifting a company from a revenue or volume sales mindset to a profit mindset can take a good deal of time and effort, but it is an important shift, and one that shows real results.

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Does Surge Pricing Have an Image Problem?

By Kyle T. Westra January 3, 2016

Clear communication about surge pricing is good customer service but without conveying its benefits, Uber is increasing the price sensitivity of its riders. This is a well-known effect of overemphasizing price in marketing communications. But price is only one reason that customers choose Uber. Why not focus on the benefits of surge pricing?

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Arbitrage With Unofficial Exchange Rates

By Kyle T. Westra December 3, 2015

Much of this has to do with poor economic policy, the low price of oil (upon which much of Venezuela’s exports depend), and the strong dollar. In such situations, dollars become even more valuable to hoard, which in turn creates more inflation in the bolivar, leading to a positive feedback loop. But how does this lead to shortages of something as basic as toilet paper?

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Groupon’s Third Act

By Kyle T. Westra December 3, 2015

Both Williams and Mason are frank about past mistakes. They grew too quickly. They didn’t respond appropriately to criticism. Accounting was a mess. The business model required too much labor in place of operational efficiency and scalable systems. But both are optimistic about the core problem that the company is trying to solve: e-commerce for small and local businesses.

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About The Author

ktw
Kyle T. Westra is a Manager at Wiglaf Pricing. His areas of focus include pricing transformations, new product pricing, commercial policy, and pricing software. Most recently to Wiglaf Pricing, Kyle worked in project management, business systems analysis, and marketing analysis, starting his career in global strategy at a foreign policy think tank. He has extensive experience in ecommerce, sales strategy, economic analysis, and change management. His Amazon bestselling book about how technological trends are affecting pricing and commercial strategy is entitled The New Invisible Hand: Five Revolutions in the Digital Economy. Kyle is a Certified Pricing Professional (CPP). He holds an MBA with distinction from the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University and a BA in Political Science and Economics from Tufts University.