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Propping Up Pricing Power in Down Economy

Consider bundling: Move your inventory by selling it with another product that has a better brand name. Link the sale with another product that you want to get rid of. Tack on free support or maintenance for up to a year. Offer customers a free trial. By pairing your product or service with something extra, you have a better chance of getting that sale without sacrificing profit.

Know your value: Talk up your product or service and how it differs from the competition. "Often times, people don't know about the product," says Phil Baker, author of "From Concept to Consumer: How to Turn Ideas into Money" (Financial Times Press). "If it truly has some advantages over the competition, don't shortchange it by under-pricing it. If they have a good reason, people will pay more."

Go green: Even in these economic times, being eco-friendly or socially conscientious can still be a draw. So if you have a giveback program, donate a portion of the proceeds to charity or if you have made packaging more recyclable, highlight it. "People want to feel good about the company they're buying from," says Baker, who is also a product development and marketing consultant.

Revamp your model: Maybe it's time to be more creative. Tien Tzuo, founder and CEO of Zuora, an on-demand subscription billing and payment service, believes that many companies would be well-served using a subscription-based business model. Just look at Starbucks' Gold Membership card: pay $25 a year and receive 10% off your coffee as well as notice of other offers and discounts.
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