Faculty & Research
The School
Oxford Institute of Retail Management

Oxford Institute of Retail Management


What price deflation?

New executive education programme examines strategic pricing

Prices are hitting the headlines. We are seeing price discounts of up to 95 per cent on the high street and even premium brands are being discounted. At the moment, the focus is on achieving short-term turnover as we move into recession. Longer term, companies may pause to reflect on the impact of such deep discounting on their brands and may wonder if a more strategic approach to pricing – even in a downturn – may yield better results, says Dr Richard Cuthbertson, Director of the new Oxford Strategic Pricing Programme at the Saïd Business School.

This timely new executive education programme from the Oxford Institute of Retail Management at the Saïd Business School explores pricing and equips managers to flex the pricing of their brands to reinforce strategic positioning and objectives.

"It has never been more important for companies to take a clear look at their pricing strategies to ensure that they are achieving desired results" says Cuthbertson. "This should be built not only upon a strong understanding of pricing techniques from around the world, but more importantly upon pricing practices and their short and long term impact on consumer perceptions of the overall brand."

Participants will explore future possible pricing scenarios for their products or services and will be equipped to develop pricing strategies that aim to strengthen their competitive position to achieve sustainable business growth. The programme will help them to identify how to develop a pricing strategy that exploits market pressures rather than becomes a slave to them. It will also help them to think about the potential impact of price decisions on all stakeholders – not just consumers but supply chain partners, competitors, policy makers and others. The programme will also look ahead to how, when the recovery begins, managers can make the most of the emerging retail landscape.

The first Oxford Strategic Pricing Programme will run from 10-13 March, and again from 20-23 October.

Leading-edge academic content will be delivered by Oxford faculty at the forefront of the discipline, and industry specialists will share their practical experience and insights each day. The programme will cover the analytical and quantitative techniques in price modelling, then go beyond these to explore the communication issues and implications of pricing decisions in a range of market, economic, political and social scenarios in order to achieve wider strategic gains. Participants will complete a pricing simulation that will apply and explore the practical implications at first hand.

The programme is distinctive in two further ways. Firstly, it will reflect on the overall impact of pricing strategies externally not only in relation to legislative and policy frameworks, but also their broader relationship to issues of brand credibility, public trust and confidence. Secondly, it will confront the thorny internal organisational problems of ensuring that pricing strategies are accepted and understood comprehensively throughout the organisation so that they can be the more speedily, and effectively implemented.