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van westendorp model

How To Price New Products For A Small Business Using Van Westendorp Model 🐳


Your company is gearing up to introduce a new product to the market, one that’s undergone extensive development and refinement. Now, it’s poised to enter the market, leaving us with a crucial decision: what should be the product’s price point? This determination holds the key to your product’s success. Your objective is to explore pricing strategies, ensuring your product not only thrives but also gains a competitive edge. Let’s navigate this pricing landscape collectively and create a strategy for your product’s optimal success using the Van Westendorp pricing analysis model


>Download Now: Free PDF How To Drive Pricing Strategy To Accelerate Sales & EBIT Growth


Pricing plays a vital role in the success of products and services in the market, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. However, many struggle to determine the best pricing practices. Entering the market without a clear understanding of your product’s value to customers can impact sales and your brand’s perception. The challenge lies in creating a pricing strategy, which can be daunting without data on comparable products’ pricing and performance. However, this process doesn’t have to be guesswork.


In this article, we will discuss the Van Westendorp Price Sensitivity Model, which leverages survey data to assess customer receptivity to your product’s pricing. We will explore the mechanics of this model, elucidate its superiority over conventional pricing approaches, and candidly acknowledge its constraints. We assert that, when implemented correctly, the Van Westendorp model proves highly adept at discerning consumer attitudes toward a potential price spectrum.


At Value Culture, we believe that even small to medium-sized enterprises, despite their resource constraints, should continuously embrace innovation in their strategies to achieve product success and enhance profitability. By the end, you will possess the knowledge required to proficiently employ the Van Westendorp pricing model to your advantage.


Small Business Strategy Ideas For Pricing And Selling New Products


Many small and medium-sized businesses employ various pricing strategies, but quite a few find them ineffective. One critical factor contributing to the struggle is pricing missteps. It’s a common pitfall: setting prices too low and facing financial constraints or going too high, resulting in poor sales.


Now, when it comes to businesses introducing unique products to uncharted markets, the pricing challenge becomes even more pronounced. Unlike products with established competitors, there’s limited market data to guide you in determining the ideal price for a product without direct comparables.


In such scenarios, businesses often resort to surveys to gauge potential buyers’ willingness to pay for their products. The most straightforward approach is to directly ask potential customers how much they’d be willing to pay. However, this seemingly simple “direct question” method has its shortcomings.


It is important to recognize that most consumers don’t have a fixed price in mind for a product; rather, they have a range within which they’d consider paying. Additionally, research indicates that when you directly ask about willingness to pay, it often leads to what’s called “lowballing.” This means potential buyers intentionally suggest a lower price than they’d actually be willing to pay.


These individuals might be hoping to negotiate a better deal or simply aren’t entirely sure about their price threshold. Questions like “How much would you pay for this?” can be challenging to answer because many purchasing decisions are heavily influenced by emotions.


Discussion On Van Westendorp Price Sensitivity Model


Van Westendorp’s Price Sensitivity Model takes a smarter approach by indirectly gauging willingness to pay. Instead of simply asking buyers for a single price, it helps you explore a range of prices. Let’s walk through how this strategy operates step by step.


1. Gathering the most number of respondents to answer the survey.


The Van Westendorp model works most effectively when you have a substantial number of respondents participating in your survey. This large sample size allows for a broader spectrum of insights into how willing customers are to pay at different price points. In other words, it paints a more complete picture of the pricing landscape.


2. Asking the right questions.


In your survey, it’s crucial to include these four essential questions consistently:

  • What price would make you doubt the quality of this product?
  • At what price do you believe this product becomes a great deal?
  • When does this product start feeling pricey to you?
  • When do you consider this product to be prohibitively expensive?

Ensuring these questions are part of your survey guarantees a comprehensive understanding of customer perceptions regarding pricing.


3. Using a graph to visualise the results.


Create a line graph with the price on the horizontal (x) axis and the number of respondents on the vertical (y) axis. This graph represents the cumulative count of individuals who consider the product either too inexpensive or overly costly. Additionally, include the count of respondents who perceive the product as neither too expensive nor a great bargain. This graphical representation offers a clear visual of pricing perceptions. The figure below from Survey Analytics shows an example Van Westendorp graph.


van westendorp model


4. The Van Westendorp pricing model reveals valuable pricing insights.

Once you’ve created the graph, it reveals a range of ideal pricing, driven by customer perceptions of value. As evident in the graph above, when the price rises, the group perceiving the product as too inexpensive or not costly enough shrinks, while those considering it not a bargain or too expensive expand. These intersections provide vital insights into ideal price ranges.


The Point of Marginal Cheapness, where “too cheap” and “not a bargain” lines intersect, serves as a lower pricing limit. Any lower, and more buyers would find it excessively cheap. Similarly, the Point of Marginal Expensiveness, where “too expensive” and “not expensive” lines meet, acts as an upper pricing boundary. Together, they offer a testing range for a company’s products.


Furthermore, the Optimum Price Point (OPP), located between the Point of Marginal Cheapness and the Point of Marginal Expensiveness, represents the theoretically optimal price. It aims to minimize dissatisfaction among buyers, making it a well-balanced choice that addresses pricing concerns effectively.


Nonetheless, it’s crucial for businesses to bear in mind that there are several limitations when applying the Van Westendorp model to guide product pricing strategies.


1. The Van Westendorp model assumes that surveyed individuals have a general idea of the product or service’s value.


This approach tends to work well for B2B products since corporate consumers typically have a clear understanding of their priorities and needs. However, for consumer products entering unfamiliar markets, it can pose a challenge. In such cases, companies should aim to provide comprehensive product information during the survey to gather more reliable pricing feedback.


2. The Van Westendorp model’s Optimal Price Point reflects consumer sentiment but doesn’t factor in fixed and variable costs.


It’s important to understand that this optimal price doesn’t necessarily align with your actual optimal price, which must consider your costs to maximize profitability. An optimal price without cost considerations can be misleading.


3. The Van Westendorp model doesn’t account for potential reactions from competitors.


It is essential to recognize that incorporating competition into this model isn’t straightforward. Therefore, it’s best suited for pricing new products entering the market, rather than established products facing numerous competitors.


Any Van Westendorp analysis should be complemented by validation testing and real market profitability data. Live testing is the gold standard because it encompasses all the factors influencing a customer’s decision, including emotions, context, and intent—elements that surveys can’t capture.


While not all companies may initially have the resources for extensive live tests, prioritizing actual market data over survey analysis is crucial. It’s the real-world results that should ultimately validate the assumptions made using the Van Westendorp model.


Implications Of Utilising The Van Westendorp Method In A Product Launch


While the Van Westendorp model doesn’t pinpoint a single perfect price, it does offer valuable insights into how consumers perceive your product’s value and helps identify a pricing range that appeals to them. For small and medium-sized businesses introducing new products or services, the Van Westendorp model is particularly attractive due to its simplicity and market insights.


When applied correctly, it can pave the way for successful pricing strategies across a spectrum of consumer and business-focused offerings. By integrating Van Westendorp analysis with other techniques such as validation testing and debiasing algorithms, any company can develop customized approaches to determine the ideal pricing model for their product, catering to their unique market dynamics and consumer preferences.


Small- and medium-sized firm employees frequently have their hands full of workloads. But, our findings show that with the right set-up and pricing plans in place, incremental earnings gains can begin to occur in less than 12 weeks. After 6 months, your teams can capture at least 1.0-3.25% more margin using better price management processes. After 9-12 months, businesses often generate between 7-11% additional margin each year as they identify more complex and previously unrealised opportunities, efficiencies, and risks.


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Bottom Line


The Van Westendorp pricing model, while not providing a single magic number, serves as a valuable tool for understanding how customers perceive your product’s value. It empowers businesses to establish a pricing range that resonates with their target audience, a crucial aspect for both startups and established companies.


Small and medium-sized enterprises, especially those launching innovative products, can benefit immensely from the Van Westendorp model’s simplicity and market insights. By leveraging this approach alongside other techniques like validation testing and debiasing algorithms, companies can craft unique pricing strategies tailored to their specific products and market dynamics.


In today’s dynamic business landscape, the key takeaway is that while the Van Westendorp model offers essential guidance, it should be part of a comprehensive pricing strategy toolkit. By combining these various tools and constantly fine-tuning them based on real market data, businesses can navigate pricing challenges successfully and optimize their monetization efforts.


For a comprehensive view of ensuring the continuous growth of your business, Download a complimentary brochure on How To Drive Pricing Strategy To Accelerate Sales & EBIT Growth.


Are you a small or medium-sized business in need of help aligning your pricing strategy, people and operations to deliver an immediate impact on profit?

If so, please call (+61) 2 8607 7001.

You can also email us at if you have any further questions.



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