Apr 25, 2012

Competitive Pricing Programs — Walking Today’s Pricing Tightrope

Competitive price issues are front and center in the news as businesses battle for customers and sales.  Price fixing accusations have recently been leveled at dominant e-book retailers, while counterfeiting and off-price offerings are forcing brands to consider more limited distribution channels. To help Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) member companies navigate the sensitive and risky conversations that can accompany these issues, Outdoor University® has added education sessions on pricing strategies to the May curriculum, outlining what companies can talk about together, and what is off limits. Additional sessions on “purposeful distribution networks” (a.k.a. limited/authorized distribution channels) are being scheduled for June.

Whether you’re a manufacturer or a retailer, it’s important to understand the risks and benefits surrounding these competitive issues. Here are synopses of our two upcoming Outdoor University sessions on pricing:

May 9: Navigating the Legal Landscape – Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) Programs
The impact of the Internet on current and future MAP pricing programs is significant — and businesses of all types and sizes are grappling with how to safely and smartly figure out an effective strategy. In Part One of a two-part series on pricing issues, you will learn the ins and outs of Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) programs, including the laws that limit a manufacturer’s ability to influence resale prices, how MAP programs work, how they can benefit your brand, and how MAP programs can go wrong.

May 23: Navigating the Legal Landscape – Unilateral Price Programs
In part two of the two-part series on the pricing impact of Internet competition and how to safely manage a pricing strategy, we’ll explore unilateral price programs and how they work in today’s environment. Participants in this session will explore the current laws and limitations of resale price maintenance, how unilateral price programs work, and what benefits and drawbacks exist for both retailers and manufacturers using (or thinking about developing) unilateral price programs. We’ll examine the risks of implementing a unilateral program (if you’re a manufacturer) or complying with these types of programs (if you’re a retailer). If you miss part one, and want to attend part two, you’ll be able watch an online recording of Part One after May 9.

Outdoor University offers education sessions on diverse outdoor industry topics. Live sessions and on-demand recordings are free of charge to employees of OIA member companies. Non-members may attend for a fee. Learn more at outdoorindustry.org/ou.