Pricing in B2B-Markets – How Does a Pricing Norm Affect Perceived Price Fairness?
How will the pricing process evolve in the B2B environment in the future and what impact will the currently prevailing norms have on it? This question is currently being addressed by pricing managers and salesmen of B2B-markets due to a steady decline in profitability and profit margins in recent years, which are expected to keep falling. The literature concludes that maintaining long-term profitability is only possible by changing from cost-based pricing, which is seen as an industrial pricing norm, to the less common value-based pricing strategy. As value-based pricing is considered to be perceived as less fair than cost-based pricing and moreover, a deviation from the norm is never considered to be appealing, the question arises how the cost-based pricing norm affects the perceived price fairness of the value-based pricing approach and thus the supplier-customer relationship. In order to investigate the influence of a pricing norm on perceived price fairness, an online experiment is conducted. The study finds no significant difference in the perceived price fairness depending on whether the pricing approach is consistent with the pricing norm or not. There is also no significant difference of the effect of the value-based and cost-based pricing approach on perceived price fairness depending on whether the pricing norm is consistent with the underlying pricing approach or not.