Monday, January 30, 2012

Does J.C. Penney’s New Pricing Strategy Impact Dues & Conference Fees?

J.C. Penney just announced a new pricing strategy that USA Today headlined “It’ll be all sales all the time at J.C. Penney.”

Here's a funny TV commercial announcing the changes.


Buried in the story was something different ... a strategy that may work for associations:


“The difference is that Penney's goal isn't to undercut all competitors, but rather to take the guesswork out of shopping by offering more predictable pricing.”

I like it: Simple. Predictable. Easy to Communicate. Easy to Administer.

Over the last 30+ years, I’ve watched as association pricing strategies have switched from all inclusive to a la carte. Sometimes our conference registration fees are more complex than airline fares.

Even though our members and attendees are pushing for lower dues/fees, we don’t necessarily need to go there (depending on our member environment) ... but, we could think seriously about a simple and predictable fee structure.

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