How COVID-19 will change product

We’ve had an exciting development over at JGA recently. With so many of us working from home, we wanted to bring together learners, alumni and other people in the JGA community to help them learn from each other at a time of uncertainty. We’re living through a period of enormous change and we thought that looking at how the world of business is bring disrupted by COVID-19 was a powerful lens through which to make sense of the present. We came up with the idea for a series of weekly ‘Lunch and Learn’ webinars on ‘How COVID-19 is disrupting marketing and sales.

At the first session on ‘How COVID-19 will change product,’ we looked at how the pandemic is changing product, whether your business sells goods or services.

Our speakers, Janet Efere, founder and sales coach at Tadpole Training, and Richard Goodwin, Managing Director of The JGA Group, offered us plenty of food for thought on pricing. We learned that:

  • There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach. Richard Goodwin explained that pricing is a case of horses for courses during COVID-19. For example, if you are a loo roll manufacturer, you could put your prices up, but will this create ill will with the supermarkets you supply? Equally, if your company sells alcohol the restaurants you normally sell to won’t be able to buy, however low you price your drinks, because they’re closed. As Richard noted, it’s not as simple as putting prices up or down.
  • Pricing is about profit, but also reputation. Janet Efere talked about how in the long term, people will remember if suppliers of scarce goods put prices up significantly. She recommends having frank conversations with your clients about where they’re at and what they’re seeing in pricing from other suppliers. Work hard to build the trust with customers so that it’s easier to have those conversations. If suppliers further down your supply chain have raised their prices (for example if you’re importing PPE from China to sell to hospitals) be transparent about why you’re raising your pricing.
  • Think carefully before competing on price. Janet cautioned against differentiating your organisation purely on price. Messaging about quality and credibility is key. She advises sales and marketing people to be creative. For example, if you’re a hairdressing salon you could charge a premium for clients to get priority appointments when you re-open.
  • Keep an eye on changes in behaviour. Richard explained how we need to be guided by what market trends are telling us. For example, employees may not go back to working in an office full time, so commercial property prices will need to reflect this and offer more flexible options.

Leave Your Feedback

We would like to hear your views about your Lunch & Learn | Webinar Series.
Follow the link to leave your feedback on Episode 01: