This blog is the final piece in a series about how companies price goods and services. Last week, we discussed comparative pricing for commodities and whether or not exam-based training is like a commodity. We ended last week’s post by asking what factors are (or were) important to you when choosing exam study materials. Now, we want to discuss the pricing philosophies that we use, both at HOCK international and our sister companies HOCK Training and HOCK Conferencing.
In 2012, the HOCK Training offices, and by extension HOCK Conferencing, changed their pricing and discount policy to be more transparent and straightforward. Rather than using the strategy of setting a high price and then offering discounts (as discussed in Pricing Part 2), these offices performed a comprehensive price review and set fair market-based prices. The previous system of discounts was also removed so that everyone would pay the same fair price and so that it would be easy for people to determine what price they would pay.
At HOCK international, we have always believed in offering our best prices to everyone. Recently, an increasing number of affiliate or marketing companies have reached out to us to provide people who come to us through them a discount and also give a commission to their site. However, because we already offer our best prices to everyone, the only way we could afford to give combined discounts and commissions of up to 30% would be by raising our prices. This would mean that those who don’t find an affiliate link end up paying more, and it also means that everybody is paying more than they should because they are paying for the commission with higher prices that do not provide any value towards their goal of passing the exams.
While we cannot stop affiliates from negatively reviewing our materials because we do not provide a commission to them, what we can do is keep our prices low by providing you with the best prices through our website. Sometimes people ask us why we are less expensive than other companies that do not provide as much. We think that this is at least part of the reason why – we set our price based on what we provide directly to you, and we do not need to raise our prices to cover affiliate premiums that offer no value to you.
At all HOCK companies, we believe that our policies allow everyone to win: we sell our products at fair and clear prices, and you get our best prices without having to find affiliate or discount links. That just seems like the fair and honest way to do business. If you like our pricing policy, please let us know, and let others know that you like the way we do business here at HOCK.
As always, if you have any questions about HOCK or our materials, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Brian Hock, CMA, CIA