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By early 1988, Augustine Medical executives were actively engaged in finalizing and marketing the program for the patient warming system named Bair Hugger Patient Warming System. The principal question yet to be resolved was how to price this system. Several considerations are required in terms of organizational objectives, demand for the product, customer value perception, buyer price sensitivity, the price of competitive offering, and direct variable costs. The company has two alternatives to price this system, either the skimming pricing strategy or the penetration pricing strategy.
The Bair Hugger system, which consist of a heater/blower unit and a separate inflatable plastic/paper blanket, is an air-circulation product and provides hypothermia patients surface warming. Although using the skimming pricing strategy has greater return in the short run, the danger is the company can not have a greater market share as well as a long run profit. Also, this market is price-sensitive to alternative methods. On the other hand, since the demand is known, the estimate of the total potential market for this system is about 2737 units, and 1000 units of blankets for each blower unit per year, and there are many substitutes existing, we strongly recommend that the company should employ penetration pricing strategy to market this system. In conclusion, the company can get into the market quickly and gain favorable market shares as soon as possible if it offers a low-priced blower unit. Also, the company could have long-term profits by selling lots of blankets only if they have greater market shares.
In July 1987, Augustine Medical was incorporated as a Minnesota corporation to develop and market products for hospital operating rooms and postoperative recovery rooms. One of two products the company planned to produce and sell was the Bair Hugger Patient Warming System designed to treat postoperative hypothermia in the recovery room. Postoperative hypothermia (a condition defined as a body temperature of less than 36 degrees Centigrade or 96 degrees Fahrenheit) occurs in 60-80 percent of all postoperative patients.
Many competing technologies are available for the prevention and treatment of h...
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...oducts, and their price should go together. But based on our analysis, we decided to price the blower unit at a low price, whereas the blanket has a high price. The reason is not only does the blanket have patented protection but also the blanket can continue to create profits. Also, the price of the blower unit will influence the market share because this is a price-sensitive market. Indeed, pricing decisions determine the type of customers and competitors an organization will attract.
We are wondering why this market did not become dominated by technology, whereas the warmed hospital blankets are the most commonly used because of low cost. If this market prefers technological products, the skimming pricing strategy may have more advantages for this company. Unfortunately, the factor of price sensitivity still dominates our price decision.
In conclusion, when a company introduces a new product into the price-sensitive market, the competitors are expected to move in the market quickly. It is better for the company to apply penetration-pricing strategy, in order to obtain a large market share in a short period and also discourage competitors who plan on entering the market.
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