How Do You Talk About Price Increases?

Linda LaitalaBusiness, Leadership, Management, Marketing, SalesLeave a Comment

How to pass price increases on to customers is a prevalent topic in Roundtable meetings lately. The price of everything seems to be increasing.

Business owners are direct in describing what is happening, and they’re talking to their customers in dollar and cents terms about the impact on their prices. They don’t have a choice.

On the flip side, a Bloomberg News article on June 9th shared that retail prices are increasing, resulting in some companies putting an interesting spin on how they are passing the increases on to us. They are using language that most of us would not recognize.

Proctor & Gamble (maker of Pampers) say they’re “not raising prices, they’re taking pricing.”

Their rival, Unilever (Dove soap and Axe body spray) has been “very active with pricing.”

Lowe Company (Home improvement) is “elevating our pricing eco-system.”

Danone (French yogurt) said it “managed to pass some price” when inflation accelerated.

Campbell Soup
 expects “pricing actions” to take hold early in the next fiscal year.

General Mills (Minneapolis cereal maker) uses jargon that includes inscrutable phrases such as “strategic revenue management” and “holistic margin management” which you would never find on a box of Lucky Charms. Even the CEO refers to these measures by SRM and HMM.

Corporate doublespeak is not new: layoffs are disguised as “right-sizing”, “headcount rationalization” or “reductions in force.”

How do you describe price increases to your customers? Do you use a straightforward, clear rationalization? Or do you use an ambiguous string of words that deliberately disguises, distorts, and supposedly makes the truth seem more palatable?

The road is easier together, (that’s why there are Raven Roundtables.)

Time is precious. We are grateful you’ve chosen to spend some with us today.

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