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The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing by Thomas Nagle and Reed Holden – 5 Stars

The full title of this book by Thomas Nagle and Reed Holden is

The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing: A Guide to Profitable Decision Making“.

This book has been revised a number of times and my review refers specifically to the Third Edition. I have recently bought the Sixth Edition.

In my review posted to Amazon.co.uk, I rated this book at the Five Stars level. It is Excellent (perhaps Brilliant is a better word) and is Very Highly Recommended to anyone who has to make pricing decisions in a reasonable sized business.

Here is my book review.

A superb review of pricing theory

Pricing is where your strategy is either tested and proven or fails. It is very much where the rubber meets the road.

The authors, Thomas Nagle and Reed Holden expertly walk a fine line that makes “The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing” work both as an academic textbook for MBA level students on a pricing module and as a guide for the serious practitioner of pricing who makes real decisions in a business.

I read business books actively and underline sections that I want to go back to and also annotate in the margins. I don’t think I have any other book that has as much of the contents highlighted. Even better, it is the book I keep going back to when I have a pricing issue to think about.

It is a thorough review of pricing from an economic, marketing and profit perspective bringing in the current thinking on customer value and is packed with advice on:

– How to set prices
– How to change prices
– How to work out whether price changes will be profitable
– What to do if competitors change prices
– How to avoid a price war – and what to do if you find yourself caught in one.

I have no hesitation in giving “The Strategy & Tactics of Pricing” the full “you must read this book” FIVE STAR recommendation. It is essential reading for marketing VPs, marketing directors, strategy and marketing consultants and finance directors – in fact by anyone who is serious about understanding how pricing decisions impact on profit.

My only criticism is that while it has academic rigour, it is not an easy read because it is so packed with ideas. The book is well written and is much easier to read than Kent Monroe’s highly regarded book on pricing but some readers will find it too dense. A lighter read and perhaps a better introduction to pricing theory is “Smarter Pricing” by Tony Cram.

For people at the sharp end negotiating prices with customers, the book provides the theory for holding a firm line on pricing and explains why individual price negotiations are suboptimal but it doesn’t give you the secrets of what to say when put under pressure. For that I recommend “How To Sell At Margins Higher Than Your Competitors“.

It is available to buy from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. (You choose which version depending on how much you want to pay and how important it is to have the very latest thoughts on pricing theory and practice)


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