Archive for Uncategorized

Book review: Smart Pricing by Jagmohan Raju and Z. John Zhang

Smart Pricing, by Jagmohan Raju and Z. John Zhang of the Wharton School, have written the most engaging business book I may have ever read. Through ten short chapters they weave together so many different pricing innovations it made me feel guilty about how little I have considered pricing strategy. As they say in their introduction, many of us treat price as a given rather than as an important tool in our marketing strategy. The majority of the examples are business-to-consumer, however some concepts may be relevant for the clean-technology/renewable sectors. The ‘Snob Premium’ is certainly a concept that can be applied, and a twist may be the ‘Green Premium’, in which consumers may prefer to pay more for the environmental benefits even if the benefits actually are less expensive. However, even if there is little that can be applied to your specific business, the innovations described will inspire almost anyone with strategic responsibilities. The writing is tight and so compelling, it is the first business book, since Good to Great, that I could not put down.

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Aventine Renewable Energy

Aventine Renewable Energy, a producer of renewable energy recently filed for bankruptcy protection. The website did not help the situation. Granted the problems within the ethanol industry is more a product of overall diminished demand, thanks to our deep recession, however the corporation could have used its website to inspire more demand for its product, rather than focusing on operational issues of the corporation.

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Community Energy — Iberdrola Renewables

This week we will review Community Energy, a division of the large Spanish energy utility Iberdrola, a world leader in renewable energy. This is the largest site we have reviewed thus far, and also the most professional. There are some very interesting direct-to-consumer tactics, such as giving a gift of energy, and a blog. As a result, we will devote considerable time to the site over the next week.

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