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Slowing a Price Decline with a Low-Priced Product

For the last several years, most landline telephone companies have offered special discount deals to customers who threaten to cut their landline service. But the trickle of customers leaving landline service, and depending solely on cell phones, has turned into a stream.

Verizon believes it has at least a partial answer to slow the customer defection from the landline business. The company is considering introducing a $5 monthly voice plan that would allow customers to receive unlimited calls, but dial out only to 911 and Verizon Customer Service. This is a new low price point in the market. This price point compares with the Verizon unlimited nation-wide home phone plans which start at $40 a month.

Verizon is pricing defensively, trying to keep customers from leaving the company for cheaper pastures. In order to develop this defensive pricing plan, Verizon made three choices: the approach to take, the segments to serve, and the components of price to use to serve those segments. For many more examples of these three choices and how they defend both market share and margins, see our new Perspective, “Meeting Falling Prices with Creativity” in the Perspectives section of StrategyStreet.com.

Posted 3/2/09

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