Bonn, July 6, 2017 – PriceCon, the first of its kind conference on pricing for startups and entrepreneurs, was recently held in Bonn on June 29th. The event sought to promote and establish a robust discussion on the topic of pricing and pricing strategies for startups.
PriceCon marks a breakthrough for Bonn’s developing startup scene as being the first startup conference held in the city. Featuring 13 international speakers – including 7 startups and business leaders along with pricing experts – the one day event took place at Deutsche Telekom’s Forum in Bonn.
Among the attendees, 53% were startups, 36% businesses and corporates and 11% of the attendees were from academia. Amongst the startups, corporates and businesses attending PriceCon, 39% were from management level comprising of C-level executives, directors, and partners.
PriceCon’s agenda kicked off with an insightful keynote on the topic of “Neuroscience of Consumer Behaviour”. The speech was given by Prof. Dr. Bernd Weber, professor of the Center of Economics and Neuroscience of the University of Bonn and Head of NeuroCognition and Neuroscience at Life&Brain. Weber’s keynote touched upon the important aspects of pricing psychology and how neuromarketing can help understand the biases in decision making and help businesses arrive at the right pricing model to influence consumers emotionally.
Pricing focused workshops
Following the keynote speech, the attendees were invited to participate in a series of workshops focusing on a wide range of pricing related topics such as behavioral pricing, value added pricing, digital pricing and more. These workshops aimed to create an important knowledge base for the attendees on the topic of pricing and learn directly from the pricing experts present at the conference.
For example – one of the workshops focusing on the topic of digital pricing was conducted by Christian Kolodziejczak – Senior Consultant at Ernst and Young and Head of Competence Circle Pricing at Deutscher Marketing Verbrand. Kolodziejczak spoke about how important it is for digital business models to leverage different pricing points for different customers and how dynamic pricing models can help businesses boost their profits.
Startup Stories – by Startup Founders
Startup Stories featuring international startup founders from all around the globe was also on the agenda at PriceCon. In focus were startup founders such as Alex Brown (Co-founder of The Beard Club), Louis Antoine Muhire (Founder of Merigims), Lucian Cramba (Founder of Fast Order App) and Ganesh Muren (Founder of Saora Industries). Alex Brown – co-founder of The Beard Club (formerly known as Dollar Beard Club) shared his experiences on how The Beard Club generated a revenue of 10 Million Dollars in its first year alone with a 1$ subscription pricing model.
Ganesh Muren – Founder and CEO of Saora Industries shared his success as a social entrepreneur and how he brought affordable high impact technological solutions such as delivering pure and clean water to rural and marginalized communities in Malaysia using solar powered water purification systems. This innovation has been showcased to the Prime Minister of Malaysia – Dato Sri Najib Razak during the inaugural launch of MaGIC by former U.S. President Barack Obama and is recognized by the Malaysian Global Creativity Centre, Stanford University, Harvard University and Laureate International Universities.
Investment Panel featuring Frank Thelen and Katka Letzing
Frank Thelen (Serial Entrepreneur & Investor) and Katka Letzing (Fintech Vertical lead at Kickstart Accelerator) took the centre stage at PriceCon to share their insights as investors and mentors on the topic of pricing. The discussion touched upon many important aspects relevant to startups looking to grow but the important takeaway from this investment panel was that while pricing may not be the first investment decision criteria, it is certainly decisive in commercial success. According to Frank and Katka, “startups must continuously innovate and improve as there is no perfect model in pricing. Startups must test different iterations of pricing and judge for themselves which one works best as pricing can be a big disrupting factor, if implemented correctly”.
Apart from being the 2017 location partner Deutsche Telekom also shared one of their startup programs with PriceCon’s audience. “Techboost is a comprehensive program aimed at increasing cooperation with digital startups and providing digitization to hundreds of startups. Through TechBoost, Deutsche Telekom aims to connect startups with small and medium sized German companies and help them move into the next phase of digitization. TechBoost includes a credit of up to 100,000 Euros in credit for computing and storage capacity in the cloud. By expanding collaboration between startups and SMEs, TechBoost will provide more innovative joint business models, expand the product line offered by startups and help them move towards a successful future.” – explained Deutsche Telekom’s Vice President of Startup Cooperations Miriam Mertens.
A new approach to Pricing via PriceCon
With most pricing conferences seeking to underline the aspect of pricing as an area of interest primarily for marketing and sales executives, PriceCon undertook a different approach by pivoting the issue of pricing to startups.
Cedric Teichmann, founder of PriceCon, said “We wanted to include startups as a part of our discussion on pricing via PriceCon because what happens often is that the topic of pricing is treated as an afterthought. I have had the opportunity to speak with a lot of startup founders and based on my conversations, I realised that pricing is an issue that is not often discussed. Startups seeking to increase their revenue often face pressing questions such as – have I priced my product or service appropriately? Will the customers be willing to pay a certain price? Would I risk losing customers switching from a freemium to a premium pricing model?”
Given the nature of these questions, you realise that pricing is not just mathematics but also relies extensively on psychology and communication. “Through PriceCon, we wanted to help startups and businesses understand the semantics behind making the most important business decision they possibly could. Plans are already under way for PriceCon 2018” Teichmann concludes.