Pricing is the eternal challenge.
How can you get honest, accurate answers about how much customers might pay, i.e., what is the value of the product/service to them in dollars?
What I've considered (and problems with each):
Ask the customer. But you can't ask directly because they may be trying to "game the system" (i.e. lying to affect the outcome). If you ask them "what would you pay?" they may answer high, hoping to encourage you to build it. Or they might answer low, hoping to keep the price low.
Put up ads to dummy pages with a price I'm not sure this will work for our product because it's not an impulse purchase. Most customers need to try it, see how good it is, realize that there isn't a cheaper place to buy it or a cheaper alternative.
Find a comparative solution and set your price relative to that. For exampple, if you "replace" a gym and a gym costs $50/month then you price it around there. That gets you within an order of magnitude but it's much more complicated. Even the gym example isn't an analogy because there are other factors:
- Gym is more social
- Home gym requires space (that may be unavailable)
- Gym costs "windshield" time
I suppose you could try to tease out why they like it and what their alternatives are. So addressing #3 but really teasing out all the constituent pros and cons.
- Is this pain (problem) significant to you? Do you wish it would go away?
- What are you doing to solve it now?
- Ask about other existing solutions and whether they seem expensive, cheap, a good solution, etc.
and here are a couple of resources:
Pricing category on Andy's blog: http://successfulsoftware.net/links/
Any other suggestions?