Pricing has always been a topic of debate among managers when a company has decided to launch a new product, say, or has been “forced” to raise the price of an existing product for some reason. As a multinational myself, I have listened to hundreds of such discussions, and looking back now, I can clearly see that everyone was trying to impose their own dogma. Not because I worked with the wrong managers, nor because anyone wanted to do the company a disservice. Everybody wanted to make the best of the situation, so in fact these strategic decisions often turned into real crisis situations, which I now know for a fact called into life the real personality and the real decision-making mechanism of colleagues. And because I worked in very well, complexly assorted, colourful teams, it is natural that there were also significant differences of opinion. Even today, many people are still surprised when, in the first meetings of a business development meeting, the business developer reminds the decision-maker that “we should not generalise, as this could be very dangerous”.
Like at home
The European fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) market is at a crossroads. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated the pandemic increase in transport, packaging and raw material costs. This in turn has increased costs for households already struggling with higher energy prices. Companies are forced to pass these price increases on to consumers, which is a concern for mass brands. If they raise prices too much, consumers will switch to cheaper products. As Unilever CEO Alan Jope put it, “It is inevitable that price formation will accelerate for the rest of the year… Has Unilever’s pricing peaked? No, not yet”. As we’ve seen in previous crises, while mass-markets struggle, niche markets tend to thrive. This is why companies like Kazidomi have soared recently.
Deception in the workplace
Influence determines the effectiveness of work within an organisation. Since the essence of influencing is to distract everyone from the fact that we influencers are not producing anything in particular, we need to communicate a lot to sell nothing outwards. And that requires a lot of conversations, mostly with people who are being held up in the middle of their useful work because of it. During the pandemic, work efficiency increased in many organisations just by isolating influencers from their colleagues. And this is certainly a warning sign for the future!
What am I without music?
A film about Whitney Houston, starring Naomi Ackie, called I Wanna Dance with Somebody. The production was written by Anthony McCarten, who also wrote the script for the biopic about the Queen singer, and directed by Kasi Lemmons, who made Harriet. The film will also be released in the US in the run-up to Oscar season in December. And the good news is that the rights to the Houston legacy have also been acquired by the producer, so the original music could be used. It has to be said that in recent years we’ve been getting a succession of serious biopics about great musicians… whether the next one will be I Wanna Dance with Somebody remains to be seen, but in the meantime here are some of the best of the 2000s.