Writing for Business - A Whatis.com Blog

Sep 24 2009   11:17AM GMT

Pricing — is it competitive, aggressive or predatory?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
We will be pricing the system ________ to get a jump on the market.
a. competitively
b. aggressively


Answer: a

Explanation:
Aggressive, in terms of pricing, is essentially a jargon synonym for competitive. Stick with the latter. Aggressive is often used to suggest fierceness but, really, what are you going to do — bite the other marketers?

There’s another term out there, less favored than aggressive: predatory. Predatory pricing is extremely low pricing intended to undercut competitors and drive them out of the business while also discouraging new entrants. There’s some argument over whether predatory pricing exists other than as a marketing myth.

Some might argue for using the terms to indicate the relative ruthlessness of the price cut: Predatory > Aggressive > Competitive.

However, most companies want to ensure a profit and will set a price that will maximize the chance of doing that. That’s competitive.

See Robert Malmrose’s post on why you should limit jargon for better communication.

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