The Differences Between Value-Based Pricing & Cost-Based Pricing

Darshit Singh
Apr 13, 2017 · 3 min read
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IMAGE source [Live Mint]

Businesses have methods by which to price their products and services. Two common methods are cost-based pricing and value-based pricing. When a company uses cost-based pricing, the company sets a price at a percentage above the cost it incurs to manufacture the product or to provide the service. Value-based pricing takes a different approach, considering the potential value the product or service will bring to its customers.

Cost-Based Pricing

Cost-based pricing uses manufacturing or production costs as its basis for pricing. The cost-based pricing company uses its costs to find a price floor and a price ceiling. The floor and the ceiling are the minimum and maximum prices for a specific product or service; they serve as a price range. If the market conditions are such that the going competitive price is under the price floor, the company may price at the floor or attempt to lower its costs to lower the floor. But ideally, the company should price somewhere in between the floor and the ceiling, according to the McDonough School of Business. Many companies that produce in masses use this pricing strategy, such as companies that produce textiles, food products and building materials.

Value-Based Pricing

A value-based pricing company considers the value of its product or service, as opposed to the cost the company incurred to create and produce it. To do this, the company determines how much money or value its product or service will generate for the customer. This value could originate from factors such as increased efficiency, happiness or stability. Companies or individuals that produce medications, chemicals and computer programs and software and artwork often use this pricing strategy.


Cost-based pricing focuses on the company’s situation when determining price. In contrast, value-based pricing focuses on the customers when determining price. A value-based pricing company develops a means by which to calculate the potential value their product or service may bring customers and prices accordingly. Some companies use computer software to determine the value a product or service can offer.


When a company uses cost-based pricing, it prices between the price floor and the price ceiling. The market conditions dictate where, between the floor and the ceiling, the company sets its pricing. If it uses value-based prices, the company sets its pricing in a range determined by what customers are willing to pay. Generally, the value-based price is higher.


Cost-based pricing generally results in competitive prices. Companies that use this strategy may attract consumers who are looking for inexpensive products and services. Value-based pricing companies often earn high profits on each item sold, but some consumers may not be willing to pay the high price and purchase from a competitor.

Source -[ Chron ]

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