Normal is boring

We had a very interesting assignment that dealt with the subject of pricing strategy. The subject involves determining what is the right price a customer is willing to pay for a product. If the product costs 5 bucks to make, can we price it at 10 to ensure some sucker buys it? Well, that’s the crux of the subject. For further details, I am open to being a consultant for a suitable fee. Anyway, we were asked to take up a product or a service and determine the factors affecting pricing, was it justified and why is it different in different places.

Needless to say, the group we formed decided we’ve had enough of talking about cellular phones, computers, printers, hotel industry and all the other mundane industries that the run-of-the-mill MBA grad would study. Time to spice things up! Much brainstorming for a topic….BLINK….the light goes on! The mail is sent out. Topic for pricing Strategy – Durex Condoms. ( I have a bad feeling the ad thingy would read this keyword and draw up condom ads on the side).

Needless to say, people thought we were just joking around and that we would soon send in a real topic like automobiles or something. But the 5 of us were dead serious about presenting this topic. And we had no intentions of making this a laugh riot, but were going to be totally professional about the entire affair. Complete intention to present the ‘hard’ facts about pricing.
People still kept wondering how any of us were going to present the same with a straight face while using words like ‘inter course’,’love-makning’,’pleasure seeking’,’extra ribbed’….and the rest. The thing is, we too were a little scared until the last minute. The preparation was a total laugh riot as we kept running through tons of sites that threw up facts that left us giggling like giddy school boys who’ve just seen their first dirty magazine( or website). Somehow, two days of excessive googling, we managed to pull up some real concrete data on the company and its product. All the costs were in place, actual numbers that showed pricing strategy. Put in a few videos, and marketing jargon, we’re all set to make what would be the most daring thing an MBA grad presenting can do, or the most foolish.

D-day, mails go out telling people to fill the classroom. And so they did. There were some who were not even from our subject or our class. But everyone was eager to see how we pulled this off. Lights go down…spotlight…center stage. We deliver. The expressions on peoples faces were brilliant. Some kept grinning from ear to ear, some looked down in embarrassment (must have been some of the facts we threw up), some were just plain bored. And that was perhaps the most straight faced any of us have ever been, no giggling or squirming while using words that would make your mum go ushoooooooooo……….But overall, I think people were convinced that we did what was quite a daring thing. I was just hoping the class question master ( the dude with all the irrelevant questions just before break time) did not start to ask us questions. The prof was quite enthusiastic and was asking tons of questions and was explaining a lot to the class.

At the end of it, the 5 of us walked out feeling like we’ve conquered something. In the years to come, there is no way we would ever get a chance to take a topic like this and present. Most would be boring topics of the same product line of software, insurance, banking; retail…etc.etc….if wasn’t now. It was never. I’ll put the slides up some time. For now, we’re semi-heroes and it feels nice. Normal is boring. I'm sincerely hoping this presentation becomes the stuff of legends...the next topic is going to be tough if we are looking to trump this one.