Discover this entrepreneurial adventure in this new podcast.
- Chapter 1: your entrepreneurial experience in 3² point
- Chapter 2: The genesis of the business idea
- Chapter 3: Validation of the business idea
- Chapter 4: Getting started
- Chapter 5: Take-off
- Chapter 6: the future
- IntoTheMinds podcasts
The marketing idea to be retained absolutely
You need to spend a considerable amount of time testing your idea with professionals, with future customers and measuring the market fit before you launch your company and start marketing your idea.
Chapter 1: Your entrepreneurial experience in 3² points
3 key figures
Fundraising of 2 million euros, 5 clients and a presence in 3 European countries (France, Spain, Portugal) within 2 years.
3 Tips for future start-uppers
Tip 1: Test the market fit of the product and the concept (analyse the real needs and whether the envisaged approach is the right one to address and solve this need)
Tip 2: Surround yourself with the right expertise (associates, partners, experts)
Tip 3: Be resilient and able to bounce back to move forward
3 essential skills to launch a start-up
The first skill mentioned by Jérôme Laurent is business expertise and professional experience, which help to avoid inevitable mistakes. The second skill for an entrepreneur is good sales skills. Finally, the third competence mentioned is the agility of process, approach and spirit.
The 3 founders
It is necessary to be able to adapt to the market, to the feedback from customers and prospects, to develop and respond to the needs of the market.
Chapter 2: The genesis of the business idea
Pricing HUB aims to create a mass of incremental margin for its clients (retailers and e-merchants) to protect their margins and enable them to grow more sustainably and profitably.
The valuable proposition of Pricing HUB
- SaaS solution to help European retailers and e-merchants protect their margins by optimising their prices through price calculation and price recommendations
- The price calculation is based on the price sensitivity calculation (the elasticity curve of the final consumer)
- These elasticity curves are calculated per product category
- Pricing HUB has the capacity of external concepts (competition type)
- Possibility to calculate a price on groups of products to be optimised, with control groups
- Ability to measure the impact of price changes on mass margin and revenue increments.
- Calculation of optimal pricing to retain customers and to be aligned with business objectives
Jérôme Laurent specifies that this business model is not so different from selling airline tickets on the internet. Here again, the teams had to set prices according to the sensitivity of consumers while anticipating variations in demand. It has taken several years for Jérôme Laurent and his associates to settle on the Pricing HUB concept.
[We made] a pragmatic choice based on the expertise we had.
Chapter 3: Confirmation of the business idea
For a year, the 3 co-founders tested their approach and the market fit of their idea. To do so, Jérôme, Xavier and Guillaume presented their concept to large French companies and retailers to collect their opinions and feedback. This is how they started the negotiations with Fnac/Darty who were enthusiastic about the idea.
A first non-conventional contract
The collaboration between Fnac/Darty and Pricing HUB was not only focused on the development of the prototype. The co-founders of the start-up wished to put this contract under the sign of collaboration by providing pricing services to Fnac/Darty in return for funding for the creation of the prototype.
Following the launch of the prototype and conclusive results, the start-up responded to an invitation to tender. For the agents, the solution was applicable in very few areas and was too complicated to use. Pricing HUB, therefore, continued to develop its product by integrating a rules engine so that the solution would be closer to customer needs.
The objective for Pricing HUB was to search for prospects in different verticals to define to what extent the product needed to be adjusted to specific business areas.
The danger of attacking different verticals
- They may have very different needs, which can lead to the addition or removal of options that are complicated to set up, and sometimes very costly.
- Pricing HUB wants to have a tool that is sufficiently configurable to be able to respond to a large number of implementation cases.
- The start-up makes constant trade-offs and follows a roadmap for the development of functionalities.
- Specific developments are not desirable and, if they have to be realised, they are billed to the client accordingly.
Chapter 4: Getting started
Jérôme Laurent explains in this podcast that it is complicated to find and convert prospects because the product is very technical, and the market maturity is relatively low.
The first clients targeted by Pricing HUB are companies with a higher than average pricing maturity, early-adopters who are open to innovation and have the ability to take risks, particularly technological risks. The second category represents more traditional retailers or e-merchants for whom the sales pitch has had to be largely adapted.
2 distinctive sales pitches
- For early-adopters, the discussion is mainly focused on the methodology used and the technology used.
- For more traditional companies, the discussion is simplified and reflected in terms of pain points to illustrate its benefits.
Jérôme Laurent specifies that a large part of sales requires reassuring potential customers, which is made possible thanks to existing customer relationships.
We often put our potential customers in touch with our clients: …] our clients are our best lawyers and our best salespeople.
Jérôme Laurent, Pricing HUB
The positive market signals
- The first phase of covid-19 lockdown was a lever for Pricing HUB as it convinced retailers and e-retailers that pricing is a strategic lever for optimising and steering PnL (Profit & Loss).
- During this period, all the competitors concentrated their price points, so the price was no longer a differentiating factor.
- The elasticity curves, and therefore the price sensitivity of consumers, has evolved
- Conventional pricing approaches have proven ineffective
- Marketing and consultant budgets have been cut, which has put pricing back at the centre of retailers’ and e-merchants’ concerns.
[The market players] are becoming aware that at a constant flow, pricing is a super lever for optimisation.
Chapter 5: Take off
As a reminder, Pricing HUB has raised €2 million in 2020 from private, public inestors and business angels.
To date, the principal investments have been concentrated on the data and development divisions, notably through the recruitment of senior profiles. The objective for Pricing HUB is to recruit in other areas of the company (customer success, marketing) but also to develop the Data Scientists and development teams.
A two-headed direction (between Paris and Barcelona)
Jérôme Laurent believes that this two-headedness is an advantage for Pricing HUB:
- The 3 co-founders are well accustomed to working with remote teams.
- Many tools and practices simplify remote work
- The start-up can recruit in Spain excellent quality profiles at lower costs than in France (Data Scientists, developers)
- Pricing HUB proposes to its employees to relocate them to either city if they wish
Chapter 6: The future
Jérôme Laurent affirms that pricing will become a critical optimisation lever and that the players on this market will succeed in bringing it to maturity. He specifies that he receives requests, notably from Germany, without having prospected in this country. The future objective would therefore be, among others, to develop in other countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom.
[Our] tool must be straightforward to use [while at the same time meeting] increasingly complex needs.
To make itself known and to ensure that prospects understand the start-up’s objectives, Pricing HUB wishes to undertake a content marketing strategy. The start-up already offers workshops and podcasts. It wants to develop white-papers, use cases and customer cases to accelerate the marketing process and shorten the sales cycle.
The objectives for 2023
- A profitable company
- Wider development in Europe
- A 30-strong customer base
A podcast to help you develop your start-up
In 2020 we are changing the format of our podcasts. The aim is to help you develop your start-up by providing you with relevant information on specific topics.
Our podcasts are now divided into chapters of +/- 3 minutes. Each chapter is dedicated to a specific theme or development phase. You can therefore listen to the entire podcast or choose to listen to only part of it by directly selecting the part that interests you the most.
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