The Strategy And Tactics Of Pricing by Thomas Nagle and Reed Holden

by Paul Simister on October 18, 2011

The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing: A Guide to Growing More Profitably” by Thomas Nagle and Reed Holden is widely recognised as the world’s best pricing book.

Pricing is where your strategy is either tested and proven or fails. It is very much where the rubber meets the road.

Review of The Strategy And Tactics Of Pricing

The Strategy And Tactics Of Pricing by Thomas Nagle and Reed Holden

The authors, Thomas Nagle and Reed Holden walk expertly the fine line that makes “The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing” work both as an academic textbook for MBA level students on a pricing module and as a guide for the serious practitioner of pricing.

I read business books actively. I underline sections that I want to go back to and annotate in the margins. I don’t think I have any book that has as much of the contents highlighted. Even better,  The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing is a book I keep going back to when I have a pricing issue to think about.

What’s Included In The Strategy & Tactics of Pricing

My copy is a thorough review of pricing from an economic, marketing and profit perspective bringing in the current thinking on customer value and is packed with advice on:

  • How to set prices
  • How to change prices
  • How to work out whether price changes will be profitable
  • What to do if competitors change prices
  • How to avoid a price war – and what to do if you find yourself caught in one.

Conclusion on The Strategy And Tactics Of Pricing

I have no hesitation in giving “The Strategy & Tactics of Pricing” by Thomas Nagle and Reed Holden the full “you must read this book”  recommendation.

It is essential reading for marketing VPs, marketing directors, strategy and marketing consultants and finance directors – in fact by anyone who is serious about understanding how pricing decisions impact on profit.

My only criticism is that while it has academic rigour, it is not an easy read.

The book is well written and is much easier to read than Kent Monroe’s highly regarded book on pricing but some readers will find it too dense. A lighter read and an introduction to pricing theory is “Smarter Pricing” by Tony Cram.

For people at the sharp end negotiating prices with customers, the book provides the theory for holding a firm line on pricing and explains why individual price negotiations are suboptimal but it doesn’t give you the secrets of what to say when put under pressure. For that I recommend How To Sell At Margins Higher Than Your Competitors (affiliate link).

Buying The Strategy & Tactics Of Pricing by Thomas Nagle and Reed Holden

The book is available from and  (affiliate links to the 5th edition of The Strategy And Tactics of Pricing –  the book is regularly updated, so if you buy it, make sure you get the current version)

Have You Read The Strategy And Tactics Of Pricing?

I am always eager to encourage comments so if you have read this book, I will be very interested to see if you agree with the popular consensus that this is THE pricing book.

Paul Simister is a business strategy coach who helps business owners to differentiate their businesses and develop winning strategies. Get your free copy of the ebook The Six Steps Profit Formula.
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The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing

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