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# Pricing is the most influential medium of communication that

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e-GMAT Representative
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Pricing is the most influential medium of communication that  [#permalink]

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13 Jun 2012, 14:47
4
4
Question 1
00:00

Question Stats:

16% (03:15) correct 84% (03:33) wrong based on 31

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Question 2
00:00

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52% (00:57) correct 48% (01:07) wrong based on 23

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Question 3
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7% (00:36) correct 93% (01:04) wrong based on 27

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Question 4
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4% (00:25) correct 96% (01:30) wrong based on 24

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Here is a new passage - fresh from the oven. Try it out that strategies that we described in our article on Main point and Paragraph summaries.

Pricing is the most influential medium of communication that companies can use with their customers. Prices send unequivocal messages about what the firm believes in, what it thinks of its customers, and how it wants to interact with them.

The traditional approach for fixing the price by ‘running the numbers’ only aims at maximizing short term profits. Using this mechanical and antagonistic approach solely may not be a sustainable long-term strategy since present day consumers disseminate information about a firm’s prices, exploiting social media platforms to publicize policies that they believe are unfair. And they don’t hesitate to abandon companies that cross the line. For example, when Bank of America announced in September 2011 that it would start charging a \$5 monthly debit card fee, the public outcry was so intense that the bank soon rescinded the plan. But the damage was done and account closings increased significantly.

Pricing instead should be strategically used to create shared value for both the company as well as the customers. The key step towards such pricing would be to humanize the process by focusing on consumer relations and not solely on the transactions. Attempts should be made to innovatively design pricing models to facilitate a better consumer experience. Recognizing that many of its customers disliked shipping costs and long waits for delivery, Amazon introduced a service, which, for an annual fee, provides two-day shipping on all orders, thereby eliminating the pain of paying associated with each order. This pricing scheme not only rewards high-volume customers but, more strategically, it also helped Amazon change buying behavior by encouraging customers to do more of their shopping with the company.
Promoting transparency and avoiding complicated pricing plans and obscure contractual terms is another vital practice. A firm that is transparent about the way it makes money fosters engagement and builds trust and goodwill among customers. Hidden costs and consumer traps may help for generating short term revenues but are disadvantageous on a long-term basis. Lastly, companies must closely understand and be able to influence the perceived standards of fairness of the price of their product or service.

1. The passage is primarily concerned with:

B) Describing the various aspects of pricing process

C) Explaining the importance of humanizing the process of price fixing

D) Identifying steps to adapt pricing strategy to changing trends.

E) Discussing about the changing trends in consumer behavior with regards to unfair pricing

2. By using the phrase ‘running the numbers’ the author is referring to what practice?

A) Running complex equations on a computer to generate a number to fix the price.

B) Making calculations for optimizing profits.

C) Making decisions solely based on calculations ignoring unquantifiable variables that may have a greater impact.

D) Using traditional methods for calculation and price fixing.

E) Running simulations on statistical data to fix price.

3. The author of the passage is LEAST likely to make which of the following recommendations to Businessmen.

A) Instead of using pricing for profits, businessmen should use pricing to increase consumer satisfaction.

B) They should avoid hidden costs and simplify the terms of use of their service for better understanding.

C) Businessmen should look at value creation for the consumer too along with traditional strategies for price fixing.

D) They should use pricing as an effective means for communicating with customers.

E) They should try to position themselves so that they may be able to influence the perceived level of fairness of the price of their product.

4. According to the passage, which of the following describes present day consumer most accurately?

A) Consumers sometimes use modern tools to criticize products and service.

B) Consumers raise their voices against products or services which they feel are unjust.

C) They sometimes force companies to lower prices.

D) They use social media to strongly oppose price increases.

E) They sometimes threaten to stop using product.

Looking for more practice with audio visual responses. Try out the e-GMAT RC free trial. The free trial has 8-9 passages; 4 in the diagnostic and the rest in the main point concept and application file. You also have a beautifully crafted video solution with each passage.

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Re: Pricing is the most influential medium of communication that  [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2017, 05:07
Hello everyone,

I want to begin this post with sincere apologies for posting the solutions so late. I really do not know what else to say except we are extremely sorry for having missed posting the solution for this exercise. Sincere apologies again.

Here comes the solution.

Let's begin with Paragraph summary first.

Para 1

Pricing is the most influential medium of communication that companies can use with their customers. Prices send unequivocal messages about what the firm believes in, what it thinks of its customers, and how it wants to interact with them.

Summary

Pricing – means of communication with consumers, helps build perceptions.

Para 2

The traditional approach for fixing the price by ‘running the numbers’ only aims at maximizing short term profits. Using this mechanical and antagonistic approach solely may not be a sustainable long-term strategy since present day consumers disseminate information about a firm’s prices, exploiting social media platforms to publicize policies that they believe are unfair. And they don’t hesitate to abandon companies that cross the line. For example, when Bank of America announced in September 2011 that it would start charging a \$5 monthly debit card fee, the public outcry was so intense that the bank soon rescinded the plan. But the damage was done and account closings increased significantly.

Summary

Traditional approach – short time focus, not sustainable long term as people may revolt using social media. Example given of the same.

Para 3

Pricing instead should be strategically used to create shared value for both the company as well as the customers. The key step towards such pricing would be to humanize the process by focusing on consumer relations and not solely on the transactions. Attempts should be made to innovatively design pricing models to facilitate a better consumer experience. Recognizing that many of its customers disliked shipping costs and long waits for delivery, Amazon introduced a service, which, for an annual fee, provides two-day shipping on all orders, thereby eliminating the pain of paying associated with each order. This pricing scheme not only rewards high-volume customers but, more strategically, it also helped Amazon change buying behavior by encouraging customers to do more of their shopping with the company.

Summary

Use strategic pricing to create shared value. Amazon example given.

Para 4

Promoting transparency and avoiding complicated pricing plans and obscure contractual terms is another vital practice. A firm that is transparent about the way it makes money fosters engagement and builds trust and goodwill among customers. Hidden costs and consumer traps may help for generating short term revenues but are disadvantageous on a long-term basis. Lastly, companies must closely understand and be able to influence the perceived standards of fairness of the price of their product or service.

Summary

Promoting transparency + simplifying pricing– another best practice. Benefits => engagement and trust.

Question 1

The passage is primarily concerned with:

Pre-thinnking: Promoting the best practices of setting up pricing.

Choice A: Analyzing the various advantages and disadvantages of various pricing strategies. Out Of Scope - Only Advantages of one pricing strategy (strategic) while disadvantages of the other is discussed.

Choice B: Describing the various aspects of pricing process. Out Of Scope - Aspects of pricing process not discussed. Only a recommended pricing strategy is discussed.

Choice C: Explaining the importance of humanizing the process of price fixing. Partial Scope - The author goes much beyond to also talk about best practices.

Choice D: Identifying steps to adapt pricing strategy to changing trends. Correct Answer - This is what the author discusses.

Choice E: Discussing about the changing trends in consumer behavior with regards to unfair pricing. Partial Scope - The author does discuss this but this is not the central idea.

Question 2

By using the phrase ‘running the numbers’ the author is referring to what practice?

Pre-thinnking: 'running the number" means making calculations to find means to increase short term gains. (Derived from the analysis of the first two sentences of Para 2)

Choice A: Running complex equations on a computer to generate a number to increase the price. Inconsistent - Does not include short term gains. Also the price may not necessarily be increased.

Choice B: Making calculations for optimizing long term profits. Opposite - This is opposite of that the author is trying to say.

Choice C: Making decisions solely based on calculations ignoring unquantifiable variables. Correct Answer - This is the correct answer per the passage.

Choice D: Using traditional methods for cost calculation and price arbitrage. Out Of Scope - Cost calculation and price arbitrage are not mentioned in the passage.

Choice E: Running simulations on statistical data to fix price. Out Of Scope - Cost calculation and price arbitrage are not mentioned in the passage.

Question 3

According to the passage, which of the following describes present day consumer most accurately?

Pre-thinnking: Open-ended Inference question. Arrive at the answer through Process of Elimination.

Choice A: Consumers sometimes use modern tools to criticize products and service that don’t live up to their promise. Inconsistent - There is no mention of consumers criticizing products and services.

Choice B: Consumers raise their voices against pricing that they feel is unjust. Correct Answer - This is mentioned in paragraph 2.

Choice C: They join hands together in protest whenever companies raise prices. Inconsistent - Consumers don’t do this always, only against price increases that they feel are unjust.

Choice D: They use social media to strongly oppose price any increases. Inconsistent - The passage only talks about unreasonable price increases.

Choice E: They sometimes threaten to stop using product. Out Of Scope - The author does not talk about this aspect.

Question 4

The author of the passage is LEAST likely to make which of the following recommendations to businessmen.

Pre-thinnking: Open-ended Detail question. Arrive at the answer through Process of Elimination.

Choice A: Instead of using pricing for profits, businessmen should use pricing to increase consumer satisfaction. Correct Answer - Author does not advice ignoring profit maximization.

Choice B: They should avoid hidden costs and simplify the terms of use of their service for better understanding. Incorrect - This point is mentioned in paragraph 4.

Choice C: Businessmen should look at value creation for the consumer too along with traditional strategies for price fixing. Incorrect - This point is mentioned in last 2 paragraphs.

Choice D: They should use pricing as an effective means for communicating with customers. Incorrect - This point is mentioned in the first paragraph.

Choice E: They should try to position themselves so that they may be able to influence the perceived level of fairness of the price of their product. Incorrect - This point is mentioned in the last paragraph.

Once again, sincere apologies from team e-GMAT for posting the solution so late.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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##### General Discussion
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Re: Pricing is the most influential medium of communication that  [#permalink]

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13 Jun 2012, 23:51
1
Seems like an easy passage with easy questions , but the options ( especially in Q2 and Q4) are really similar .

I'm not really interested in see how many answers I got right/wrong but I'm more interested to see if my reasoning is correct . I would really appreciate it if the E-gmat team could explain all the options in each question !

1.The passage is primarily concerned with:

Only analyzes the advantages and disadvantages of one strategy ( in the second paragraph ) . In the other paragraphs only the advantages are mentioned .

(b) Describing the various aspects of pricing process
Does'nt really describe "various aspects" of the pricing process . The passage mainly focuses on showing how price fixing should not merely be used to optimize short term profits.

(c) Explaining the importance of humanizing the process of price fixing
I feel this is the main point . In the second paragraph , the author says what would happen if price fixing is not "humanized " and then the subsequent paragraphs show the benefits of humanizing the process of price fixing .

(d) Identifying steps to adapt pricing strategy to changing trends.
Yes this could be the answer , but I feel this depicts the logical structure more rather than fixating on the main point.

(e) Discussing about the changing trends in consumer behavior with regards to unfair pricing

Too specific . This is dealt with only in the second paragraph .

The next question was a bit difficult because nearly all the options seem correct , so I was a bit lost.

2.By using the phrase ‘running the numbers’ the author is referring to what practice?

(a) Running complex equations on a computer to generate a number to fix the price.

Hmmm...does it necessarily have to be "Complex equations " ? I could just run "Simple equations " also right ? Probably not the correct option.

(b) Making calculations for optimizing profits.

This could be the answer but I'm not sure if you can generalize to say "optimize profits" , because profits could be either long term or short term .

(c) Making decisions solely based on calculations ignoring unquantifiable variables that may have a greater impact.

"Running numbers" actually refers to the act of "calculating " and not "Decision making".So this is incorrect.

(d) Using traditional methods for calculation and price fixing.

Seems like a typical GMAT "boring" inference answer . But maybe this answer choice is too boring

(e) Running simulations on statistical data to fix price.

I would pick this answer if this were a real world situation . I would probably pick this as the correct option here as well.

3.The author of the passage is LEAST likely to make which of the following recommendations to Businessmen.

(a) Instead of using pricing for profits, businessmen should use pricing to increase consumer satisfaction.

I feel this is the correct option.

(b) They should avoid hidden costs and simplify the terms of use of their service for better understanding. \

Mentioned in the last paragraph

(c) Businessmen should look at value creation for the consumer too along with traditional strategies for price fixing.

Line 2 of paragraph 2 mentions that traditional methods must not solely be used . In paragraph 3 the author mentions that value creation should be used . So the author implies that both methods should be incorporated.

(d) They should use pricing as an effective means for communicating with customers.

Rephrase of the First Paragraph .

(e) They should try to position themselves so that they may be able to influence the perceived level of fairness of the price of their
product

Mentioned in the last line of the passage.

4.According to the passage, which of the following describes present day consumer most accurately?

(a) Consumers sometimes use modern tools to criticize products and service.

I don't think we can assume "social media" to be a modern tool . Social media could've been there in the past , but it's been used only now.

(b) Consumers raise their voices against products or services which they feel are unjust.

Can "unjust products or services " be equated to "unjust policies " ? Probably not.

(c) They sometimes force companies to lower prices.

Very difficult to pick between (B) and (C) . But I think (C) is correct because there is actually one instance of a Company that lowered the price ( actually the company eliminated the price altogether ).

(d) They use social media to strongly oppose price increases.

The passage says that they use social media to oppose policy that they feel are unjust . So these unjust policy need not imply price increase , it could be other things as well.

(e) They sometimes threaten to stop using product.

There's no mention of a "threat" , there is only a mention of them completely abandoning the company .
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Re: Pricing is the most influential medium of communication that  [#permalink]

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14 Jun 2012, 08:03
egmat wrote:
Here is a new passage - fresh from the oven. Try it out that strategies that we described in our article on Main point and Paragraph summaries.

Pricing is the most influential medium of communication that companies can use with their customers. Prices send unequivocal messages about what the firm believes in, what it thinks of its customers, and how it wants to interact with them.

The traditional approach for fixing the price by ‘running the numbers’ only aims at maximizing short term profits. Using this mechanical and antagonistic approach solely may not be a sustainable long-term strategy since present day consumers disseminate information about a firm’s prices, exploiting social media platforms to publicize policies that they believe are unfair. And they don’t hesitate to abandon companies that cross the line. For example, when Bank of America announced in September 2011 that it would start charging a \$5 monthly debit card fee, the public outcry was so intense that the bank soon rescinded the plan. But the damage was done and account closings increased significantly.

Pricing instead should be strategically used to create shared value for both the company as well as the customers. The key step towards such pricing would be to humanize the process by focusing on consumer relations and not solely on the transactions. Attempts should be made to innovatively design pricing models to facilitate a better consumer experience. Recognizing that many of its customers disliked shipping costs and long waits for delivery, Amazon introduced a service, which, for an annual fee, provides two-day shipping on all orders, thereby eliminating the pain of paying associated with each order. This pricing scheme not only rewards high-volume customers but, more strategically, it also helped Amazon change buying behavior by encouraging customers to do more of their shopping with the company.
Promoting transparency and avoiding complicated pricing plans and obscure contractual terms is another vital practice. A firm that is transparent about the way it makes money fosters engagement and builds trust and goodwill among customers. Hidden costs and consumer traps may help for generating short term revenues but are disadvantageous on a long-term basis. Lastly, companies must closely understand and be able to influence the perceived standards of fairness of the price of their product or service.

The passage is primarily concerned with: [highlight]Answer 2[/highlight] Passage is describing all about pricing strategy.1st para is giving introduction.2nd para is telling abt unfair pricing process.3 para is telling how to maintain balance b/w profit and cust. satisfaction.
2. Describing the various aspects of pricing process
3. Explaining the importance of humanizing the process of price fixing
4. Identifying steps to adapt pricing strategy to changing trends.
5. Discussing about the changing trends in consumer behavior with regards to unfair pricing

By using the phrase ‘running the numbers’ the author is referring to what practice? [highlight]Answer 2[/highlight] bcoz traditional approach is using running no. technique.So the correct answer should only be describing the process used by traditional way.
1. Running complex equations on a computer to generate a number to fix the price.
2. Making calculations for optimizing profits.
3. Making decisions solely based on calculations ignoring unquantifiable variables that may have a greater impact. WRONG because it describes traditional approach not the runnning no.s
4. Using traditional methods for calculation and price fixing.
5. Running simulations on statistical data to fix price.

The author of the passage is LEAST likely to make which of the following recommendations to Businessmen. [highlight]Answer 1[/highlight]Check each statement 1 by1.
1. Instead of using pricing for profits, businessmen should use pricing to increase consumer satisfaction. Author suggest to have balance b/w 2 not to adopt only 1 practice
2. They should avoid hidden costs and simplify the terms of use of their service for better understanding.
3. Businessmen should look at value creation for the consumer too along with traditional strategies for price fixing.
4. They should use pricing as an effective means for communicating with customers.
5. They should try to position themselves so that they may be able to influence the perceived level of fairness of the price of their product.

According to the passage, which of the following describes present day consumer most accurately? [highlight]Answer 3[/highlight] clear by the BOA example
1. Consumers sometimes use modern tools to criticize products and service.
2. Consumers raise their voices against products or services which they feel are unjust.
3. They sometimes force companies to lower prices.
4. They use social media to strongly oppose price increases.
5. They sometimes threaten to stop using product.

Looking for more practice with audio visual responses. Try out the e-GMAT RC free trial. The free trial has 8-9 passages; 4 in the diagnostic and the rest in the main point concept and application file. You also have a beautifully crafted video solution with each passage.

Click to start your free trial

Click to hear the testimonials from our beta trial users

We will provide official answers once we have a few responses to the questions.

Regards,

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Re: Pricing is the most influential medium of communication that  [#permalink]

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14 Jun 2012, 08:16
Someone please post the OA !!
I got ABEB
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Re: Pricing is the most influential medium of communication that  [#permalink]

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15 Jun 2012, 11:43
IMO Ans are A,B,E,A
OA's pls !
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Re: Pricing is the most influential medium of communication that  [#permalink]

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27 Jun 2012, 01:53
Question 1:

The main point of the passage is to explain the new strategy: humanizing the process of pricing. Passage also explains the advantages of such process and criticizes traditional process of price fixing.

IMO C

Question 2:

Para 2 starts with the sentence"The traditional approach for fixing the price by ‘running the numbers’ only aims at maximizing short term profits" ' IMO running the numbers means calculating the price solely based on the cost and profit parameters ignoring qualitative variables such as customer satisfaction.

IMO C

Question 3:

In para 3 and 4 author list most of the recommendation for business regarding pricing strategy. IMO author is list likely to recommend option A.

Question 4:

In para 2 author explains how modern day consumer spread the information about unwise pricing using social media web sites.

IMO D
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06 Jul 2012, 00:59
Q2 (2)
Q3 (3)
Q4 (5)
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Re: Pricing is the most influential medium of communication that  [#permalink]

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06 Jul 2012, 08:00
My choices are: ABEC
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08 Jul 2012, 23:47
It is now time for E-GMAT representative to post the OA.

The passage in out there from 14th June.
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11 Jul 2012, 11:19
My Take is:
A
C
A
B.
Please post the OA asap. Anxiety levels are rising minute by minute. Seems not a difficult passage but a good one. goodgmoderate

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26 Jul 2012, 18:04
A
D
C
B

For #2 the question says the phrase is used to refer to.... Is confusing me-- does it want an explanation of what that means in the passage or that this phrase is used to refer to the traditional approach of price fixing??
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31 Jul 2012, 18:26
C
D
E(or probably A)
B
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31 Jul 2012, 23:51
1 - A
2 - D
3 - A
4 - A

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04 Aug 2012, 08:46
My choices are A, C, C, and B.

RC is quite long to me to provide all reasoning. This is only practice and I want to hear the explanation from great guy e-GMAT
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06 Aug 2012, 09:32
IMO ABCB

Wait for OAs!!!!
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22 Oct 2012, 13:05
hi, CCAB

when will the correct answers be psoted?
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22 Oct 2012, 18:20
3
The passage is primarily concerned with:
2. Describing the various aspects of pricing process nope
3. Explaining the importance of humanizing the process of price fixing this is the correct answer
4. Identifying steps to adapt pricing strategy to changing trends. no trends
5. Discussing about the changing trends in consumer behavior with regards to unfair pricing nope

By using the phrase ‘running the numbers’ the author is referring to what practice?
1. Running complex equations on a computer to generate a number to fix the price. no mentioned
2. Making calculations for optimizing profits. no mentioned
3. Making decisions solely based on calculations ignoring unquantifiable variables that may have a greater impact.this is a consequence
4. Using traditional methods for calculation and price fixing. correct, is the technique per se
5. Running simulations on statistical data to fix price. nope

The author of the passage is LEAST likely to make which of the following recommendations to Businessmen.
1. Instead of using pricing for profits, businessmen should use pricing to increase consumer satisfaction. in the right direction toward the customers
2. They should avoid hidden costs and simplify the terms of use of their service for better understanding. idem
3. Businessmen should look at value creation for the consumer too along with traditional strategies for price fixing. the passage say that classic approach is incorrect and here the businessmen should use it ?? correct
4. They should use pricing as an effective means for communicating with customers. idem
5. They should try to position themselves so that they may be able to influence the perceived level of fairness of the price of their product. idem in the last sentence

According to the passage, which of the following describes present day consumer most accurately?
1. Consumers sometimes use modern tools to criticize products and service. nope the passage says: disseminate information about a firm’s prices, exploiting social media platforms to publicize policies that they believe are unfair NOT sometimes
2. Consumers raise their voices against products or services which they feel are unjust. correct
3. They sometimes force companies to lower prices. nope
4. They use social media to strongly oppose price increases. nope
5. They sometimes threaten to stop using product. nope
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30 Oct 2012, 11:42
e-gmat team could you please let us know the answers for these questions...?

Cheers
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Re: Pricing is the most influential medium of communication that  [#permalink]

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26 Nov 2012, 23:08
My answer is as below :

1 . C

2. C

3. B

4. A
Re: Pricing is the most influential medium of communication that &nbs [#permalink] 26 Nov 2012, 23:08

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