Examining the application of behavioral price research in business-to-business markets

Kent B. Monroe, Veli Matti Rikala, Outi Somervuori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) markets differ in many ways as documented in the contemporary marketing literature. However, many behavioral characteristics of human beings - particularly those related to judgment and decision-making - are present across diverse contexts. From this insight, we derive a proposition: many behavioral price concepts developed in the past B2C behavioral price research may be applicable in B2B context as well. The objective of this paper is to examine this proposition through analyzing the existing evidence on five important behavioral price concepts: reference price, price thresholds, acceptable price range, price as an indicator of quality, and the price-perceived value model. At a more general level, the objective of this paper is to demonstrate the importance of recognizing how buyers' responses to prices and price information differ from the traditional assumptions about such behaviors in B2B marketing literature. The results provide strong evidence for the applicability of the reference price concept in B2B markets. The price-perceived value model is widely applied in B2B pricing, although in narrow form. Use of price as an indicator of quality also receives some support. For price thresholds and acceptable price range little research activity exists in B2B domain. Overall, while there has been some behavioral price research specifically in a B2B context, nevertheless it is comparatively sparse, and for some concepts virtually non-existent. We end the paper with a call that more behavioral price research is needed as such research has potential to help business marketing managers make more effective pricing decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-25
Number of pages9
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • Behavioral price research
  • Differential price thresholds
  • Perceived value
  • Perception
  • Reference price

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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