You’re a business owner, and you know that effective marketing is all about squeezing as much value from your customers as possible. But how do you do it? And what if your customers never hear back from you again? That’s where cost plus marketing comes in. Cost plus marketing is a great way to get your customers to contact you more often, and it can also help you increase your sales volume. Here are three tips for a cost plus marketing strategy that work!

Cost Plus Strategy

The practice of a business of figuring out the cost of the product to the company and then adding a percentage on top of that price to determine the selling price to the customer is known as cost-plus pricing, also known as markup pricing.

A very straightforward cost-based pricing strategy is cost-plus pricing, which is used to determine the prices of goods and services. In order to calculate the cost for the business to provide the good or service, you must first add the direct material cost, the direct labor cost, and overhead. The selling price is calculated by multiplying the total cost by a markup percentage. Profit equals this markup percentage. As a result, you must begin by having a thorough and accurate understanding of all the costs associated with running the business.

In some circumstances, both the buyer and the seller agree on the markup percentage. During the sale, you can use this percentage as a negotiating tool.

How to Calculate Cost-Plus Pricing in 3 Steps

Cost Plus Marketing Strategy

Calculating cost-plus pricing for a product entails three steps:

  • Step 1: Compute the product or service’s total cost, which includes both fixed and variable costs (fixed costs do not vary by the number of units, while variable costs do).
  • Step 2: To calculate the unit cost, divide the total cost by the number of units.
  • Step 3: To determine the selling price and the profit margin of the product, multiply the unit cost by the markup percentage.

Cost Plus Marketing Strategy

A straightforward pricing strategy known as “cost-plus pricing” or “markup pricing” adds a predetermined percentage to the cost of producing one unit of a good (unit cost). Instead of concentrating on external factors like consumer demand and competitor prices, this pricing strategy emphasizes internal factors like production costs. Retail stores frequently use this pricing strategy when determining their prices.

Cost-plus pricing is frequently used by retailers in the clothing, grocery, and department store industries. These situations involve a variety of goods being sold, allowing for the application of various markup rates to various goods.

Because the value your products provide is frequently greater than the costs to produce the products, this pricing method isn’t the best fit if you sell software as a service (SaaS).

Businesses that want to pursue a cost-leadership strategy should use the cost-plus pricing strategy. By sharing the company’s pricing policy with customers and stating something along the lines of, “We’ll never charge more than X% for our products,” cost-plus pricing can be used as part of the company’s value proposition. Potential customers are more likely to trust businesses that are transparent, and this helps them establish a solid brand.

Cost-Plus Formula for Pricing

By combining the costs of materials, labor, and overhead, the cost-plus pricing formula is calculated (1 + the markup amount). Overhead costs, which are frequently associated with the operational costs of producing a product, are expenses that you cannot directly link to the costs of materials or labor.


The markup is the proportionate difference between the product’s selling price and its unit cost. By deducting the unit cost from the sales price and dividing the resulting amount by the unit cost, you can determine a product’s markup. The markup percentage is then calculated by multiplying the final result by 100.

A Price Based on Cost Example

Cost Plus Marketing Strategy

Consider a scenario where a business sells a product for $1, which includes all manufacturing and marketing expenses. The “plus” component of cost-plus pricing is then added by the business on top of that $1. The company’s profit is represented by that sum of the price.

The percentage of markup may also take into account a factor reflecting the state of the economy or the market, depending on the company. The markup percentage might be lower to entice customers if demand is weak. On the other hand, if the product is in high demand and the economy is doing well, the markup percentage might be higher because the business feels it can charge a higher price.

Example 2

Consider starting a retail clothing line and having to figure out how much the jeans will sell for. The price to make one pair of jeans is as follows:

Cost of materials: $10
Cost of labor: $30
Cost of overhead: $15

$55.00 total is the total cost. The formula would be as follows with a markup of 50%:

Price to Sell = $55.00 (1 + 0.50)

Price Sold = $55.00 (1.50)

Price Sold = $82.50

This results in a selling price for each pair of jeans of $82.50.

Cost Plus Pricing Advantages and Disadvantages

Cost Plus Marketing Strategy

You should weigh the benefits and drawbacks of a cost-plus pricing strategy before deciding to use it. Here are a few crucial things to think about.


1: It’s easy to use.

A cost-plus pricing strategy doesn’t require a lot of background investigation. Instead, all you need to do is calculate a markup price by looking at your production costs (such as labor, materials, and overhead).

  1. The cost is acceptable.

Consumers can understand price changes easily thanks to the cost-plus pricing strategy. A company may be able to justify an increase in selling price if, for instance, rising production costs force the company to do so.

  1. It offers a steady rate of return, too.

The cost-plus pricing should result in full cost coverage when calculated properly. The markup percentage should also guarantee a steady rate of return.


  1. The price can be set too high.

There is a chance that your selling price will be too high because this pricing strategy disregards competitor prices. If customers decide to work with a less expensive rival, this could lead to a loss of sales.

  1. There is no assurance that all expenses will be paid.

Prior to setting the product’s price, sales volume is projected; however, this projection is occasionally off. Fewer products are sold and the costs to produce the product might not be covered if sales are overestimated and the markup is low. The company frequently suffers a financial hit as a result of this.

  1. There is no motivation to work efficiently.

If the business bases the selling price, they might still be able to profit from a product at the same percentage even if production costs increase. This takes away the motivation for the company to run more profitably and pay less to produce its goods. Businesses are unlikely to succeed in the future if they don’t change their strategies to reflect the environment.

You can easily add a markup to your product to determine its selling price if you use a cost-plus pricing strategy. However, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages of this markup strategy to see if it’s a good fit for your company.


The fact that cost-plus pricing ignores all indicators of the product or service’s demand is a serious drawback. Whether potential customers will actually buy the product at the suggested price is not taken into account by the formula. To make up for this, some business owners have attempted to integrate cost-plus pricing with the concepts of price elasticity. Others might merely consider market conditions, trends, and business acumen when determining what the market will bear.

Value-based pricing is an alternative that bases a product or service’s selling price on the advantages it offers consumers rather than how much it costs to produce. Value-based pricing, which typically results in a higher profit percentage, may be an excellent strategy for your company if it sells specialty or unique products with highly valuable features.

Cost Based Pricing

Cost Plus Marketing Strategy

Cost-based pricing is a method of setting prices that is based on how much it costs to produce, manufacture, and distribute a good. In order to make a profit, a product’s price is essentially calculated by adding a portion of the manufacturing costs to the selling price. Cost-plus pricing and break-even pricing are the two types of cost-based pricing.

One of a few pricing tactics, along with value-based, going-rate, and competition-based pricing, is cost-based pricing.

What options do you have and how do you start if you do decide to implement a cost-based pricing strategy?

Cost-Based Pricing Strategy

Companies use a cost-based pricing strategy to generate revenue that is a predetermined percentage higher than their total production and manufacturing costs. It’s a common pricing option for businesses in the manufacturing industry.

Cost-plus and break-even pricing are the two pricing models used in this strategy.

Cost-Plus Pricing Techniques

Cost-plus pricing is a pricing strategy in which you raise the price of your goods and services above the cost of production and manufacturing.

Cost-plus pricing is a pricing strategy in which you raise the price of your goods and services above the cost of production and manufacturing.

“A cost-plus pricing strategy, or markup pricing strategy, is a simple pricing method where a fixed percentage is added on top of the production cost for one unit of product (unit cost),” explains Meredith Hart, content marketer for Owl Labs.

She continues, “This pricing strategy ignores competitor prices and consumer demand.”

You must add the costs for the materials, labor, and overhead before multiplying the total by one plus the markup percentage to determine the cost-plus price.

Break-Even Pricing Technique

Break-even pricing, also known as target-return pricing, is the second cost-based pricing strategy.

With this tactic, a product’s price is set by the cost of its production, manufacturing, and delivery without a markup. Instead of marking up every unit with the intention of making a profit, this strategy is used to determine how many units a business must sell to cover its production costs.

All you have to do to determine break-even pricing is divide the (fixed cost) by the (price – variable cost).

The formula also modifies slightly if a business has a specific target return in mind, becoming (fixed cost + target return) / (price – variable cost). This is the calculation you would use to determine the quantity of units you must sell to achieve a particular return on investment.

Don’t want to perform all of this math by hand? Use this free Sales Pricing Strategy Calculator & Template to determine how much revenue your business will generate using a cost-based pricing strategy.


For your business to be profitable, pricing strategies are crucial. They can be employed by your sales staff as a sales technique because your pricing policy and degree of transparency may even increase sales. A cost-based pricing strategy will produce predictable profits and build customer trust, enabling you to expand your business if it is implemented with strategic forethought.

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