不可思议的消逝性资产

发自罗马——上世纪80时代末的时候,我曾参加过一场名为“收入管理”,实际上关于如何为航班座位定价以获得最大收益的会议。这玩意堪称一门艺术,须知如果机票定价太高,你就没有生意;定得太低,你赚到的钱就比人们愿意支付的要少。会上大部分演讲者都是航空业的行家,对其中的窍门早就烂熟于心。台下大部分听众则来自酒店业,就是来取经的。而作为一名消费者,我当时觉得自己好像是混进了竞争对手的战略会议一样。

从那以后,我看到两个相关联的概念在越来越多的市场上流行:基于时间的定价以及对所谓“消逝性资产”的更有效利用——“消逝性资产”指的是那些只有被使用才能产生收益的生产资料。在没有电脑的年代,综合性定价是很难实施的——或者具体来说,很难为基于特定交易时间和地点的报价找到合适的顾客。而酒店和航空业就是专门的例子:这两个行业的业务都依赖于对资本资产的分摊使用。

当然,某些行业仍在沿用僵化的按天或按季定价的模式。我们对那些健身俱乐部向涵盖高峰时段的会员资格收费更高的做法已经习以为常。而总的来说,虽然资产还是那个资产,但你仍会听到人们抱怨为什么同坐一个航班,坐他们旁边那人怎么花的钱就比自己少。

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