Pricing success stories: 4 case studies of successful price changes

Calista Reyes

At Orb, we see businesses succeed when their pricing evolves. Pricing should be an accelerant for your business, not a pain point for your customers. However, when changes to the business occur and you know it’s time for a new pricing model, not only can it be difficult to implement the changes, but it isn’t always easy to get your audience on board.

Fortunately, many businesses have undergone “pricing glow-ups” that showcase what that kind of change should look like.

In this article, we’ll spotlight a few companies that have successfully updated their pricing and added value to their brands at the same time.

1. Zapier updates tiered pricing

In September 2023, Zapier changed from rigid, tiered pricing to offer unlimited Zaps on all plans, Pay-Per-Task for overages, and free tiers (key features like Formatter no longer count as tasks).

Zapier clearly explained how the change was a win-win by:

  • Communicating the benefits customers would receive as a result
  • Offering tools to help new and existing users adapt
  • Reinforcing that customers on legacy plans have a choice, with multiple touchpoints for upgrade offers
  • Adding flexibility for existing users
  • Considering customer feedback in their decision

Zapier also laid out the changes on social media, their blog, and other channels. As a result, the adjustment earned a positive reception because it was seen as a customer-centric move.


2. Pinecone introduces a serverless offering

Technology innovator Pinecone launched a new serverless offering with usage-based pricing that separates storage, reads, and writes in their pricing model.

Pinecone’s pricing structure shines in two areas:

  • The company aligns exact usage and customer value with the cost of the service.
  • Developers want easy and cost-effective serverless solutions. Pinecone asserts their new pricing structure drives up to 50 times more cost savings compared to their hardware solution.

They thoughtfully selected pricing metrics to match consumer value: Separate credit dimensions ensure customers only pay for the services they use, while efficient search and indexing consume less memory and computation, which reduces developer costs.

These considerations led to a successful price alteration, with many users noting their pay-as-you-go pricing in particular.


3. Cloudflare Workers challenges the industry standard of pricing

In the next Pricing Glow Up story, Cloudflare Workers broke industry norms as the only serverless platform provider that charges by CPU time, instead of duration.


Cloudflare Workers launched in late 2023 and charge based on CPU time instead of how long your function runs, demonstrating their customer focus.

Their new pricing is particularly effective at gaining adoption among AI developers for two reasons:

  • Cost predictability: AI functions and costs can easily skyrocket, especially if third-party end points take longer than expected.
  • Cost-effectiveness for AI-specific use cases: AI functions are unlikely to require excessive CPU time.

Cloudflare Workers’ pricing quickly became a market differentiator for their brand, with much of their target audience noting they now price based on the value users receive from the service (CPU time vs. wall time).


4. Box announces new GenAI tool and pricing

Our fourth and final pricing change example features Box, which historically used a per-seat pricing model for their core products. However, in October 2023, they announced a credit model for their new GenAI tool, Box AI.

Instead of their typical per-seat pricing plan, Box AI employs a credit model.

  • Each user receives 20 credits per month and 2,000 overage credits per company.
  • If a user finishes both credit types, they can buy additional credit blocks.
  • Box has yet to announce the exact structure of the credit blocks.

A prepaid credit model is a great way to match customer value to business expense, as the cost of running generative AI can be very expensive.

Box AI’s credit-based pricing model was well received thanks to their consideration for their users. As others have noted, their credit-based pricing system aligns cost with value, resulting in a mutual win.


A few considerations if you’re considering credit blocks:

  • Long-term discounts
  • Expiration dates
  • Different types of credit dimensions to better serve customers with high usage

Wrapping up — Take your cue from these successful pricing change stories

The four pricing change examples we’ve showcased are a testament to each company’s customer-centric approach, a deep understanding of how their audience finds value in their products, and the tools and systems they have in place to implement pricing updates efficiently.

Ensure your cost structure works to accelerate your mission to transform your pricing into a growth lever for both you and your customers. If you’re considering an update soon, draw inspiration from what these companies did well and thoughtfully.

Orb is here to help innovators successfully implement controlled pricing changes with ease. Reach out to learn how we can help you plan, prepare for, implement, and manage your next price change seamlessly.

March 5, 2024
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