As a service led business we charge clients a fee for our time; this is usually billed by the hour and whenever we estimate on a project, our fees are based on a set number of hours we think it should take. However, every project we undertake is different and every client we support is unique, each with different needs and resources available so there’s never a fixed price we can assign to the services we provide. Branding is such a broad and ever evolving entity that it is impossible to commoditise into a gold, silver or bronze set of packages, for example. We would be devaluing the service we offer and our industry if we did that. Of course, we have processes and methods that we like to work to but they are scaleable and always aligned to meet the specific needs of the client and budget available, there’s not a one price fits all scenario here. When you first consult with Frost about a project we will always try our best to offer our recommendations, including ball park figures to give you an indication, but there’re so many variables to consider that providing an accurate cost over a brief discussion is near on impossible.

Sometimes we get approached by clients asking how much a specific service costs, which is totally understandable, especially if it’s the first time you have engaged an agency like us. The challenge for any agency in these instances is pricing themselves out or under pricing themselves too early. Often what can happen is an agency will offer a top level guide cost based on a project that they believe to be similar to what this one may become. The reality is pricing this way does not work. Even if the client is just exploring how much things cost, the response will never be 100% accurate.  Clients with a Marketing Director or Brand Director will already have good experience working with agencies and therefore have a rough idea on how much things cost, and approach us with a set budget. In these instances we would review the brief, challenge it where necessary and put a proposal together if we feel we can add value to the project. If we are working with a client on brand strategy and implementation, the price of that project would be far more than if we were simply working on brand implementation or campaign delivery; so detailed conversations, or a really clear and succinct brief is vital from the outset.

Budget transparency

Every business, big or small, will have a budget cap that they will need to adhere to, so the more transparent you can be from the outset the better. We advise against going to an agency and saying the budget is whatever it needs to be, because we all know that’s never the case. You may be a 250+ strong team turning over 10’s of millions but only have a budget akin to a company turning over £2 million. We have hourly rates that each team member is charged out at and these rates will vary depending on skill and/or seniority. Some projects will require everyone involved, others will only need a Designer and Studio Manager, or the Creative Director and Strategist to run the project. Who and what is involved will dictate the cost on some areas of the project and who or what is involved from the team is dictated by the budget we are working with.

If you are reading this and you are considering engaging an agency like ours then we recommended you provide an indication of your budget. That way agencies can put together a proposal that offers you the best they can do for your budget, or recommend freelancers or other companies that may be able to help if the budget is not workable. If you are transparent from the outset, you’ll likely discover that you won’t need to spend anywhere near the budget you had allocated, as good and honest agencies won’t just spend the money because you have it, they will look to work with you to identify how best to utilise your budget more effectively.

If you have a project in mind and want to find out how much it may cost, feel free to call us on 01489 892 602 and one of the team will be happy to discuss it with you.