Topic: Branding

Branding Campaign Pricing

Posted by Anonymous on 125 Points
My web design company has branched out into the advertising world, and we have already begun branding identities for clients. From logo development, tagline creation, content and more. Although we are unsure of what packages to charge for "branding" a company. I realize there are different levels with this, but on a basic level, that would include taglines for ads, ad design, web design, logo design and overall branding concept, where do I go to find pricing ranges?
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  • Posted by mgoodman on Member
    Sorry, but branding is much more than logos, taglines, ad design, web design, etc.

    Branding is a very broad concept, a kind of promise that encompasses every facet of a product or service. It's a promise to the target audience that your product will deliver an important benefit -- the same way, time-after-time, without fail. A brand is a total experience, not just a cute picture and a distinctive font.

    If you're branding a restaurant, and the waiters are surly, that becomes part of your brand image. And if the parking lot is full and someone has to walk a block or two to get to your restaurant, that's part of your brand too. No advertising or logo or website design can undo those elements of the brand.

    The logo is more of a token -- something to remind you of the brand. I think you're looking at providing more of a communications package than a brand, and the costs can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. It depends on what it is you are going to do, what your client is trying to accomplish, and how much your client values the result.

    We've done some small logo design projects for less than $2,000. (Clients thought they got a real bargain when we finished, but they were suspect of the amount when we started.) We've also done some corporate positioning and branding strategies that ran well over $50,000 -- sometimes more than $100,000. It depends on what exactly you're going to do and what it's worth to your client.

    There's no standard rate card for "branding." Don't waste your time looking for one.
  • Posted by wnelson on Member
    I think what Michael is getting at is that the activities for branding that you describe - taglines for ads, ad design, web design, logo design and overall branding concept – are the tail end of the branding process and are a small part, even in the basic sense. Companies invest much in branding, since this represents how they will be perceived by customers and differentiated from competitors – all of which I am sure you are well aware. If a company doesn’ t have a brand, chances are they will need some market strategy work completed up front.

    Here is a checklist of activities that must be completed as part of a branding project:

    1) Market definition – who are the customers and what are their needs? Define segments. This activity can include publication and web research, surveys, focus groups
    2) Core competencies – what can the company provide that serves the needs? This will come from within the company through interviews with management
    3) Market segment selection – based on market definition, segmentation, and core competencies, select the segments to serve. This is a “decision” and takes little time.
    4) Competitive analysis – what are the strengths and weaknesses of each of the competitors as they apply to the target segments? What are the client’s strengths and weaknesses? Research of publications, web, etc. It could include surveys and discussion groups, depending on how well defined the market is.
    5) Positioning – how can the client exploit the competitor’s weaknesses, downplay the competitors’ strengths, and present their own weakness in a light that they are strengths?

    It’s at this point that the tag lines, ad design, web design, and logo work can begin. Now, if you get involved after all of the preceding activities are completed before you become engaged, then your summary is correct.

    I like to look at pricing in terms of amount of effort. Depending on the situation, my familiarity with the industry, and how much survey and focus group work is needed, activity 1 will take about twice as much effort as 4 and activities 2, 3, and 5 take about as much as 4. I would say that the remaining activities are equivalent in effort to item 4, also. So, if activity 1 is a man-month, then the entire project is about two and a half man-months.

    Given this work breakdown, your expenses, and desired profit margin, you can make an estimate. Add in the cost of surveying and focus groups – I’d estimate about $5K per session for me because I’d subcon this. Michael’s $50K to $100K is a good range. If your bottom up estimate is between those estimates, you probably have a good starting model. If your projects have some of the upfront activities complete already, pull them out and ratio down based on the proportions.

    I hope this helps.

  • Posted by mgoodman on Member
    Are you looking for pricing based on the value delivered? Or are you looking for a day-rate or hourly rate for this kind of work?

    If it's an hourly rate you're looking for, you'll have to find someone who bills that way (say, a lawyer) and compare the value of what you deliver to the value that he/she delivers. It's a terrible way for a professional marketer to work. It encourages the service provider to be inefficient, and the client to constantly watch the meter tick away his or her money. Much better to focus on the deliverable and the value it brings.

    If it's value-based pricing, the value of a branding project will obviously be less to a small business than to a larger business. You need to understand what the client is going to do with your work and try to "dollar-ize" its value. It's not easy.

    I hope you can see why we are not able to give you more specific answers. If it's just graphic design you're selling, I know that you can get pretty good graphic designers (or web designers) for $75-125 per hour. But that's not even close to branding.

    * * * * *

    Thanks, Wayde. You did a much better job than I did at explaining the issue.

    * * * * *

    Keetherscan: I wasn't intending to talk down to you. I was just pointing out that your question was not internally consistent. You said you wanted to consult on "branding," but then you gave examples that all sounded like communications. I'm still not clear on what it is you would deliver, or what the real question is. If you are "quite familiar with branding," your original question needs to be rephrased, so we can address it properly.
  • Posted on Accepted
    Branding...What a wonderful phrase
    Branding! Ain't no passing craze
    It means no worries for the rest of your days
    It's our problem-free philosophy
    Yeah. It's our motto!
    What's a motto?
    Nothing. What's a-motto with you?
    Had to throw out a little humor...(well my attempt at it.)

    The crazy wonderful thing about Branding is that many of us understand it completely because we experience it everyday of our lives as consumers (strong brands and weak brands). In fact, some of the strongest brands that stay with me are really terrible but they are great at being awful so I know NOT to do business with that brand.

    Trying to define a brand or actually thinking that we can agree on a definition is just a waste of time. So I don't agree with Michael that you should "re-phrase" your question.

    You want an answer right? How much to charge?

    Wayde and Michael both offer really good pieces of the answer.

    Wayde First-"Given this work breakdown, your expenses, and desired profit margin, you can make an estimate."

    Michael Second-"...the value of a branding project will obviously be less to a small business than to a larger business."

    The great thing about opinions is that no one person is right or wrong...we are..well....just giving an opinion.

    Here's mine. Branding ...important stuff. So important stuff is very very expensive. Charge as much as you want and then add another 30%.

    Branding is the kind of endeavor that you end up immersing yourself and really getting to know your client's business and customers even better then they do themselves. It is not going to be a 6 week project. All this is expensive. That’s why you should be selective as to who you take on as a client.

    Hakuna Matata!


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