We like the idea of value-based pricing....

However there are a couple of issues in motion graphics (and other design fields) that get in the way of our ability to evaluate value. That sounds weird. At any rate - in broadcast design there are few statistics or metrics that tell us specifically how ESPN benefits from a well-designed, well produced graphics package for say, Monday Night Football. They sure as heck know it's important to look better than their competitors, but how is their visual success or value quantified?

In the world of advertising, product design & other marketing endeavours, metrics for profit, increased sales, increased brand awareness etc. etc., the value of great work is more quantifiable. In broadcast design, at the most it would be possible to track brand awareness, but any increase in the "success" of a network or TV show has too many other factors in play to clearly make a case related to the value of the motion graphics. But all hope is not lost.

Sometimes value is obvious and well understood by all. It can easily be said that designing a new logo for Apple would be more costly and valuable than one for Milk Bone (sorry doggies).

On the other hand when value is not well understood, or we feel a project is underfunded, we try and look holistically at the product and the people we are working with. In the absence of metrics we must explain and outline the business value of what we do, even if we can't quantify it. Essentially the client must understand and trust what we say about business value, and what we can observe collectively in the industry to justify pricing.

And we must provide value for the smaller client that has a one-off for the local market, and for the big kahunas with an international launch coming up. Experience tells you when there is a disconnect between brand power/scope of work/standards and what a client says they have in the kitty. We try to manage that appropriately.

Over the long haul, or bell curve - projects tend to self-value. Most clients understand what investment is needed to obtain a certain result, or they trust us to help them balance their brand objectives with their budget. In a nutshell either the clients already know the value of what they are undertaking, or they must trust us as their partner to help them budget and invest in their brands accordingly.

cartoon by Barbara Smaller