The cost of creativity – by the hour… how much for the Big Idea?

Occasionally, we are asked for a rate card and what our hourly rate is. A simple question I hear you say, but it most certainly is not.

What can you do in an hour?

Anybody who works in this wonderful ‘ideas industry’ of ours, understands that creativity isn’t something that starts and finishes with punching a clock. We are not manufacturing widgets here people!

I personally get my very best inspirational moments when walking my dogs, though ‘the MAGIC moment’ can happen any where at any time. So what hourly rate do we charge for these moments  – the moments when that big idea flashes into being. It can take someone days/weeks to arrive at ‘the big idea’ – or it could take 5 minutes – does this make the idea less valuable?
I would argue not.

To put an hourly rate on production and artwork is an easier task – we like other good agencies, should be able to judge how long ‘a process’ will take… it’s based on good business and efficiencies. Creativity is more difficult. How do we value this skill, this skill which can build a business, transform a business, engage employees and win the hearts and minds of customers. It’s not easy, I’ll tell you that much.

One of the key reasons we created Brandschool® at 10, was to take our clients on the journey with us – through true collaboration comes mutual understanding and respect for the creative process.

“The design process is mysterious – even threatening – to some clients because they don’t understand it. It’s easy to fall into a ‘time trap’ where clients equate time with value, which invariably ends with the question why will this take so long?”
Ken Carbone

So, what price do you put on your time, thoughts and game changing ideas?
True brand achievement should be worth its weight in gold.

Jill Peel
Creative Director, 10 Associates