Why are Agencies So Expensive?

  • Author: Ash' Burnham

Marketing and design agencies are usually pretty expensive, right? …How come?

Have you ever wondered why agencies – and freelance designers alike – tend to not charge according to man-hours but instead seem to have some kind of weird pricing model in place whereby they carry out evaluations, ask a bunch of questions about the client and the work they want doing and then seemingly pluck some random figure out of the air as a ‘quote’ for a project?

It’s because in the world of branding, marketing and design (particularly in the contexts of creating logos, brand identities, marketing materials and websites), it’s all about operating within a client’s budget and working around return on investment. Return on investment is everything to companies, and it’s everything to us here at Diony too.

Well, not literally everything but it’s very, very important – is my point!

money placed in soil, growth, strategy lead marketing hull

How we do it.

When a company approaches us and asks us to work with them on a project, we evaluate the business and what they’re all about before even thinking about coming up with a final quote.

Instead we want to get to know a business first before we fully price things up; we need to evaluate their wants and needs, their target market/audience, their products and services, their model and most importantly, their core values. We need a company to be transparent with us so we can be transparent with them in return.

Understanding a company in terms of their brand – their identity, their personality and how they want to be perceived – is how an agency decides which steps are necessary and is then able to develop a plan of action accordingly. Arguably the most fundamental thing for an agency is understanding a company’s problems and using that understanding to provide real, working solutions to those problems.


So there we are, that’s it. Agencies don’t charge based on man-hours or raw material costs but instead charge according to value and return on investment. And it’s probably worth noting that a cheap agency likely offers services and work product that matches their pricing.

The old saying “you get what you pay for” isn’t always 100% applicable in the world of business but indeed couldn’t be more relevant to the marketing and design world. When you hire an agency, like us, you’re making a long-lasting investment from which you will reap benefits for time to come. What you’re not doing is taking a cheap, blinded punt in the dark and hoping for the best.