Essence Design will start auctioning its services from next month, in the hope of drumming up business during the recession.
The Birmingham-based design consultancy is setting up an Ebay-style auction section on its website, where it will offer a menu of services that will change ‘once or twice a month’.
The first two offers, due to launch on 10 March, will be a website design, usually worth about £7000, and a branding project.
Essence hopes that the initiative will help to identify ‘today’s market rate for design services’, according to managing director Steven Wilber.
‘In these troubled times we have to put ourselves out at the market rate, and this an interesting way of finding out what that is,’ says Wilber.
He dismisses concerns that the scheme undermines Design Busines Association guidelines intended to protect design groups’ fee structures.
Wilber says, ‘At one or two projects a month, I don’t think that this will affect the market particularly. If we were churning out cheap template websites constantly, then it would be undermining the market.’
Essence plans to run the offers for about a year.