How much outsourcing branding to agencies really costs you

By James Weber on Dec 19, 2023 12:16:57 PM

5 min read

If you’ve ever closed a deal with a consultant or design agency to brand your vehicle fleet, corporate headquarters, brick-and-mortar stores, factory or distribution centres, then you’ve probably asked yourself the following questions:

“Am I overpaying? How much should this really cost? Am I getting ripped off here?”

This question will nag at you for years, and you may well try to find another service. The problem is that, whether you realise it or not, you are always talking to middlemen, who are essentially quoting you an exaggerated figure and then skimming off the top.

As a large-format print and wrapping service with 30+ years of experience, Raccoon is often on the other end of this situation. This means we are perfectly placed to help you understand how much branding services actually cost, and how to avoid getting ripped off by middlemen.

In this article, you will learn how much you should actually be paying for branding services, how to avoid middlemen services, and how to find a branding service that is actually equipped to help you.



What is a middleman service?

A middleman service is any person better connected than you who acts as a go-between to deliver a service.


When do you need a middleman service?

You need a middleman service in a situation where multiple services are organised to one point of contact. This simplifies life for the end client.

For example, you might work with a design agency to brand your distribution centre and vehicle fleet. The agency has the branding expertise but uses a print and a wrapping service to produce, supply and install the branded materials.


How to cut out the middleman and save cost

You can avoid using a middleman by finding a single service that can fulfil all your requirements without outsourcing any of the work. This drastically brings down the cost of your project.

Complete branding services certainly exist, able to take a project from an initial brief to the final branding that is applied to your store, offices, distribution centre or vehicles.

Of course, finding them isn’t always easy, you will have to do a bit of research.

Here’s an example of how to do it:

  1. Search “large format printing branding service”.
  2. Click a result that specifically includes “branding”.
  3. Check their website – do they look like they actually have branding experience? Or are they just a print house?
  4. When you find a result that looks promising go their contact page and shoot them a quick message asking what their brand production experience is.
  5. If they come back to you with a long list of projects and accomplishments then you are very likely in good hands and in a good position to make a dramatic cost saving.


How our client saved £50,000 on a £150,000 order!

I can’t mention the client by name for obvious reasons, but I can tell you their story and what happened to them. Let’s call them Gregg for now.

Raccoon had worked with Gregg obliquely through a consultant named Fred. Fred acted as a go-between for the deal, with his only value being that he happened to know about us.

Fred asked us for a quote regarding branding work, which came to about £100,000. Fred then went back to Gregg with a quote for £150,000 - £50,000 more than the work actually cost! Not knowing any better Gregg paid the full sum.

Raccoon didn’t find out about this until Gregg contacted us directly the following year – it turned out Fred was feeling a bit guilty about what he had done and had passed along our contact details.

Gregg couldn't believe it when we explained the full story to him, he felt betrayed and angry, but also relieved when we explained he would be paying £50,000 less just by working with us directly!

Situations like Gregg’s are the reason I decided to write this article – the reality is that there are a lot of organisations out there willing to take advantage of you, and it can be really hard to separate the good from the bad.

However, we can give you some prices going in, so you understand what to expect.


How much do branding services cost?

Below you will find average pricing and links to further resources to qualify your branding costs.

Vehicle branding services

For vehicle branding services the price will depend on the size of the vehicles you are branding and how many you need branded as most companies will discount mass or fleet-scale wrapping projects.

For simple branding on a large van like a Mercedes Sprinter you might pay about £700 for one vehicle. If you are wrapping more than 50 vans, you might expect to pay about £600 per vehicle. For more info, check our vehicle branding costs article.

Printing projects

It’s very easy to get exact quotes for many printing projects simply by using the pricing calculator on the Raccoon Store. Each product has a pricing calculator built directly into the page. We print in custom sizes too so you can scale your project to any dimension you want.

Custom printing projects

For custom projects requiring design support, or projects you are simply unsure about, the easiest way to find transparent pricing is to email us directly.


Can you take a look at my quote?

After reading this article, you are now equipped to investigate the necessity of the middleman organising your branding needs.

However, even with us giving you market average pricing for printing projects, it’s still difficult for you to decipher the value you are getting from your branding partner. Are they an essential component of delivering your branding? How much is using this agency really costing you in the long run?

At Raccoon, we are passionate about educating our readers and potential customers: we want to provide you with as much information as possible to help you find a vehicle branding service that best suits you.  

You can probably tell from reading this article that we hate it when clients get ripped off, so if you have even the slightest doubt as to whether or not your quote is legit, just send us a message, we are more than happy to help.

Benchmark your branding quote Raccoon

James Weber

Written by James Weber

Content Manager