Recently we rolled out the Brevity Best Price Guarantee, expecting this to be an impressive part of our pricing strategy given the current market conditions. However, it has turned out to be surprisingly unpopular. 

Those clients that use our premium services don’t really care for the best price guarantee anyway, and for those that are price conscious, the resounding response was “why don’t you just give us your best price in the first place?”.

We initially thought the Best Price Guarantee was useful; it committed us to giving clients the very best price in the market, and we thought it was a great way to pass on the savings we’ve unlocked through automation. However, in reality it makes our client’s job harder. We were asking clients to find a competitor’s quote and send it to us, and then wait for us to apply the best price guarantee. So, we need to listen to the feedback, and we need to make some changes.



Firstly, just what is meant by “best price”? That’s the one thing that this exercise has got us laser-focused on. And it turns out that there’s no easy answer to this question because it depends on the job, the situation and the client. For example, take a simple cost plus pricing model. The ACE NZ average hourly charge for a graduate engineer is $125 an hour. A standard for consent design and certification for a small interiors project might take 4 hours. The base cost should therefore be around $500 (+ GST). However, that doesn’t include the hidden costs. What happens if there’s a design revision? A council RFI? A PS2? What about Aconex administration charges? Or collaboration meetings? There’s a lot of ways that consultant costs can increase after the design is complete, and the final cost might be significantly higher. However, it appears to us that “best price” is typically recognised in the market as the price if everything goes exactly according to plan. That is, no variations, no revisions, no council RFI’s, no surprises.


In the past, we’ve priced a higher level of value, based on what we know a job is likely to need rather than the theoretical minimum, because we feel that better reflects the client’s actual needs. For example, we include a ten day, no questions asked, free revision window on all projects. However, in a tight market that has us losing work to “best price”. There are still plenty of clients that understand the value we bring, however our market just isn’t big enough for us to survive on the top end of the market alone. It’s clear that we need to offer a range of price and service points.



So we’ve been looking at how other markets have coped with that problem, and one of the most well known models is how airlines sell seats. There are at least 3 classes of seats: economy, premium and business offerings. Economy is the starting point, you know regardless of which airline you choose there isn’t a lot of difference between them. There’s a seat, maybe there’s a snack and you pay for your luggage. It won’t be overly comfortable but you’ll get where you are going. Premium economy is about twice the price and includes a whole lot of things that make the trip more bearable, but it’s still not business class. Business class is at least twice as expensive again. Now you’re in business, you get all sorts of extras that change the experience from endurance to enjoyable.


The 3 category model seems to work quite well. We have always had those options at Brevity but until now we haven’t put it quite that clearly. In short, we can’t sell business class seats to clients looking for an economy experience or vice versa. If you’re looking for our best price, you have to realise that comes with our economy offering but if you’re looking for our best service, that comes with the business class price.





This is our price for the minimum service only, everything else is an add-on. Our best price comes with a table of hourly rates so you know exactly what you’ll be paying when you need extra.


This is what we’ve found to be the real cost of engineering design based on many years of experience. It includes extras such as our 10-day free revision window, and we will be happy to attend a normal level of design meetings or pre-work consultations. The Best Value price does have some exclusions, because some projects are significantly harder than average.


At this level we customise the required services to the individual project and project team. We put together a single Guaranteed Maximum Price, and we take the risk for any price variations. Until the job is properly completed, we are there to get the work done.

We know that different budgets, different clients and different situations will impact which of these offerings is the best fit for your next project. Just like you might want an economy flight in one instance and a business flight in another, you have the flexibility to choose from one project to the next.

So that is our next step in refining our offering to fit our client’s needs. We have now updated our Request Quote form so that you can select your service level for your next project. Visit our website to request a quote, select your preferred pricing category and we’ll come back to you within 24 hours.