Pricing with Picasso

It is said that some time in the famed painters’ later years, Pablo Picasso found himself sitting in a Parisian café. While enjoying a meal, he was recognized by an admirer. Pulling a napkin from the table, the individual asked:

“Can you please draw me something? I’ll pay you.”

Picasso produced a charcoal pencil from his pocket, making several quick strokes, though it was unmistakably his work. 

The individual reached for the napkin, but Picasso did not hand it back.

“You owe me $100,000.”

The admirer, in shock retorted “$100,000 – why? It could not have taken you more than 30 seconds!”

“No” Pablo replied, while crumpling the napkin, “It took me 40 years”.

There lies the lesson. 

When you’re pricing a good or service, you must consider the intangibles. This is arguably more difficult than valuing something physical. You can value a business by its cash flow, or expected growth. You can value a product by its production and cost of goods sold. 

How do you value a perfectly curated strategy? A beautifully designed ad campaign? A carefully crafted message that connects to your audience?

It is often hard to put a price tag on experience. In our business that is exactly what you are paying for, it is our years of experience, it is our successes, our failures, the ability to advise a course of action because we have done it before. At McQueen our tagline is “we’ve been expecting you” not out of arrogance, but out of a sense of pride and knowing our work and knowing our worth.