Do kick-ass work. Every tight wad client I have ever worked for that squeeks and chirps at the price of the work has generally been someone who went with a low-baller previously. And by low-baller, I mean someone who is a mediocre designer and, essentially effed it up in the first place.
I find that rather than the “introductory rate” I like the phase model. You give them the first phase with the option to back out. So, say, you’ll give them a weeks worth of sketches and product positioning.
Its a honeymoon period. You kill them with that work. They see that any previous design work they’ve had done was a “you get what you paid for scenario”.
All those numbers seem incredibly low to me. I’m pretty sure that those numbers are about what a usual web design company would charge per hour. It seems to me that designing a product that will be sold in mass quantities would call for a higher rate than for a website.
I would guess that IDEO’s rate is much higher than that.
you can charge whatever someone is willing to pay. period.
no guidelines, union (ugh, dont get me started), or billing rates of other designers/companies will ever help.
hiring a designer is all about bringing creativity and a personal approach to a project; something of intangible value.
only YOU can figure out your own worth. it is a function of skill, experience, your overheads, the client, and what YOU can bring to the table.
it’s pretty simple, really. if you dont charge enough, you wont make enough $ to cover your costs/time. if you charge too much, nobody will hire you.
the “value” a designer brings is not really a value that the designer sets. it’s a somewhat subjective number of what the client is willing to pay. the same job, by the same designer may be worth more/less to different clients who have different perceived value of your worth.
different designers also bring vastly different skills/experiences to a project as well, so comparing to others really doesnt get you very far.