Branding Plan and Marketing Services for Calaveras Transit Agency

Branding Plan and Marketing Services for Calaveras Transit Agency

Purpose:

The Calaveras Council of Governments (CCOG) is seeking proposals from qualified firms to prepare and develop a Branding Plan and associated marketing services to define the identity and promote Calaveras Transit Agency as the regional public transit service in Calaveras County. The new Calaveras Transit Agency seeks to execute an aggressive marketing and outreach campaign. Ridership and fare revenues are critical measures of performance and have been in steady decline. It is the intent of this effort to not only upgrade Calaveras Transit’s branding to reflect the new Agency’s goals and change in leadership, but also to increase public awareness and image of Calaveras Transit.

Background:

Calaveras County is located on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the central portion of California, approximately 130 miles east of San Francisco. The topography ranges significantly in elevation from rolling foothills on the western portion of each county to steep mountainous terrain toward the eastern portions. According to the 2010 Census Calaveras County has a land area of 1,020 square miles. As with most rural areas, the population is spread throughout the service area.

The 2010 Census recorded a population of 45,578 for Calaveras County. Calaveras County residents, on average, are older and earn less than the state average. As of December 2016, the unemployment rate was 5.4 percent. Through the 2015 American Community Survey it was estimated approximately 19 percent of Calaveras County residents have a disability. Over 90 percent of residents speak English; wherein the majority of those who speak English less than “very well” speak Spanish. Angels Camp is the only incorporated city in Calaveras, making up slightly less than nine percent of the total population. The remaining 91 percent of the population resides in unincorporated communities, creating a challenge for providing transportation to those dispersed populations.

The Calaveras Council of Governments is the Regional Transportation Planning Agency (RTPA) for Calaveras County and is responsible for transportation planning within the region. CCOG exists as Calaveras County’s RTPA under a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) between the County of Calaveras and the City of Angels Camp that was agreed upon in December of 1997 and first amended in September 1999 and re-amended in October 2010. The CCOG funds and coordinates transit planning activities and efforts for Calaveras Transit.

Seven voting members comprise CCOG’s Governing Board: two members are appointed from the County of Calaveras Board of Supervisors and two appointed from the City of Angels Camp City Council, while the remaining three members are “at-large” public members selected by a majority of the city/county representatives.

Calaveras Transit is the only public transit service in Calaveras County and is administered by the newly formed Calaveras Transit Agency. Calaveras Transit is operated, and buses are maintained through a contract with Paratransit Services. Until recently, the County of Calaveras was responsible for the management of the County-wide transit system. On March 6, 2018, the County of Calaveras and City of Angels executed a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA), forming the Calaveras Transit Agency (CTA). A transition of management of the Calaveras Transit program is currently in progress and will be completed by July 1, 2018, at which point the Calaveras Transit Agency will assume full responsibility of the management of Calaveras Transit. This is a prime opportunity to refresh the branding and image of Calaveras Transit to reflect the new direction of the Agency and improve public perception of the transit program.

Calaveras Transit operates six deviated fixed routes serving Calaveras County as well as connections to adjacent counties. Route deviations are available to seniors aged 65 and older and eligible persons with disabilities within 3/4-mile of the regularly scheduled route. Flag stops are permitted mid-route between designated bus stops. In addition, interline connections to Amador Transit and Tuolumne County Transit are available on routes to Jackson and Columbia College in Sonora, respectively. The transit system operates Monday through Friday from 4:50 a.m. to 8:35 p.m. The service does not operate on Sundays and holidays. Calaveras Transit also provides service for some special events, as well as a Saturday service called the Saturday Hopper. Calaveras Transit implemented the Saturday Hopper service in July 2016, which focuses on tourism travel connecting key visitor accommodation locations with major destinations and venues. The Saturday Hopper has a unique brand and logo. Calaveras Transit’s fare structure is composed of three base fare categories and several fare media. The Calaveras Transit fare media consist of cash, ticket books, and passes.

As part of the transition for the new Agency, a new website is being developed to improve visibility and functionality, to be live starting July 1, 2018. As part of the website upgrade an app is also being developed to make the website more user friendly on phones and other mobile devices. The new website will utilize the same domain name and maintain the existing logo and color scheme until a new brand and graphics are established.

Scope of Work:

The Consultant will work with CCOG and Calaveras Transit Agency (CTA) Management staff to provide professional and marketing services necessary to prepare both a final design and working templates that will include but not be limited to the following: logo, slogan, graphics, letterhead and various other marketing and promotional items. The proposed new brand should convey an inviting image for public transit services. Decisions regarding colors, logos and new signage will be made in consultation with CTA Management staff and Board and shall convey the new brand and be consistent throughout all marketing material.

PHASE I – RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

The consultant selected will be tasked with the creation of a corporate identity and branding package (both print and digital) to include, but not limited to, an agency logo design, branding, bus fleet design, website, letterhead, business cards and other collateral/print materials. The logo will be used as a foundation for all ongoing campaigns to internal and external audiences.

Requirements

  • Create a focused message(s) based on research that also connects identity and brands to various objectives, projects, plans, and programs.
  • Develop coordinated names, logos, service/product brands. Integrate logo design for placement on buses, vans, uniforms, buildings, waste receptacles, signage, posters, letterhead, flyers and brochures, website pages, advertising, media kits, promotional items and the like.
  • Develop a Brand Identity Manual to reinforce using the new identity consistently across programs.

PHASE II – BRANDING PLAN DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION

The successful candidate{s) will partner with Calaveras Transit Agency on the development and execution of a comprehensive Brand/Logo strategy that will build awareness of other activities/programs undertaken/provided by the Agency. Consultant services include, but may not be limited, to the following:

  • Assisting with establishing the identity of Calaveras Transit, its services, plans, programs and roles and responsibilities to the public.
  • Positioning and enhancing Calaveras Transit awareness, identity and brand as a convenient transportation alternative that serves a broad cross section of county residents.
  • Branding each of the various services provided by Calaveras Transit under a common umbrella including a consistent visual identity that will allow all elements of Calaveras Transit’ system to be immediately identified in marketing materials, fleet design project signage, etc.
  • Advising on the branding of the long range transit vision and plans.
  • Evaluating media (digital and print) and making recommendations on website design.
  • Developing performance evaluation measurements for all marketing activities or strategic planning activities conducted under this contract.
  • Presentations to policy Board throughout process to seek input, direction, and final decisions.

PHASE Ill – SPECIFIC MEASUREMENT GOALS

Once implemented, the success of each campaign will be measured annually using a variety of to be developed metrics, reflecting:

  • Consistent identity and brand structure for Calaveras Transit.
  • Increase of consumer awareness.
  • Understanding of Calaveras Transit vision and key messages.
  • Acknowledgement of Calaveras Transit as a regional mobility provider.
  • Improved image in the County.
  • Clarity of key messages about Calaveras Transit and its services building on past and present strengths.
  • User-friendly platform for communicating future plans for Calaveras Transit.

Deliverables Requirement

All products become the property of Calaveras Transit for their unlimited use. All graphic files will be submitted electronically as well as hard copy. Calaveras Transit will retain all ownership/copyright on any new logo, slogan, messaging or artwork and any other materials developed. Any materials may be edited by Calaveras Transit Agency as they see fit. In addition to the deliverables mentioned in previous sections, the consultant will be responsible for delivering the following:

  • Brand Identity Manual (Standards).
  • Comprehensive research paper, including data regarding perceptions of both internal and external audiences, the source of those perceptions. Suggestions for changing said perceptions through a new identity and branding effort.
  • Communications/Branding strategy with associated costs.
  • Board presentations, staff reports, and associated materials.

Due Date:

July 13th

Address:

CALAVERAS COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS

444 E. SAINT CHARLES STREET, SUITE A

P.O. BOX 280

SAN ANDREAS, CA 95249

California agencies with relevant experience includes APCO Worldwide and W2O Group.

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