City of Independence Seeks Branding Firm

City of Independence Seeks Branding Firm

The City of Independence, Missouri is seeking a branding firm to create a strong “umbrella” brand that expresses the City’s identity.The City is looking for creative, energized, collaborative consultants who have experience with brand image work and can help the City successfully create a series of action-oriented deliverables. Interested firms should have experience in strategic planning and corporate identity/branding including logo development, graphic standards, and recommendations for implementation.

The purpose of this RFP is to assist the City in establishing a clear identity that resonates in the community as a pleasant place to live, work and play. The objective is to develop a branding and marketing campaign that outlines the long term and short term goals to ensure the City’s new brand identity is sustainable and deliverable across a variety of departments, programs, and services. This strategy will enhance and professionalize promotional materials and develop an advertising strategy that leverages the City’s identity in multiple mediums including print, outdoor, digital, direct mail and other informational literature to support City programs and amenities. A major intent is to attract, retain, and grow a stable economic base, building a vibrant downtown and making the City a destination for businesses and visitors.

Background:

Independence is the second largest City in the Kansas City metropolitan area, with a current population of 116,830. With affordable land, a large skilled regional workforce, and a diverse population, we have all the amenities people want in a city while retaining the “know your neighbor” feel. In the past, a variety of brands have been developed and used by the City’s departments. The City’s revitalization has now reached a point that the City would like to approach its marketing and promotion efforts more formally. The goal is to develop a brand that represents the City’s entrepreneurial attitude, encourages pride and volunteerism in residents, and attracts individuals and businesses who want to be in a vibrant city.  Our hope would be that local businesses and organizations will adopt aspects of the new brand into their own marketing, further reinforcing the message.

Overview

The City is interested in creating a branding and marketing strategy establishing a clear identity that resonates in the community as a pleasant place to live, work, and play. The resulting brand messaging should support the Economic Development goals with particular emphasis to the following:

  • Attract, retain and grow a diverse stable economic base that supports the City’s revenues, goods and services
  • Build a vibrant downtown by highlighting City of Independence local businesses
  • Make Independence a destination point for residents, businesses, and visitors

The results of this contract must communicate the City’s identity in a clear and effective message used with residents, businesses, and visitors. Additionally, it should identify short-term and long-term strategies to effectively deliver the message.

Scope of Work:

  1. Strategic Research and Analysis

Perform research and identify the perception of Independence from a resident, business, and visitor standpoint in comparison to what the City wants to become. Focus groups, interviews, surveys and other research methodologies should be used as appropriate. Data should be collected from residents, businesses, partner organizations, stakeholders, City personnel, and any other identified key group to the success of all tasks. At the end of the research and analysis, the consultant should identify key distinctive competencies of Independence and clearly communicate the City’s value proposition.

The following questions should be answered:

  • What does Independence want to be known for?
  • What thoughts and feelings does the City want to evoke when people are exposed to their name?
  • How can Independence stand out from the crowd and be more competitive?

Deliverables:

  • Research Summary
  • Brand Positioning Statement
  1. Development of a Competitive Identity

Compile findings and develop a succinct message that highlights the City’s distinctive competencies and communicates the City’s desired identity. The message should communicate the City’s vision and identity in a believable, relevant, and simple format for the target audience. The message should serve as a framework for City staff to deliver its services to residents, businesses and visitors.

In addition, the message should be capable of being used across a variety of departments, programs, and services. The Consultant will develop promotional materials that aide in communicating the City’s competitive identity. The Consultant should develop an advertising strategy that leverages the City’s identity in multiple mediums including print, outdoor, digital and direct mail.

Deliverables:

  • Create a believable, relevant and simple message that communicates the City’s identity
  • Conduct market research to help enhance and professionalize promotional materials and identify markets
  • Develop an advertising strategy that leverages the City’s identity in multiple mediums including print, outdoor, digital, and direct mail

o             Visual elements should include:

  1. Logos
  2. Colors
  3. Fonts
  4. Graphic style guide for internal and external distribution
  1. Brand Strategy

Identify the long term strategy the City should adopt to ensure the City’s new brand identity is sustainable and assisting in attracting, retaining and expanding businesses in the downtown and throughout the City. The consultant should outline guidelines for City staff to ensure the City’s promise to residents, businesses, and visitors is consistently delivered.

Deliverables:

  • Identify the long term brand strategy
  • Outline long term recommendations with corresponding timeline to implement a sustainable brand identity
  • Identify how it will aide in attracting, retaining and expanding business
  1. Marketing Strategy

Identify the short term strategy the City should adopt to communicate and deliver the value proposition for its residents, businesses, and visitors. It should identify the set of marketing tactics and tools to shift the perception of residents, businesses and visitors to reflect the adopted brand identity. The marketing tools should create a positive image that will reside in the target audience’s mind.

The following questions should be answered:

  • How will we communicate and deliver the newly adopted identity?
  • How will we measure the effectiveness of the communication and delivery?
  • How can the website and other social media be used as a tool to communicate and deliver the brand?
  • How will the marketing tactics and tools aide in attracting, retaining and expanding business?

Deliverables:

  • Develop an integrated strategic marketing plan designed to increase awareness of City programs, activities, events, and amenities
  • Develop sample marketing tools including brochures, visitor guides, and any other informational literature to support City programs, events and amenities
  • Obtain price estimate to print marketing tools as requested by the City.

Due Date:

November 8

Address:

City of Independence

Procurement Division
111 East Maple, PO Box 1019
Independence, MO 64051-0519

Strong firms with government experience include Cohn & Wolfe and Burson-Marsteller.

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