Boulder, Colorado Seeks Branding And Marketing Firm

Purpose / Background:

The City of Boulder will introduce an updated HOP service in August 2018. The existing HOP route has been in service since 1994 and has seen minor change since its inception. As a result of the HOP Transit Study, the route is recommended to be changed from a loop route, to four distinct routes, serving distinct markets. The success of the updated HOP service will depend on the public’s understanding of its purpose and its value from conception through operations. This requires a branding strategy that conveys the distinctive message of the new service in words, and graphics, and a communications strategy that distributes that message to existing riders, potential users, stakeholders, and influencers of the new service.

The HOP is the heart of Boulder’s transit system. There is community pride in the service and an emotional tie to the route and brand. It will be imperative that the awarded vendor is sensitive to the history and community’s interest in the route, and the change in service will need to be implemented with that understanding.

Scope of Work: 


The goal of Part I is to develop the brand identity for the new HOP service, establish the templates and protocols for its application, and establish an application approach on the routes and surrounding neighborhoods and businesses.

  1. Develop a public engagement process (2-3 meetings) to develop the new HOP brand for the four distinct routes
  1. With support from city staff, identify community representatives that will guide the development of the new service brand for all four routes. This group of representatives will help develop the brand and champion the service change in the community

Timeframe: February – March 2018

  1. Define the HOP brand
  2. Develop a branding framework for HOP route(s) including:
  3. Research of other intracity bus services (i.e. Community Transit Network) and applications
  4. Public information elements (system map, schedules, website, brochures, etc.)
  5. Marketing elements (campaigns, advertising, etc.)
  6. Bus stop treatments (signage decal or other information) e.Bus vehicle treatments (exterior)
  7. Prepare a memo summarizing the recommended brand elements and the key implications for the design and implementation of the brand in the built environment and bus operations to address the brand promise
  8. Prepare graphic and infrastructure design standards based on the brand approach
  9. Summarize in a branding manual Timeframe: March – May 2018
  10. Apply the brand architecture
  11. Implement the concepts through the HOP service change process
  12. Public information elements
  13. Marketing elements
  14.  Bus stop treatments


The goal of Part II is to reach a communitywide audience including the downtown businesses, University of Colorado, University Hill businesses and neighborhood, and the Boulder Junction neighborhood, with an easily accessible message that defines the changes to the service, distinguishes it from other modes of travel, addresses concerns, exemplifies its benefits, and places it within the larger transportation system goals of the City of Boulder.

  1. Project Organization
  2. Meet regularly with the City of Boulder project and communications staff to share insights and work collaboratively to develop strategy and message
  3. Continue and build upon iterative process of message development and message communications for the new HOP service

Timeframe: Ongoing

  1. Project Communications and Outreach
  2. Working with the City of Boulder transportation and communications staff, establish a communications and outreach plan to promote the new HOP service. The plan should include the branding work, key messages, targeted audiences, crisis communications, metrics and operations communications such as for customer service, and roles and responsibilities for ambassadors/Via drivers. The outreach plan will also include key events with target audiences such as presence at CU Boulder orientation, doing pop-ups along the route, visiting with key stakeholders, etc.
  3. Implement communications strategy (public education and marketing campaign) for launch of new service in coordination with city communication and project staff.
  1. Communications and Media Collateral
  2. Develop materials as necessary including fact sheets, brochures, news releases, web content, etc., for launch of communication and outreach strategy in June 2018
  3. Create appropriate website materials and assist the City of Boulder in creating a web page that puts the HOP service changes front and center
  4. Prepare print and digital advertising content for Daily Camera, Google, and social media outlets
  5. Provide communications support in coordination with city communications staff for a community event at the opening of service

Due Date:

January 24


Finance Department / Purchasing

Division 1777 Broadway

P.O. Box 791

Boulder, Colorado 80306

PR firms with strong communications skills in this arena could include 5WPR or MWWPR.

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