BRANDING RFP ISSUED BY HUMBOLDT COUNTY

2021-10-14 by JamesD

Humboldt County is seeking proposals from a qualified Humboldt County-based entity to work with County staff and leadership to develop a distinct national and industry “branding initiative” for Humboldt County grown cannabis and cannabis related products and services. 

The selected proposer will serve as the County of Humboldt’s lead contracted agency for cannabis marketing initiatives and will provide a broad range of professional marketing services, including promotion of Humboldt County Cannabis as a unique, high quality product sourced solely in Humboldt County. The successful proposer will utilize and employ recommendations and findings of the Humboldt County Marketing Assessment and will also provide recommendations for a county-wide stamp, terroir or place of origin program.

Background:

The County of Humboldt is located on California’s northern Pacific Coast. The southern border of the County is located 200 miles north of San Francisco, the closest major metropolitan city. The County is bordered on the north by Del Norte County, on the east by Siskiyou and Trinity Counties, on the south by Mendocino County and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. The County encompasses 2.3 million acres, 80 percent of which is forestlands, protected redwoods and recreation areas. 9 The region is primarily mountainous, except for a plain surrounding Humboldt Bay where the area’s largest urban centers are located. The 2018 Census population of Humboldt County was 136,373. The County has seven incorporated cities ranging in size from 368 to 27,283 persons. Slightly less than half of the County’s residents live in incorporated communities, while 54 percent of County residents live in the area surrounding Humboldt Bay. This area includes the cities of Arcata, Eureka, Ferndale, and Fortuna, and the unincorporated community of McKinleyville.

Scope of Work:

Goals 

A successful branding and marketing effort will ensure a long-term strategy for maintaining and growing the region’s and Humboldt’s cannabis industry’s competitive advantage in the ever-changing cannabis marketplace, with adequate and equitable input from community members, and stakeholders. Humboldt 12 County must continue to build the regional brand and further strengthen local product and related services positioning in the market.

To accomplish project goals, the industry’s many assets need to be understood, packaged and marketed, based on the findings and recommendation of the marketing assessment.

The successful proposer will work with staff to develop and implement specific marketing strategies which include, but may not be limited to:

• Build a consistent, well-recognized, defensible, and respected brand for Humboldt County Cannabis and cannabis-related products and services.

• Build strong organizational structures and ensure equitable participation.

• Make recommendations regarding the utilization of a county-specific STAMP program as part of these efforts.

• Increase business and industry interest and investment • Build strong market partnerships.

• Increase canna-tourism interest

• Work with other county contracted partners and vendors whose activities share a nexus with cannabis marketing strategies.

Build a Brand T

he county desires a consistent, well-recognized and respected brand for Humboldt County Cannabis and cannabis-related products and services developed through proven and innovative strategies that: 

• Provides consistent messaging, brand standards, and visual elements.

• Increases understanding and recognition of Humboldt County Cannabis for consumers and industry experts in and outside the region.

• Increases demand for Humboldt County cultivated cannabis.

• Increase canna-tourism interest

• Protects the regions collective intellectual property

• Prioritizes long term success over short term sales.

• Utilize quality control and grading standards

• Takes into consideration public policies

• Focuses on research, data collection and education

• Promote environmental sustainability Audience 13 Marketing efforts need to clearly identify and target messaging to appeal to various audiences and accomplish the goals outlined above.

. Collaboration A focus should be on creating strong organizational structures, with long term strategies in mind. Equitable participation should be a key element, including all industry sectors within the commercial cannabis marketplace (cultivators, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers), stakeholders, cooperatives and appellations.

Additionally, a successful proposal will include considerations regarding coordinating and collaborating with marketing agencies, trade organizations, educational institutions and others as appropriate to capitalize on synergies, maximize resource utilization, and more.

Assessment Plan Work with county staff to develop a plan to monitor and report on “success metrics” that will be used to measure project progress.

This may include but is not limited to:

• Regular written reports and presentations to o County staff o County Board of Supervisors

• Press release (s) and/or other reports to the community regarding project initiatives, progress, and success

• Developed mechanisms to adjust goals, strategies and timelines if necessary to more successfully achieve project goals

Due Date: November 22, 2021 1:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time

Address: HUMBOLDT COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIVISION ProjectTrellis@co.humboldt.ca.us

Relevant agencies to consider for this assignment include Hunter PR and Prosek Partners.