The Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas System, for and on behalf of, the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith (UAFS) seeks proposals from qualified firms to provide branding, research, strategy, and design services. The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is seeking a qualified strategic communications and marketing partner(s):
• To research existing perceptions and brand awareness of the university among key constituencies of university
• To analyze market research to develop a brand strategy, platform and positioning that speaks to the unique story of UAFS and drives enrollment growth for the university.
• To design creative elements of the brand repositioning strategy, in close collaboration with University Marketing and Communication staff, for use across multiple communications platforms including, but not limited to, digital, web, and print mediums.
• To review academic and athletic logos and tighten or revise university visual identity in order to be consistent with university brand.
• To create a marketing campaign framework to promote significant engagement with the university’s various constituencies.
• To support the translation of brand strategy into brand experience at UAFS (physical campus, employee training, web site, orientation, etc.)
• To provide consultancy services over the course of the implementation of the brand repositioning strategy and the associated campaigns.
The University anticipates the work will take place in multiple phases. The term of any contract resulting from this RFP (“Term”) will be for a period of one (1) year. The University reserves the option to renew the contract on a yearly basis, each renewal a Term, not to exceed an aggregate total of six (6) renewals or seven (7) years if mutually agreed upon in writing by the Contractor and the University. The University may terminate the Agreement without cause, at any time during the Term (including any renewal periods); by giving the other party sixty (60) days advance written notice of termination. Additionally, in the event of non-appropriation of funds necessary to fulfill the terms and conditions of the Agreement during any biennium period of the Term (including any renewal periods), the parties agree that the Agreement shall automatically terminate without notice.
UAFS seeks to enter into a contract with a consulting firm to provide the services described with an anticipated beginning date of March 1, 2020.
The University reserves the right to reject any or all proposals, or any portion thereof, and re-advertise if deemed necessary. Awards will be made to the proposer whose proposal conforms to the RFP and, in the sole judgement of the University, will be the most advantageous to the University.
Scope of Work:
• Quantitative research exploring awareness of UAFS and its programs among key constituencies
• Qualitative research to determine perceptions regarding UAFS and its programs and offerings among target audiences locally, regionally, and nationally. This should include on-site visits with students, faculty, staff, and alumni in Fort Smith.
• Study and review existing university branding in order to better understand the institution.
2. Brand Strategy, Positioning, Messaging, and Identity
• Approved brand strategy, including brand playbook and brand standard manual. Strategy should include positioning, personality, promise, differentiation, and value proposition that is unique to UAFS
• In close consultation with University Marketing & Communications team, develop creative elements of the brand strategy and examples of implementation (should address relationships between brands, naming conventions, and service/program entities at the university)
• Marketing campaign frameworks for multiple audiences (prospective students, current students, alumni, donors, key influential in the community and state), including media strategy/planning
• Brand training for key campus communicators
• Brand experience development
• Ongoing consulting services as required to implement brand positioning strategy
• Review and make recommendations regarding the university’s visual identity to include both academic, university, and athletic marks. As needed tighten or revise university marks to be consistent with university branding.
December 3, 2019
Director of Procurement Services
University of Arkansas – Fort Smith
PO Box 3649
Fort Smith, AR 72913-3649
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