The Village of Bratenahl, Ohio, invites all interested communications, marketing and brand development firms to submit a proposal to conduct the Village’s brand development plan. The focus of this plan should be to gather input on Bratenahl’s image from key stakeholders to update the community’s brand. This comprehensive campaign should primarily consider the community’s residential character, but also potential business desirability–promoting Bratenahl as a premier and diverse place to live and work. The focus of this proposal will be on re-branding the community and improving communication for our Village.
Bratenahl is a historic bedroom community occupying a 1.6 square mile area on the shores of Lake Erie. It is surrounded on the west, south and east by the city of Cleveland and Lake Erie to the north. The Village is just east of Downtown Cleveland and includes a small commercial/industrial located south of the Interstate 90 Shoreway. Bratenahl is an upscale village known for its large homes and unique architectural style. Incorporated in 1905, the Village has maintained its housing stock and exemplary services to its 700 households. In the past, Bratenahl was known mostly for its stately mansions; however it now offers a wide variety of housing types including high-rise condominiums, single-family homes, cluster homes and a lakefront community.
The close proximity to Downtown Cleveland on I-90 allows a quick commute of just 10 to 15 minutes for most residents. Easy access to the University Circle, known for its museums, Severance Hall, the home of the Cleveland Orchestra, and world-renowned medical facilities, make living in Bratenahl a highly desirable community. Bratenahl is dominated by Lake Shore Boulevard, a curving, tree-lined road flanked by elegant homes and estates with rolling lawns, elaborate landscapes and gardens, delineated with picturesque walls and fences.
Bratenahl, originally part of East Cleveland Township, was a fruit and vegetable farming area during the mid-19th century. It included the Charles Bratenahl family farm, located along the lakeshore at the road that today bears the family’s name. By the early 1870’s, Charles Coit had built a summer hotel on Eddy Road at the lakeshore, named Coit House. In 1889 this property became a membership-only country club and added a golf course in 1895. The club was frequented by a number of Cleveland’s prominent families, who began to come to the lakeshore during the summertime in the second half of the 19th century. Living first in elaborately furnished tents and later in summer cottages, many of the families subsequently built large mansions on the lakefront.
The Village of Bratenahl operates under a Mayor-Council form of government with six elected Council members and an elected Mayor. The Mayor and all Council members are elected at large by a popular vote of residents for staggered terms of four years.
In 2013, Village residents undertook a Master Planning process that identified important priorities for improving the community and keeping Bratenahl vital in the future. One of the main priorities of the plan was addressing “Community Image”.
The 2013 Master Plan outlined the following “action items” related to marketing and branding:
“As communities in Northeast Ohio compete for new residents, Bratenahl should look to create a clear and well-crafted message describing its values and amenities; improving the visual character of the community; and creating a marketing plan for attracting new residents and businesses.”
Community Image Action Items:
- Ensure that the community is safe, attractive, accessible, and appealing.
- Develop a strategy to attract empty nesters and young professionals to the community.
- Work closely with realtors, property owners, and homeowner associations to ensure that the community targets key multiplier groups (e.g. hospitals, universities, major corporations) in the region.
- Mobilize existing residents to help identify prospective future homebuyers.
- Prepare and issue a “Request for Proposals” to solicit a public relations firm that can create a residential marketing plan for the Village that will attract home buyers and potential business owners to the community.”
Goals of Brand Development
- Gather input from residents, non-residents, businesses and key stakeholders.
- Redefine and focus city brand to forge a distinct sense of place and identity for the community.
- Create a brand that is desirable to current and prospective residents and businesses.
- Create a brand that is a cohesive and consistent visual identity for the city, which can be used by all departments in printed and digital formats.
Scope of Work:
The Bratenahl Village Council and Mayor will collaborate with the successful vendor to oversee and consult on the Scope of Work. The successful partner will have a proven track record in creative excellence in community and neighborhood brand research, design, development, and implementation.
The partnering agency will conduct research, develop several branding options, and establish an implementation schedule, with Village Council assistance and input. Expected services include conducting quantitative and qualitative research, analyzing results, creative development, and identifying a strong, unique, complementary, and differentiated brand that captures both a forward-thinking feel and historic nature of Bratenahl. The Scope should include:
- Conduct formal, quantitative research and informal, qualitative research with a representative sample of Bratenahl to determine future branding and implementation. The audience for the survey may be a random sample of Bratenahl residents. The goal of the research is to get useful feedback on how the Village should be marketing Bratenahl, and should include the potential of interviewing prospective residents, real estate professionals, etc. Consider diversity when conducting this research.
- Conduct input gathering sessions (focus groups/design charrettes) on the research with community organizations and business partners.
- Using feedback and insights from the survey and the input gathering sessions, develop several (at least 3) options for a comprehensive brand including visual and verbal essences (featuring images, colors, textures, fonts, key words and phrases), considering primarily residential, but also potential business desirability. Expect to include the rationale to support each strategic direction. The generation of a tagline should be included with the brand options for consideration.
- Based on feedback, create the brand standards (i.e. brand standard phrases, taglines, and narratives) and identity guidelines (color palette) including the logo design, brand identity system and image standards, and templates. Templates should include brochures, Power Point Presentation templates, business cards, stationary, ID cards, and newsletter, website and calendar design templates, and other similar collateral. The brand options should also take into consideration items such as building signs, vehicle signs and wayfinding signs.
- Propose a new design that is unique and meaningful to Bratenahl and can be used for potential merchandising, resulting in increased community pride and exposure of the community’s new brand and image.
- Assist with the implementation of the brand into the design of a potential print and social media platforms to ensure a consistent message and image is being utilized.
- Develop a plan for the “Gateways” into the community. This signage design should be unique to the community and reflective of the progressive and historic nature of the Bratenahl. Gateways can be designed to include the creative use of landscaping, signage and/or public art.
Mayor John Licastro & Councilman Keith Benjamin
The Village of Bratenahl
411 Bratenahl Road
Bratenahl, Ohio 44108
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