City of Marshall, MN Issues Branding RFP

The purpose of this initiative is to develop a brand which will be used to market the City to prospective businesses, developers, residents, and visitors. The chosen agency shall provide the City of Marshall with an in-depth market analysis to determine the image of Marshall to both residents and neighboring communities.

The agency must create an image of Marshall that can be easily and effectively utilized across multiple platforms and mediums including signage, print collateral, digital marketing materials, and websites. The City is also concurrently recruiting a planning consultant to rewrite the Comprehensive Plan. Branding and planning consultants will cooperate and coordinate public meetings and marketing. Furthermore, pending need fulfillments, one consultant may be chosen for both branding and planning campaigns.

The City of Marshall is in the process of undergoing a website redesign. Although the City plans to incorporate the new branding into its website, there is no need to include web development in proposals.


The City of Marshall is the heart of Southwest Minnesota. Home to over 13,000 people, Marshall is a regional hub that draws employees and visitors from across Southwest Minnesota, doubling the daytime population to over 25,000. Everyone who lives, works, and visits Marshall enjoys its strong sense of community.

The City of Marshall continues to grow and thrive thanks to its low cost of living and forward thinking, business-friendly environment. In addition to having a balanced local economy featuring manufacturing, healthcare, education, service, and retail, the region features a great quality of life and access to broadband infrastructure. Marshall also supports a strong agricultural community, making it the perfect blend of city and country.

Acknowledged as a great place to raise a family, Marshall is known for its low crime rate and robust education system which includes a public university. The City of Marshall gives its citizens a small-town feel with big city opportunities.

Scope of Work

An elected steering committee will collaborate with the vendor to oversee and consult on the Scope of Work. The successful partner will have creative excellence in brand research, design, development, and implementation

The partnering agency will conduct research, develop several branding options, and establish an implementation schedule. 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 Marshall. The Scope should include:

  1. Advisory to the Steering Committee composed of representatives from the City of Marshall and community leaders.
  2. Conduct formal, quantitative research and informal, qualitative research including creative community engagement efforts to determine future branding and implementation. This will include the review of previous studies conducted by the City of Marshall. The audience for the survey should be a well-represented sample of Marshall residents and business leaders. The goal of the research is to get useful feedback on how the City should be marketing Marshall. Our desire is to create a brand that connects emotionally vs. rationally and this research should identify insights and emotions that drive decision making.
  3. Conduct input gathering sessions (focus groups or ethnographic research) for brand research/testing with residents, community organizations and business partners. Please consider diversity when conducting this research.
  4. Analysis of current branding efforts and existing creative collateral including logos, brand platforms, color pallet and design. Examination of competitors marketing strategies.
  5. The development of a strategic objectives that will include implementation, management, and ongoing promotion of the brand including:
    1. The promotion of use of the brand amongst the City of Marshall and community agencies, groups, and businesses to encourage brand integrity.
    1. Maintenance and consistency of brand imaging while providing suitable flexibility for the target audiences of the participating agencies.
    1. Recommendations for ways to articulate the brand; define markets and promotional avenues; and advise on strategies to better promote and create brand awareness.
  6. Development of a brand guide and deployment strategy directing the most effective us of brand, including the identification of a distinct and appropriate position of niche for the City. Brand guide will include design concepts including logos, messages, tagline, and other products to support the overall brand initiative. A minimum of three distinct creative options must be presented, based on the results of research. The selected logo will then be delivered with a style manual and guidelines for use and the capacity of the following:
    1. Print and electronic advertising
    1. Website design
    1. Media placement
    1. Public Relations
    1. Outdoor signage
    1. Apparel and single-color applications
    1. Complementary branding options (Chamber, CVB, EDA)
  7. The consultant will develop an action plan for implementation of the brand in sufficient detail to allow staff to understand the approach and work plan. The action plan should include but not be limited to:
    1. Estimated costs associated with implementation.
    1. Proposed timelines for implementation rollout.
    1. Potential funding sources.
    1. Brand identity maintenance plan.
  8. The consultant will develop a plan for ongoing evaluation of the brand’s effectiveness and

reporting of results to key stakeholders.

Due Date

                January 30th 2019


                Marshall Branding Proposal

                City of Marshall Administration

                344 West Main Street Marshall, MN 56258


Alison Brod PR and Zeno Group are possibilities for this assignment.

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