City of Suffolk Issues Branding RFP

City of Suffolk Issues Branding RFP
City of Suffolk Issues Branding RFP

The intent of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is to obtain the services of a qualified firm to provide branding services to the City of Suffolk for the Historic Downtown Suffolk. The selected offeror will be working in close collaboration with, and in support of, the City’s Department of Planning and Community Development, the Department of Economic Development and the Department of Media and Community Relations in development of the Downtown brand. It is the intent of the City to establish a contract with a single firm.


The City of Suffolk, Virginia is located in the geographic center of the Hampton Roads area in southeast Virginia. The City is bounded by the James River (and the City of Newport News) to the north, the Cities of Portsmouth and Chesapeake to the east, Isle of Wight and Southampton Counties to the west and the State of North Carolina to the south. Suffolk is diverse geographically, with a variety of urban, suburban, and rural development patterns resulting from its creation in 1974 as the merger of a rural county and small core city. Downtown Suffolk is located on the site of the original City of Suffolk, just south of the first English settlement at Constant’s Wharf on the Nansemond River. Despite many long years of disinvestment and abandonment, there are clear signs that Downtown Suffolk is on its way back. The 1974 merger with Nansemond County made Downtown Suffolk the center of a 430 square mile city – Virginia’s largest – with a growing residential population. In addition, the downtown is largely intact, with many well preserved historic buildings and the type of small town character that gives it great potential for restoration and revitalization.

To encourage revitalization, the City adopted the first Downtown Suffolk Initiatives Plan in 1998. The Downtown planning process identified two main problems facing the downtown – the lack of an interconnected network of streets and the lack of a coherent vision to help focus revitalization efforts. It also identified two major assets: a relationship to the natural environment and a well-preserved architectural character. Since the original adoption of the Downtown Suffolk Initiatives Plan, a number of the included initiatives have been completed and additional private investments have been leveraged as a result. In response the City undertook a recent update of the plan, which resulted in the completion of the new Suffolk Downtown Master Plan, adopted in June 2018:

This plan includes a recommendation for downtown wayfinding that will make it easier for visitors and pedestrians to find and use downtown’s shopping, dining, entertainment and parking. Wayfinding can help to brand downtown and highlight important destinations and districts

Scope of Work:

The purpose of this initiative is to differentiate Downtown Suffolk from other surrounding communities in the area by developing a brand which may be used to market Downtown Suffolk to prospective businesses, developers, residents and visitors. The chosen agency shall provide the City with a market research study to determine the view of the City in neighboring communities. The agency must create an image for Downtown Suffolk that can be easily and effectively utilized across multiple graphic identity applications and communicative mediums such as signs, letterheads, signage, social media marketing materials and websites. The successful offeror shall do, perform, and carry out in a professional manner all components essential for developing, evaluating, and recommending a brand for Downtown Suffolk.

Generally, the scope of services shall include all activities deemed necessary by the City to support the Project. In order to fully support the City’s vision, additional features and tasks may be included for future addition. The winning Offeror is expected to coordinate closely with City staff, and other interested parties, which the City may designate in the design.

The services to be provided shall include the following:
1. Research – Research will be the basis for the development of a brand concept, creative elements and the overall brand initiative. The consultant will:
a. Identify key elements and assets of Downtown Suffolk
b. Analyze current efforts and existing creative elements such as logos, tag lines, and creative designs.
c. Analyze competitor marketing strategies.
d. Develop measures that will be used to determine if the branding effort is successful.
2. Create the brand identity including tagline, naming, logo design, and brand identity adaptable for use in business, residential and visitor attraction.
3. Specific elements to include specifications and standards for use on signs, printed materials, online publication, and other promotional materials.
4. Trademark search and registration.

1. Monthly reports outlining significant meetings, discussions, actions and results.
2. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of the current image and positioning.
3. Recommended positioning of logo and brand guidelines.
4. Implementation matrix for brand identity applications and brand identity maintenance plan.
5. Implementation schedule based upon available research.
6. Estimated costs/budget associated with the implementation process
7. Presentation of the proposed brand identity including the elements listed above.
8. Final written report outlining the elements listed above.

Due Date:

February 28


PR firms with experience include Lippe Taylor & Rubenstein PR.

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