HERNDON ISSUES MARKETING RFP
DELIVER SEALED PROPOSALS BY: February 14, 2024, at 12:00 p.m. Eastern
The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is to obtain the services of a contractor that is
licensed, qualified, and experienced in providing marketing and branding services.
The Town of Herndon, Virginia, incorporated in 1879, is located in the northwest quadrant of
Fairfax County. Part of the Washington DC Metropolitan Area, Herndon is approximately 23 miles
west of the city, accessible via Metrorail’s Silver Line, and two miles east of Washington Dulles
International Airport. The town has a land area of 4.25 square miles. A rural dairy outpost at its
founding, Herndon is now home to 24,167 residents, according to the 2022 U.S. Census annual
population estimate; The town’s currently adopted comprehensive master plan anticipates a
population increase to approximately 28,200 in 2030.
Herndon is renowned for its heritage and its “sense of place.” Unlike many Northern Virginia
communities, the town is distinct with its historic downtown, complete with authentic train depot
and caboose; and a downtown municipal center complex that includes a Town Green, site of
concerts, children’s programs and special events. An agreement with Comstock Herndon Venture
LC to redevelop areas of the downtown is currently paused, due to market conditions; action on the
agreement is anticipated in 2024. This project is approved for 273 apartments, 17,000 sf of retail
space, an 16,265 sf Arts Center, and a 726-space parking garage.
The town is distinctive in the vast array of cultures represented among its residents. A full 37
percent of residents are Hispanic, according to a July 2021 report from the U.S. Census. Sixteen
percent are of Asian descent, and myriad other countries and cultures – from virtually all across the
world – are represented in Herndon. This cultural diversity is evident in the town’s businesses as
well, with restaurants, shops and other commercial enterprises specializing in specific cultural
experiences and often owned by first-generation Americans.
Special events celebrated annually in Herndon include Friday Night Live, a spring/summer concert
series on the Town Green that draws thousands weekly; a 4th of July celebration; a series of holiday
events including WinterMarkt, Tree Lighting and Sing-along and the Holiday Homes Tour, and
more. The Herndon Town Council is reviewing and intending to adopt a new special events policy
that will encourage Herndon’s many cultural groups to hold “mini-festivals” celebrating the town’s
diversity, at various times and locations throughout the year.
Herndon is home as well to active and vibrant arts organizations including the Elden Street Players,
an award-winning theatre group performing at its own Industrial Strength Theatre: and Arts
Herndon, an organization that presents works by local, regional and national artists and facilitates
arts programming and exploration.
The town is also a hot spot for the pursuit of exercise and active physical sports. The 45-mile
W&OD Trail runs through the heart of Herndon’s downtown, bringing cyclists, in-line skaters,
joggers, dog-walkers and more through Herndon by the thousands each year; the Herndon
Community Center, operated by the town’s four-time Gold Medal winning Parks & Recreation
Department, offers facilities for virtually all types of athletic pursuit; the Herndon Centennial Golf
Course is operated as a town enterprise fund and is consistently ranked among Golf Digest’s
“Places to Play”; and Herndon’s youth sports leagues – from soccer to baseball to lacrosse to many
additional sports – enjoy widespread participation. The town boasts 11 parks, facilitating an
assortment of outdoor activities ranging from natural, passive recreational activities to natural and
turf sports fields, a skate park facility and Pickleball courts. The parks contribute to the town’s 32
consecutive years of earning “Tree City USA” designation from the National Arbor Day
Due largely to its location at the heart of the Dulles Technology Corridor, Herndon enjoys a
significant corporate presence that includes Amazon Web Services; Beacon Roofing Supply;
Boeing; Karsun Solutions; Northwest Federal Credit Union; Peraton; Physician Transport Systems
and Serco. The second phase of the Metrorail’s Silver Line, including a station stop in Herndon,
opened in 2022, spurring strong redevelopment interest in the town. Planned redevelopment of
existing commercial buildings at the town’s Metro stop, coupled with strategic planning for
adjacent, transit-related growth, envision a vibrant commercial and residential hub that
complements Herndon’s historic downtown area.
In 2012, the town embarked on its first-ever branding initiative, which resulted in a new “brand
essence” statement for the town, a new wordmark and a marketing campaign that centered on using the “On” in Herndon in various iterations that celebrated the town (“It’s ON, Rock ON, Dine ON, etc.) Although the “ON” usage has been largely phased out, the town’s wordmark is widely used in town operations, communications, and representation. A style guide has also been developed that ensures usage of the wordmark is consistent and “on brand.”
In 2023, the Herndon Town Council – a seven-member elected body, which also includes the
town’s duly-elected Mayor – embarked on a series of strategic visioning sessions that resulted in,
among other outcomes, a stated desire for a town-wide rebranding initiative. The council also
developed a tagline that focuses on the town’s diversity (“Out of Many Communities, One”) with
the intention that the new brand celebrates Herndon’s many cultures. It is envisioned that the town’s new brand statement and supporting efforts will further the growth of Herndon’s business sector as well as its desirability as a place to live and to visit.