Lincoln University Issues Branding RFP

Lincoln University is soliciting proposals from independent consulting firms to advise the University from a branding, identity development and comprehensive messaging and video perspective to boldly and uniquely position the University in the higher education marketplace and to inform a reversal of current negative enrollment trends. Proposed strategies and tactics should include those that will generate significant awareness about Lincoln among key constituents and targeted audiences while working within a feasible and finite marketing budget. The plan should reflect a contemporary, engaging, comprehensive approach that results in a university brand identity with integrated sub-brand identities for targeted components of the university. The consulting firm must have a clear understanding of the importance and value of a public liberal arts and sciences education. The ideal firm will have a grasp of how our competitors present themselves to the marketplace and will be expected to provide both strategy and implementation recommendations.


At the close of the Civil War, soldiers and officers of the 62nd United States Colored Infantry, stationed at Fort McIntosh, Texas, but composed primarily of Missourians, took steps to establish an educational institution in Jefferson City, Missouri, which they named Lincoln Institute. The following stipulations were set for the school:

1. The institution shall be designed for the special benefit of the freed African Americans; 2. It shall be located in the state of Missouri; 3. Its fundamental idea shall be to combine study and labor.

Members of the 62nd Colored Infantry contributed $5,000; this was supplemented by approximately $1,400, given by the 65th Colored Infantry. On January 14, 1866, Lincoln Institute was formally established under an organization committee. By June of the same year, it incorporated, and the committee became a Board of Trustees. Richard Baxter Foster, a former first lieutenant in the 62nd Infantry, was named first principal of Lincoln Institute. On September 17, 1866, the school opened its doors to the first class in an old frame building in Jefferson City.

In 1870, the school began to receive aid from the state of Missouri for teacher training. In 1871, Lincoln Institute moved to the present campus. College-level work was added to the curriculum in 1877, and passage of the Normal School Law permitted Lincoln graduates to teach for life in Missouri without further examination. Lincoln Institute formally became a state institution in 1879 with the deeding of the property to the state. Under the second Morrill Act of 1890, Lincoln became a land grant institution, and the following year industrial and agricultural courses were added to the curriculum.

In 1921, the Missouri Legislature passed a bill introduced by Walthall M. Moore, the first black American to serve in that body, which changed the name from Lincoln Institute to Lincoln University and created a Board of Curators to govern the University.

The North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools accredited the high school division in 1925, the teacher-training program in 1926, and the four-year college of arts and sciences in 1934. Graduate instruction was begun in the summer session of 1940, with majors in education and history and minors in English, history, and sociology. A School of Journalism was established in February 1942.

In 1954, the United States Supreme Court handed down its ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, and Lincoln University responded by opening its doors to all applicably meeting its entrance criteria. Today, Lincoln University serves a diverse clientele, both residential and non-residential, engages in a variety of research projects, and offers numerous public service programs in addition to providing an array of academic programs.

Scope of Work:

The purpose of the RFP is to solicit information for services to redesign Lincoln’s brand, identity, messaging efforts and video. The University seeks a firm with relevant experience in brand and identity development and comprehensive message programs for higher education institutions. The brand, identity, messaging and video must embrace Lincoln’s distinctiveness, be strategically informed, and appeal to a variety of key audiences.

Specifically, the University is seeking a firm which can provide a comprehensive, integrated marketing strategy including a new brand, brand platform, brand identity program, advertising templates, and messaging and video program. The firm will be expected to provide a copyright release for all materials created.

In addition, Lincoln seeks the following specific outcomes:

                1. Brand research with focus groups

                2. Design of billboards (3)

                3. Academic degree program templates

                4. Academic direct mail postcards (8)

                5. Design of print/magazine ads (4)

                6. Admissions design of 16-page view book for print and digital

                7. Video shoots and production for recruitment/retention purposes

                                a. 90-second (2)

                                b. 30-second (3)

                                c. 15-second (5-7)

Due Date:

November 1st 2019


Lincoln University

Purchasing Department

1002 Chestnut Street

Jefferson City, MO 65101

Relevant agencies include Finn Partners and Ruder Finn.

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