Request for Proposal Branding for Life Sciences/Biotech/Immunology Business Location/District in Rockville and Gaithersburg

Due Date: 1/18/2023 at 5pm


Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI) is seeking a qualified firm or firms with experience in

marketing research (both quantitative and qualitative), message/positioning development, and

municipal and business location identity/branding including the development of a brand value

statements; logo development and associated graphic standards; and recommendations for brand

rollout through social media marketing as well as traditional marketing with an implementation plan

that outlines budget and timeline. The firm should also work with key stakeholders to develop physical

marketing materials, including a one-pager, trifold, and other print media. In addition, the firm will

create a branded landing page that stakeholders (like brokers, site selectors, and economic developers)

can share or link to in their marketing materials. This branded website should orient users

geographically and provide compelling “why this area” content.

The website would ideally:

• Highlight the geographic area with a graphic or embedded map

• Highlight/display the companies in the life sciences, biotech, cell and gene therapy, etc.,

currently located/arriving in the area, as well as the significant achievements some companies

have brought to the local and global communities, such as Novavax in Gaithersburg.

• Provide comprehensive economic growth data in the life sciences and biotech space in this region

• Provide trends over time, including entrants and exits in the geographical region, quick and relevant data points such as demographics, workforce, and real estate market stats. Have a section featuring available real estate with a call to action/submission form.

• Conduct quantitative research and analysis on business trends over the last ten years with a

focus on new entrants/rising companies and those who have exited the area with a focus on the

industry and sector these companies are in

• Link back to the City of Gaithersburg (and their economic development website), the City of Rockville and REDI

Some considerations for the landing page:

• Long-term cost of website hosting, backend, and content updates

o Which organization should host the website and update the content?

• Creation of a branded email for lead generation

The agency should outline the cost and timeline for the following:

1. Developing the landing page

2. Creating content (written/images/video)

3. Website/brand launch strategy

The firm would be working with the two communities to brand an area that crosses official city boundaries between Gaithersburg and Rockville and has previously been known as DNA alley. This area

is also along U.S. Route 270, which has been named the Maryland Technology Corridor. The area is within the Washington DC Metro area and is an international hub for technology and life sciences

companies and healthcare. Major employers include the National Institute of Standards and Technology

(NIST), Astra Zeneca’s research and development center (formerly Medimmune), EMMES, Client

Network Services, LLC, Infosys, MidAtlantic Medical Services, Inc., BAE Systems, Optimum Choice,

Pharmavene, Inc., Turning Point Global Solutions, LLC, Novavax, Inc., MesoScale Discovery, Emergent

Biosolutions, U.S. Pharmacopeia, , Millipore Sigma, Catalent, REGENX Bio, MacroGenics, Supernus,

Medical Science and Computing, GlaxoSmithKline, FINRA, and Lockheed Martin. This area is also home

to the Global Pandemic Prevention and BioDefense Center.

In addition to NIST, which administers the Federal Lab Consortium program, area federal agencies


✓ The National Institutes of Health (NIH)

✓ The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

✓ United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

✓ U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

✓ Department of Energy (DOE)

✓ HRSA Headquarters

✓ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

✓ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

✓ The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE)

Companies, entrepreneurs, and investors not only benefit from proximity to the federal government,

Congress, and regulators, but also have immediate geographic access to federal tech transfer

opportunities where they can license technologies and access facility resources that may help their

research and product development.

The brand for this area should have a separate look and feel to create a strong image (like Silicon Valley)

that acknowledges the innovation and advancements being made. This new brand will help to attract

additional businesses to this area to further solidify its reputation as a top-tier competitive market for

life science, biotech, and immunology.

The brand architecture should also consider uses on platforms for promoting the lifestyle available to

businesses and employees in the area as an active place to shop, dine and recreate.

The consultant as project manager will lead all aspects of the marketing and branding initiative,

including the following:

1. Advisory to the Steering Committee (to be determined) – this team will be comprised of

representatives from the cities, REDI, and the community. Meetings throughout the process will

be required.

2. Lead for facilitating various focus groups comprised of community leaders and business owners

to determine existing attitudes, perceptions, opportunities, and challenges to enhancing the

City’s image both generally and in various commercial districts.

3. Conduct the research process including descriptions of community engagement efforts that will

take place during this process. The consultant will be expected to employ creative means of

public involvement to ensure that community leaders and the business community are aware of

and involved in the project.

4. The consultant will create and implement a brand research plan. Research by the consultant will

be the basis for developing a brand concept, creative elements, messaging/positioning, and the

overall brand initiative. The brand research plan will include qualitative and quantitative

research with key points to identify the following:

a. The key elements of the area.

b. Analysis of competitor marketing strategies and ways in which the defined local area

can differentiate itself.

c. Measures that will be used to determine if the branding effort is successful.

d. Identification of the objectives of the promotional activities, in the manner of SMART

(specific, measurable, achievable, relevant/realistic, time-based).

e. Identification of partner organizations.

5. The consultant will develop a branding implementation strategy consistent with the outcomes

from Steps 1 through 4 in an iterative and collaborative manner. Examples of potential

implementation elements include, but are not limited to: a web presence, digital content,

strategies to perpetuate the adoption of branding by third parties, coordination with relevant

partners, events, boundary identification, etc.

6. The consultant will develop strategic objectives for implementation, management, and ongoing

promotion of the brand to include, but not be limited to, the following:

a. Promotion of the use of the brand among various entities that may use it.

b. Maintenance and consistency of brand image and messaging while providing suitable

flexibility for the target audiences of the participating entities.

c. Recommendations of ways to articulate the brand; define markets and promotional

avenues; and advise on strategies to better promote and create brand awareness.

7. The consultant will develop creative elements that include design concepts, logos, messages,

brand statements, taglines, and other products to support the overall brand initiative. A

minimum of three distinct creative options must be presented, based on the research results.

The selected logo design will be delivered, with the final option delivered with a style manual and guidelines for use and the capability of use in the following (and other placements as

suggested by the consultant):

a. Print and electronic advertising

b. Social Media

c. On-air presence for television

d. Website design

e. Media placement

f. Public relations

g. Events

h. Letterhead, memos, business cards

i. Templates for things like email and newsletters.

8. The consultant will develop an action plan for implementation of the brand that should include,

but not be limited to, the following:

a. Estimated costs/budget associated with the implementation process.

b. Proposed timelines for the development of creative elements.

c. Implementation plans for brand identity applications and brand identity maintenance


9. The consultant will prepare a brand launch and awareness campaign plan that will be

implemented by the consultant with assistance from REDI staff.

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