RFP Issued For University’s Branding Initiative

2022-06-24 by EPR Staff

Thursday, July 7, 2022 @ 2:00 P.M. CT

Deliver Bid Response to:

Debbie Carpenter

University of Houston-Clear Lake

Procurement Department, Attn: Debbie Carpenter

2700 Bay Area Blvd. – North Office Annex II (NOA II)

Houston, Texas 77058




Nestled on a 524-acre wildlife and nature preserve, University of Houston-Clear Lake (“University” or “UHCL”) has become a cornerstone of higher education along the upper Gulf Coast of Texas. Located midway between Houston and Galveston, Texas, adjacent to NASA’s Johnson Space Center and the Armand Bayou Nature Center, the University serves a diverse student population from the state, the nation and abroad. In 2007, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved creation of UHCL Pearland Campus. The new campus was developed as a partnership between UHCL and City of Pearland. Classes began at Pearland Campus in fall 2010. In fall 2014, UHCL welcomed its first freshmen and sophomores.

Since opening its doors in 1974, the University of Houston-Clear Lake (“University” or “UHCL”) has awarded more than 53,000 degrees. More than 2,000 students graduate each academic year. The University is an upper-level and graduate university that serves approximately 9,300 students. The University offers students over 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in four colleges including Business, Education, Human Sciences & Humanities, and Science & Engineering. Academic programs are offered on campus, at remote sites and via distance education technology.

University of Houston-Clear Lake is seeking proposals for experienced and qualified agencies to provide expertise, guidance, process recommendations and deliverables for a comprehensive branding initiative and activation campaign.

Respondents are encouraged to propose contractual arrangements offering the maximum benefit to the University in terms of (1) services to the University, (2) total overall cost to the University, and (3) project management expertise. Proposers should describe all educational, state, and local government discounts, as well as any other applicable discounts that may be available to the University in a contract for Services.



University will accept proposals by the Proposal Submittal Deadline and HSP Submittal deadline per Section 2.6 with both submitted in separate envelopes and then opened on the HSP due date and time. DO NOT USE U. S. Postal Service in submitting your bid.

Each Proposal must be submitted as one (1) package with two (2) individually sealed envelopes inside. The proposal documents, attachments, execution of offer, and any other information must be included in one envelope with a copy on USB. One (1) copy of the proposal must be included. The completed HUB Subcontracting Plan must be in the second envelope with a copy on USB. One (1) copy of the HSP must be included. Owner prefers simple and economically produced Proposals describing the Respondent’s ability to meet the requirements of this RFP in a straightforward, concise manner. In evaluating Proposals, emphasis shall be on the quality, completeness, clarity of content, responsiveness to the requirements, and Respondent’s understanding and anticipating of the Owner’s needs.

The proposal and all attachments supporting the proposal must reference “RFP22-014 University’s Branding Initiative.” Proposal must be submitted and received in the University’s Purchasing Office on or before the time and date specified and delivered to:

UHCL Procurement Department

Attn: Debbie Carpenter

2700 Bay Area Blvd. – NOA II


There will be a virtual pre-proposal meeting on Thursday, June 16, 2022 @ 3:00 PM CT at the following location:

Join Zoom Meeting

One tap mobile:

US: +13462487799,,91906864570#,,,,*530273# or +12532158782,,91906864570#,,,,*530273#

Meeting URL:


Meeting ID:

919 0686 4570



Respondents are not required to attend. Required proposal documents will be reviewed and there will be an opportunity to ask questions.


Any questions or concerns regarding this RFP shall be directed to

Debbie Carpenter at UHCLProcurement@uhcl.edu

University specifically requests that Respondents restrict all contact and questions regarding this RFP to the above-named individual.


University of Houston-Clear Lake is seeking proposals for experienced and qualified agencies to provide expertise, guidance, process recommendations and deliverables for a comprehensive branding initiative and activation campaign.

The University intends to award to one contractor, and the award shall not prohibit the University from procuring branding services outside of the contract.


The University anticipates awarding a term of one (1) year, with a 1-year renewal option. Contact shall not exceed three years.

Budget will be set according to the strategy and different options offered by vendor: Anticipated Starting Budget: $350,000.00

Goals for the Branding Initiative:

• Build awareness of the University’s purpose, offerings, and positive achievements;

• Differentiate UHCL from other regional comprehensive four-year institutions in the state and beyond;

• Create a fresh energy that will attract new students, donors and collaborators;

• Cultivate a sense of pride and loyalty among students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other supporters;

• Position UHCL as a leading contributor to the regional economy and state workforce;

• Position UHCL to build a reputation that increasingly attracts students and support from across the region and state;

• Develop and maintain a consistent visual identity to ensure that all entities of UHCL are demonstrably part of the whole;

• Update and refresh key UHCL marketing collateral to support and complement branding initiatives.

Key audiences:

• Current students, faculty and staff

• Prospective students and their parents

• Prospective faculty and staff

• Alumni

• Donors and friends; prospective donors and friends

• Corporate partners

• Relevant government and non-profit organizations

• Academic peer and aspirational institutions

Audience Research to Inform the Brand

• Execute in-depth research to evaluate existing internal and external perceptions and brand awareness of the university

• Provide data to evaluate and report on UCHL’s competitive standing as well as differentiation from peer organizations

• Analyze market research to educate the Marketing and Communications team on the best way to approach a new brand strategy and positioning that speaks to the unique story of UHCL

• Evaluate the brand’s ability to engage internal and external audiences and provide recommendations for optimization

• Evaluate the brand in all UHCL markets on a local, regional, and state level

• Evaluate brand equity of current UHCL brand

• Execute and synthesize qualitative and quantitative market studies

Deliverables include, but are not limited to:

• Competitive positioning analysis, highlighting how UHCL measures up against peer/competitor universities in the region, to identify market opportunities and to develop competitive positioning strategies.

• Differentiation and strengths assessment, highlighting what sets UHCL apart from its peers/competitors in higher education and which attributes or points of distinction it can better promote to improve its image among key audiences.

Brand Strategy and Development

Review institutional analysis, market research and formal reports provided by UHCL to develop a brand strategy, platform and positioning that speaks to the unique story of UHCL and that drives enrollment, builds brand affinity and awareness and drives philanthropy.

• Partner with UHCL Marketing and Communications to develop a robust brand strategy that supports the university vision and mission and clinical operations

• Partner with UHCL Marketing and Communications in developing a strategic visual identity, helping to evaluate the brand architecture and providing recommendations to ensure longevity and functionality

• Partner with UHCL Marketing and Communications to evaluate the brand’s functionality in digital spaces and make recommendations for optimization

• Inventory and review all academic logos to inform visual identity and brand architecture

• Develop brand presentation for university stakeholders, providing external perspective and supporting conversations with additional expertise

• Create formal Institutional Brand and Visual Identity Guidelines that illustrates proper uses for the logo, naming convention, color palette, including uses at the University, division, college, department, institute, and initiative levels. Should also include photography and video direction, environmental branding, iconography and patterns in alignment with overall brand initiatives.

Deliverables include, but are not limited to:

• Identify UHCL’s key competitors for unique audiences—including in-state, out-of-state, and international—and review their strengths, weaknesses and implications, if any, for the University’s brand positioning.

• Provide recommendations on best practices for crafting messages to various audiences via multiple communication channels and identify priority messages for target audiences.

• Develop an overarching positioning statement that captures and emphasizes what makes UHCL unique.

• Provide messaging objectives that will elevate the University from a local brand to a national or even international brand.

• Present a minimum of three brand concepts that will serve as potential directions for voice, look, and feel of creative assets.

• Test brand concepts among key audiences via focus groups.

• Develop brand rollout plans for both internal and external audiences and a comprehensive creative brief and roadmap for creative execution.

Brand Awareness and Enrollment Campaign

Provide recommendations for an integrated marketing plan lasting up to 3 years to introduce the institution to a broader audience and support enrollment. Propose strategies and tactics that will generate significant awareness about UHCL throughout the region, Texas, and in selected markets, highlighting the University’s standing as a premier regional comprehensive four-year university and emphasizing core areas of strength, including but not limited to its strengths in STEM education and interdisciplinary partnerships.

Deliverables include, but are not limited to:

• Collateral items such as print and social media advertising for a robust 24 to 36-month

ongoing brand awareness campaign once the new institutional identity is established.

• Provide messaging to support the brand in written communications and designs for print,

broadcast, and digital advertising, and advice on when and how to use them.

• Propose strategies that generate greater affinity among alumni, benefactors and potential benefactors, leading to expansion of the donor base.

• Position the University’s strategic plan and outcomes in messaging.

Brand Training

Brand training will be a critical part of the new brand’s long-term success. The training will illustrate how to connect the brand platform to the people who will steward it on a day-to-day basis: UHCL employees.

Deliverables include, but are not limited to:

• Brand Launch

• Q&A sessions

• Recorded webcasts

• Self-paced, online materials

• FAQs

• Supplemental training resources

Brand Communications

• Provide insight and evaluation on ROI potential and brand equity

• Support the External Relations team in brand communications strategy development

• Support the External Relations team in developing communication tools to effectively share brand concepts and strategy with university stakeholders in way that maintains an appropriate level of transparency and efficiency