State of North Carolina, Central Piedmont Community College Seeks Brand Research Agency

CPCC is seeking proposals from qualified firms to provide the college with qualitative and quantitative research to measure awareness and perceptions of existing market position among various internal and external audiences and provide a competitive analysis and perceptual map of where the college stands in comparison to competitors on a number of dimensions. This work should include a comprehensive marketing communication and brand audit as well as extensive work in assisting the college in clarifying and communicating its brand through focused messaging. From this research, the vendor will create an overall marketing and communications strategy that is strategic, college-wide and supports the college mission and vision.

Background:

Central Piedmont Community College enrolls more than 57,000 students annually in for-credit programs, making CPCC one of the largest colleges in the Carolinas. CPCC offers nearly 300 degree, diploma and certification programs, customized corporate training, market-focused continuing education, and special interest classes. CPCC is academically, financially and geographically accessible to all citizens of Mecklenburg County. CPCC responds to the workforce and technology needs of local employers and job seekers through innovative educational and training strategies. Established in 1963, CPCC has provided more than 50 years of service to Mecklenburg County residents, business and industry, engaging approximately 245,000 people each year through various programs, services, events and performances.

Scope of Work:

Phase 1: Research and discovery

  • Assessing current college brand
  • Measure awareness and perceptions of existing market position among various internal and external audiences.

Conducting market research:

  1. Qualitative research that reveals various audiences perceptions, beliefs, feelings and motives
  2. Quantitative research creating statistical valid market information. Provide enough data from enough different audiences to identify perceived and current/actual market position.
  • Comprehensive marketing communication and brand audit
  • Provide a competitive analysis and perceptual map of where the college stands in comparison to competitors on a number of dimensions.
  • Identify communication preferences and key decision factors for prospective students.

Identify factors considered when assessing a school’s reputation (jobs and salary; cost/value of education/programs; diversity of programs; diversity of students; class size; study abroad; community service; mentoring and coaching available to students; campus; quality of faculty, reputation within business community; relationship of school with the community, etc.)

Identify the college’s offerings:

  1. strengths
  2. weaknesses
  3. opportunities
  4. threats

Identify the college’s competitive:

  1. strengths
  2. differentiators
  3. descriptors
  4. attributes perceived as distinctive to the college

Institutional positions and promises most valued by CPCC’s various audiences

Phase 2: Strategic Planning/Brand Positioning Development

  • Assist the college in clarifying and communicating its brand through focused messaging
  • Use research key findings to create an overall marketing and communications strategy that is strategic, college-wide and supports the college mission and vision.

Phase 3: Implementation (OPTIONAL)

  1. If research indicates the need for a new graphic identity, phase 3 would consist of the development of a new graphic identity and style guide.

OBJECTIVES

The overall objective of this work is to measure the current brand awareness of Central Piedmont Community College among various internal and external audiences, which will guide us to create an overall marketing and communications strategy that is strategic and college-wide and supports the college mission and vision.

Insights we aim to achieve from this study:

  • How strong is our brand?
  • What is our brand loyalty? Is our brand what we think it is?
  • What do our potential students and community need/want to know about us?
  • What are our key attributes, points of excellence?
  • Identify factors considered when assessing a school’s reputation (jobs and salary; cost/value of education/programs; diversity of programs; diversity of students; class size; study abroad; community service; mentoring and coaching available to students; campus; quality of faculty, reputation within business community; relationship of school with the community, etc.)
  • Benchmark brand awareness regarding CPCC and our competitors and how to measure any changes moving forward (aided and unaided awareness)
  • Is our competition who and what we think they are? (Is our competition for-profits, or the lack of knowing we are here, or cost, or stigma, etc.)
  • What makes us different from competition?
  • A competitive analysis and perceptual map of where the college stands in comparison to competitors on a number of dimensions.
  • Communication preferences and key decision factors for prospective students
  • What are the differences of perception among our various audiences? (prospective students — degree- seeking and continuing education; parents; guidance counselors; current students; community at large; business community; business community we are actively engaged with; donors; prospective donors; alumni; CPCC faculty and staff)
  • Inform marketing strategy for college
  • Brand positioning statement and message map
  • Brand strategy development, including personas and message pillars

Due Date:

October 4, 2017

Address:

Jennifer Ennis
Supervisor of Procurement
Email: Jennifer.Ennis@cpcc.edu
Phone: 704.330.6089

Strong agencies for this could be Hunter PR or Finn Partners.

 

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