UMassOnline Issues Branding RFP

UMassOnline (UMOL) is seeking proposals from qualified branding marketing firms with proven experience and expertise in providing brand management for a large, national, online learning program.

UMOL is evaluating market opportunities, business models, and operating models to advance from the current model and structure to a comprehensive, student-centered, system-wide enterprise model for online learning delivery to aggressively increase access to affordable high quality post-secondary education to Massachusetts residents and beyond.


With a rich history in delivering online learning and blended learning opportunities to students in the state of Massachusetts and across the country, UMass Online has grown steadily for the past five years, eclipsing the 75,000 enrollment mark and $100 M in revenue in 2017. For the fifth straight year, overall enrollments in US Higher Education have decreased while during that same time, enrollments in online learning, specifically in fully online programs, have increased.

To date, UMOL has utilized a distributed model through which programs are developed and launched organically at the College level within each of the four campuses (Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, and Lowell). UMOL has served as a service bureau to the campuses and programs primarily in the areas of Marketing and Technology.

The University is composed of six (6) distinct operating units, and each of their associated entities and off-site affiliates including:

                • Amherst Campus

                • Boston Campus

                • Dartmouth Campus

                • Lowell Campus

                • President’s Office – Central Administration

                • Worcester Campus

The University’s five campuses and President’s Office are geographically dispersed throughout the state. Each campus possesses a unique and complementary mission. A single Board of Trustees composed of 19 voting members and 3 non-voting members governs the University. The President of the University oversees the five-campus system, and each campus has its own Chancellor.

Scope of Work:

The scope of work for this Request for Proposal will cover branding for a large, national, online learning program.

                The capabilities should include:

                ● Discovery, Research and Analysis

                                ○ Clarify and define vision, strategies, goals and values

                                ○ Key management and stakeholder interviews (internal and external) to understand needs and perceptions

                                ○ Brand Audit – complete review and analysis of existing marketing/branding materials, messaging and delivery channels

                                ○ Competitive audit – review of competitive set

                                ○ Review and analysis of existing secondary research

                                ○ Conduct surveys on existing lead and student database

                ● Brand Strategy & Position Development & Value Proposition

                                ○ Key message points/messaging matrix

                                ○ Brand brief

                                ○ Creative brief

                ● Brand Story

                                ○ Brand statement encompassing strategy and value proposition

                                ○ Story telling approach to brand building

                ● Creative Concept Development/Strategy & Direction

                                ○ Visual elements/personality aligning with position and strategy

                ● Student Persona Development

                ● Content Strategies

                ● Channel Strategies

                ● Naming Strategy (including domain strategy)

                                ○ Integrating internal perspectives and external views (via management stakeholder interviews)

                                ○ Full naming convention exercise

                ● Campaign Creative Execution

                                ○ Campaign Template – newsletters, email, etc.

                                ○ TV and Video Creative

                                ○ Radio Creative

                                ○ Digital Advertising Creative

                                ○ Print Advertising Creative

                                ○ Out-of-Home Creative

                ● Brand identity package

                ● Brand Standards & Guidelines

                ● Budget and Timeline

Due Date:

January 18th, 2019. 


Alison Brod PR has relevant experience.

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