University Of Alabama Issues Branding RFP

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is searching for an experienced marketing research firm to provide evidence-based recommendations that will be used in a separate project to guide the development of a national branding and awareness campaign for the university.


UAB is a major research university providing outstanding undergraduate, graduate and first professional education. The university has celebrated record enrollment growth for the past two years, with a student body surpassing 20,000 for the first time in fall 2017. With more than 23,000 employees, UAB is also the largest employer in Alabama, contributing $7.15 billion per year to the state’s economy per a 2017 study from TrippUmbach. UAB’s research expenditures totaled more than $528 million in 2016, with federal funding that ranks UAB 18th among public universities and 34th overall. UAB Medicine is the third largest public academic medical center in the country, with more than 1,900 beds and almost 18,000 employees. UAB launched a comprehensive, regional-focused branding campaign, based on the tag line “Knowledge that will change your world,” in 2013. The university is in the midst of its largest- ever capital campaign, the Campaign for UAB, with a goal of $1 billion. The campaign is set to conclude in 2019, in conjunction with the institution’s 50th anniversary.

Scope of Work:

We are looking to engage a firm with a proven track record of working with major public research institutions with academic medical centers. That firm will:

  • conduct the foundational research necessary to (in a separate campaign) develop a brand positioning strategy — including evaluation of UAB’s current position and perception regionally and nationally. This research will encompass:

o             assessment of awareness, image, competitive positioning and academic reputation among prospective undergraduate and graduate students, as well as prospective faculty

o             analysis of peer institutions’ brand and market positions

  • identify and prioritize key audiences needed to achieve a national reputation
  • recommend strategies to reach these audiences with a regional and nationwide branding campaign
  • provide estimated investment necessary to conduct a successful nationwide branding campaign

In addition to these elements, research efforts will include an evaluation of UAB’s current marketing efforts and brand hierarchy, and their suitability to the pivot to a national campaign.

Due Date:

December 13


Mr. Andy Terry University Purchasing

701 20th Street South, Suite AB620

The University of Alabama at Birmingham


Finn Partners may be a good fit for this assignment.


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