University of Mississippi Issues Brand Development RFP

The objective of this Request for Proposals #633 is to solicit proposals from a qualified, responsive, responsible Offeror to provide brand development, creative and marketing services for The University of Mississippi. The vendor will be selected to work with University Marketing & Communications (M&C), the university’s central marketing and communications unit. M&C seeks to establish a relationship with a firm that can work collaboratively with M&C as well as other university partners and use recently completed market research to: 1) develop a brand architecture and platform, 2) create a brand framework, 3) activate and implement the creative framework, and 4) provide UM with a three-year comprehensive plan for marketing and brand strategy.


Founded in 1848, The University of Mississippi (also known as “Ole Miss”) is a public sea-grant and space-grant research university. The state’s flagship university had a Fall 2018 enrollment of more than 23,000 students. Of that number, 58.3 percent are residents of Mississippi, while non-residents represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 90 foreign countries. Its 15 academic divisions include a major medical school, nationally recognized schools of accountancy, law and pharmacy, and the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College.

Scope of Work:

Scope of Phase I:

                Develop Brand Architecture and Platform

                Review and analyze market research conducted for the university in 1H 2019. Work may include, but is not limited to:

                                • Collaborate to define the structure of the university’s brand and develop a strategic brand architecture that incorporates the institution’s many departments, schools, colleges, and organizations.

                                • Conduct an internal audit of all marketing and communications resources, processes, and tactics, and offer recommendations for improvement and investment, based on                                     current industry best practices

                                • Develop a strategic brand platform that outlines university’s purpose, our brand                                           promise, positioning, and brand strategy.

                                • Test and pilot brand platform with M&C team members and members of the UM network of communicators embedded across the campus.

                                • Present and gather input on brand architecture and platform to drive alignment with key internal and external audiences and encourage deep brand adoption.

                                • Deploy the brand platform.

Scope of Phase II:

                Build a Creative Brand Framework

                Following the creation of the brand architecture and platform, the Offeror should propose how best to conceptualize the creative brand framework. Work may include:

                                • Develop creative brief to act as roadmap for creative execution

                                • Work with M&C staff to formulate a branding guide

                                • Build a toolkit and training materials for the campus community with collateral templates to promote alignment and consistency

                                • Host on-campus or off-site creative development workshops for M&C team members, the UM communicator network, and content creators across campus.

Scope of Phase Ill:

                Create and Provide Strategic Marketing and Advertising Plan

                Upon launch of the creative brand framework, the Offeror should create and present comprehensive marketing and advertising plan that extends prior work conducted in Phases I &     II, and drives messaging for the university’s comprehensive fundraising campaign. The plan should include recommendations to execute a full suite of marketing assets. In addition, the Offerer should conceptualize and produce an institutional national spot (TV and web). If Offerer is unable to execute the full scope of Phase Ill , Offerer will work in collaboration with UM staff to identify, vet, and contract with third-party vendors best suited to complete the task. Work    may include, but is not limited to:

                                • Define key performance indicators and measures of success.

                                • Conceptualize and produce an institutional national spot (TV and web).

                                • Work with appropriate UM departments to identify criteria for future campaigns, including target markets, budget, reach, frequency goals, etc. via traditional and non-traditional marketing and advertising activities.

                                • Present analysis and recommendations to UM and M&C leadership

Due Date:

March 21st, 2019. 


RFP #633 – Brand Development and Creative Services 

Rachel Bost, Director of Procurement Services 

University of Mississippi

164 Jeanette Phillips Drive 

PO Box 1848

University, MS 38677

Agencies with relevant experience includes Outcast PR and SmallGirls PR.

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