University of North Carolina Issues RFP For Brand Research Services

The University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW) is soliciting proposals from qualified vendors to furnish the Division for University Advancement (to include the Seahawk Club and the UNCW Alumni Association) with Brand Research Services in anticipation of a comprehensive fundraising campaign. The project consists of two elements,
1) Base-line brand research and analysis
2) Development and finalization of a comprehensive brand strategy.


The University of North Carolina Wilmington, the state’s coastal university, is dedicated to the integration of teaching and mentoring with research and service. Our commitment to student engagement, creative inquiry, critical thinking, thoughtful expression, and responsible citizenship is expressed in our baccalaureate and masters’ programs, as well as doctoral programs in areas of expertise that serve state needs. Our culture reflects our values of diversity and globalization, ethics and integrity, and excellence and innovation.
NCW will be recognized for excellence in everything it does, for its global mindset and for its community engagement.
Strategic Priorities:
• Attract and retain high-quality, diverse students, faculty and staff; ensure an inclusive campus culture and a global mindset; and increase retention and graduation rates.
• Enhance learning experiences and educational programs; and advance research and scholarly activities.
• Enable and nurture a sense of a student-centered community by enhancing academic advising and student support programs for career placement and graduate school.
• Organize for success, engage with our community and the world, and communicate our efforts broadly and effectively.
• Fund strategic initiatives by building on strong relationships with all stakeholders.
These priorities will be pursued in an environment that promotes the free exchange of thoughts and opinions, where human dignity is affirmed and respect for each individual is paramount.

Scope of Work:

The University of North Carolina at Wilmington is seeking expert assistance on its development of a brand platform in anticipation of a comprehensive fundraising campaign. The required services include
• Base-line brand research and analysis
• Development and finalization of a comprehensive brand strategy
The deliverables resulting from this contract will be used primarily by the Division for University Advancement (to include the UNCW Alumni Association and Seahawk Club) to develop integrated marketing communication strategies in support of the university’s comprehensive fundraising campaign. Deliverables may also help inform strategies for student recruitment, public perception, and other institutional goals.
It is the University’s strong preference to engage one firm for the entire project but UNCW reserves the right to award multiple contracts if it is in its best interest to do so.


Base-Line Brand Research and Analysis:

UNCW seeks to better understand its position among current and potential donors, with a special focus on alumni and parents of current students
For this phase, provide sample size and cost per audience, cost per incidence, anticipated response rate, and margin of error.

A. Research Objectives

Assess the brand on the following dimensions: Visibility (awareness, familiarity).

  • Associations (attributes, differentiation, attitudes, segmentation, preference).
  • Philanthropic perceptions and donor value proposition.
  • Perceptions and value of the UNCW Alumni Association and Seahawk Club.

B. Audiences (to include both donors and non-donors)
• Alumni
• Parents of current students
• Faculty
• Staff
• Students
C. Geographies
Regions with the largest concentrations of UNCW alumni:
• Cape Fear NC Region
• Charlotte NC region
• Triad NC region
• Triangle NC region
• DC area
• NYC area
• And some data to represent areas outside of those listed above
D. Deliverables
• Survey instrument design and methodology
• Survey fielding
• Complete research report
• Complete on-site research presentation
• Complete set of SPSS files (labeled for ease of use)
• Provide surveys of key internal and external publics to determine UNCW’s true brand
• Provide recommendations regarding brand platform, brand demeanor, brand promises and core messages.
• Provide plans and tactics to implement recommendations (implementation not included in this work).

Brand Strategy

UNCW is seeking a firm develop a brand platform that will inspire key constituents to make a philanthropic investment as well as serves as volunteers and advocates. This exercise will be executed after, and informed by, the research and competitive analysis projects. The brand platform (not a tagline) will inform further creative development – both content and design – at later stages. Note that we are NOT seeking creative executions. This proposal should address strategy only. Provide at least two and ideally three examples of the brand platform format your firm uses.

A. Deliverables
The final brand platform will be delivered in a traditional brand platform model such as the options below.

Option 1

WHO we’re for (“sweet spot” audience)
WHAT we do (functional benefit)
WHY we do it (emotional benefit)
HOW we do it (brand attributes)
WHO we are (brand personality)

Option 2

  • A big idea/brand promise.
  • A positioning statement,
  • Brand values,
  • Tone and characte

Option 3

Your firm’s proprietary model that answers addresses similar topics and questions in Options 1 and 2.
Complete on-site presentation to be given tothe leadership team within the Division for University Advancement and possibly other key stakeholders.

Due Date:

February 27th, 2019


UNCW Purchasing Services
Hoggard Hall, Suite 133
628 Hamilton Drive
Wilmington, NC 28403

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